One of the best time of the year when you are working and living in Australia is definitely the year end Xmas break. Most companies have a shut down period of about 2 weeks between Christmas and New Years and what better way to spend the holidays on the beach, hiking, camping or on a caravan.
While I would definitely like to do all of that, a trip down to Wilsons Prom definitely need some planning ahead. Most of the camping grounds, cabins and caravan parking spots are booked out pretty early and quickly and you’d probably need to start booking them a few months ahead. We obviously didn’t do that. The idea of heading down to Wilson’s Prom was pretty last minute and we had made the decision pretty much a week before the break. Can you even do anything in just a day’s trip? Let’s find out.
So, where and what exactly is Wilsons Prom? I think this is a pretty important question especially if you only have one day. Wilson’s Prom is situated at the southern most tip of Victoria. It’s about 3 hours drive from Melbourne CBD. It is a National Park that encompasses a few beaches, a few mountains, lots of hiking trails, a river and lots of caravan/cabin sites for campers. A quick search on google led me to a website that has all the informations on their walking trails. After a few images on instagram of Wilsons Prom, I was sold for Mt.Oberon trail and Squeaky Beach.
We’ve rented a car for four of us and left Melbourne at about 8:30AM. We reached Wilsons Prom at about 11:50AM. One thing I’ve learnt is that cars are now allowed to go up the Mt. Oberon trail’s carpark at the Telegraph Saddle carpark during peak seasons (i.e. : December and April). Instead, you’ll need to park at Tidal river, which isn’t that far off Mt. Oberon and take a shuttle bus from there to the Telegraph Saddle Carpark. Buses comes every 30 minutes and there’s plenty of room for everyone who was waiting in line. Tidal river is the main area in Wilsons Prom. There’s a small cafe, s caravan park, some bbq pits, public toilets and there’s even an outdoor cinema at night. Finding a carpark at Tidal River however, can be a problem. It took us a good 20 minutes to finally find a parking space. By the time we got to the foot of Mt. Oberon trail, it was already close to 12:30PM.
The hike up to the submit was quite tiring. It was a lot steeper than what I’ve expected. It did say on the website that this is a moderate/hard trail so I don’t think it’s quite suitable if you have young kids. I’ve seen numerous fathers carrying their child on their shoulders while hiking up and trust me, you don’t want to do that on this trail on a hot day.
That being said, the trail is definitely do-able. If you feel like you’re running out of breath, just take a break, drink some water and continue on slowly. For most part of the trail, the road is wide. We were quite lucky that it was a 25C day and even so, we were feeling pretty hot while hiking up. Once we got to the submit though, we cooled down very quickly.
We saw a mini lizard on a tree bark (pic above) and that was probably the only animal we saw on this trip. We’ve heard lots of stories from our friends and colleagues about seeing wombats, koalas or kangaroos and we were looking forward to seeing some. Obviously we were there on a wrong time. I think you’ll get to see them more after sunset. A friend of ours who stayed in one of the cabins in Tidal River overnight had a wombat visiting their doorstep one night.
I think in general, you’ll enjoy the hike more if you do it nice and steady. You’ll get to notice more of the flora and faunas around you. Sometimes racing up to the top of the submit will only kill your spirit if you’re feeling too tired. This is especially true for the last part of the hike. Instead of wide roads depicted above, you will need to climb stairs and rocks and that was even more tiring than the walks prior. It took me a good 50 minutes to get to the submit from the carpark. My brother and his gf who are fitter than me took probably 40 minutes. The view once you do get to the submit however, is SOOOO worth it! I’ll definitely do this trail again.
Pic above: The view that greets you at the submit.
Pic below: Us, sunbathing? 🙂 It was actually very bright lol.
If you go down slightly from the submit and head towards one of rock paths on the left, there’s actually a pretty sweet spot where no one’s there compared to the submit which was considerably packed. Not only you get to see the bay, but you also get this mountain view.
After spending a good hour at the submit, we make our way back down. The walk down was really easy. We did not sweat a single drop and we probably reached back to the carpark in 20 minutes. We didn’t wait too long for the shuttle bus to come either to bring us back to Tidal River. In summary, I enjoyed the hike even though I struggled a little bit on the way up. At one point, especially the rocky part nearing the top, I was feeling a little queasy and unwell. But, I was very determined to go all the way up because I knew what was waiting for me and that itself was my motivation. I will definitely do this again on my next trip back to Wilsons Prom.
Coming up next: Tidal River for a picnic lunch before heading to Squeaky Beach!
Visited: 28 December 2015
All photos taken and edited by me. Taken on a Nikon D7000 either on a Nikkor 50mm lens or Tokina 11-16mm lens.
Keep experimenting! – Pei –