Wilsons Promontory National Park
Victoria, with almost 16% of the state reserved, is blessed with some very unique parks. The Prom, a favourite of Victorians, occupies a rugged granite peninsula at the most southerly point on the Australian mainland. Due to its beauty and close approximation to Melbourne, it is an extremely popular park particularly during the Christmas - New Year break.
The park was declared in 1905 after first being reserved in 1898.
The Prom is 200km south-east of Melbourne via the South Gipsland Highway through Foster. Tidal River, the major camping ground is 30km south of the park gates at Yanakie Entrance via sealed road.
Tidal River: Tidal River, half way down the west coast of the park, has a full range of vistor facilites including a large camping ground, caravan park, lodges, information centre, telephone, showers, toilets, laundry, open air cinema, petrol station, kiosk and resident doctor (during summer). There is limited room for the hoardes of vistors that descend each summer so early bookings are essential. Due to its popularlity campsites are allocated by ballot each year. A form can be obtained from Parks Victoria which must be submitted by June for allocation of a site during the summer of that year.
Bush camping: There are a dozen other established sites in the park all boasting pit toilets. None are accessible by vehicle. A camping permit is required. Fuel stoves are neccessary as fires are not permitted. Camping is not allowed on any of the islands within the park.
There is much room to roam amongst the 50,300 hectares of the park. There are a number of excellent short walks and some tougher longer ones. Hardy travellers will enjoy the views of the more remote mountains of the south and waterbodies will relish the clean beaches and bays all round.
The park generally does not experience climate extremes having cool summers and warmer winters. Walkers should, however, be prepared for sudden changes, partuclarly in the south.