Wilsons Promontory

Tidal River, Wilsons Promontory

Wilsons Promontory National Park, stretches out south into the Bass Strait. The Highway climbs over and winds down the the mountains towards Tidal River, where there is a camping ground run by the Park Services, no free camping and you need a pass to drive into the park. It is a bit chaotic as we arrive, the place is fully booked but lucky we booked ahead, the next headache is finding a parking space, not easy with a 7m long camper and few places to really turn onto a site, whilst small children are riding around on bikes behind you.

Note to self : Australians love camping, they take everything with them, but they also have large 4-wheel trucks sat in front of their tents so there is little room left to turn and manoeuvre and of course they all watch you park up. It can get stressful, to stay cool.

Finally in position, I need time to de-stress, so we head out on a walk over the Tidal River bridge and out towards Pillar Point overlooking Norman Bay, it works the view is spectacular.

Whale Rock
Tidal River Bridge
Tidal River
Lone Canoe
Norman Bay
Norman Bay

Pillar Point overlooking Norman Bay

At the end of the headland we reach Pillar Point, large stones sat above the bush, it’s windy up here and difficult to stand without feeling you are being pushed over.

Wild is the Wind. The wind ripples the surface of the sea out across the bay.

On the other more sheltered side of the Point, we find a seat overlooking Leonard Bay, stopping for a while we watch the waves crashing on the beach below as the wind whips at the crests of the waves.

Overlooking Norman Bay from Pillar Point
Wild is the Wind, on Pillar Point
Braced against the wind, Pillar Point
Leonard Bay
Waves breaking on the beach at Leonard Bay

Norman Bay

In the morning we walk down through the slumbering campsite to Tidal river, the tide is out in the morning, as we walk along the beach at Norman Bay. It is a chance to dabble or feet in the cool water as the seagulls hop around at the waters edge. The dark form of Norman Point overlooks the bay and to our right we can see the stones of Pillar Point standing up at the end of the Bay. We head back into the camping site looking forward to our breakfast.

Low Tide at Tidal River
Tidal River
Across the sand to Pillar Point
Norman Bay with Norman Point in the background
Feeding Time
Norman Bay
Familiar Red Rocks

Leonard & Whisky Bay

Climbing out of the Tidal river basin, the road climbs back up over the mountains, with the occasional views and twisting roads leading down to secluded beaches below. We head down to Leonard Beach to watch the surfers tackle the surf in the bay. This beach is known as squeaky beach as friction between your feet and the pure white sand makes a distinctive squeaky noise. The rocks are covered with the familiar red hue.

Surfers on Leonard Beach
Leonard Bay
Red Rocks, Leonard Bay

Whiskey Bay further around the bay is another smaller beach we explore. It is deserted of people at first, the waves break slowly onto the beach and we walk to the end  to see the balancing rocks on the headland. Picnic Bay is just to the south over the dividing headland, rather than walking down again we stop to gaze out into the bay as far out as Norman Island a lone rock in the bay.

Whisky Bay
Whisky Bay
Waves breaking on Whisky Bay
Overlooking Whisky Bay
Picnic Bay
Picnic Bay Headland with Great Glennie Island in the background
Norman Island off Picnic Bay

Lakes Entrance

Wilsons Promontory is a beautiful area within close proximately of Melbourne, we are reluctant to leave but now we head off away from the city into the Gippsland’s along the southern highway towards Lakes Entrance and New South Wales in the direction of Sydney and the encroaching New Year.

Lakes Entrance

Travelling Notes

Check out the visitors website :  Wilsons Promontory National Park,  all the information for visiting and camping in the National Park with information on the many overland walks.

Where : Wilsons Promontory, Victoria, Australia. 

Travelling : 130km from Phillip Island to Tidal River, a number of C roads winding through Inverloch and Fish Creek leads out to Wilsons Promontory National Park, stretching out south into Bass Strait. The road the climbs and winds over the mountains towards Tidal River a camping ground run by the Park Services, no free camping and you need a pass to drive into the park.

Camping or Campervan: Tidal River Camping and Cabins,  accommodation and walking guides as pdf downloads, you need to book ahead as it gets busy, especially on the weekends. The camping site is on Norman Bay and has access to Tidal River with easy walks to Pillar Point on the headland. 

Don’t tell anyone: Whiskey Bay and Leonard Bay, beautiful white squeaky sand and red rocks on the beach, views are stunning.

Next up: North of Eden

pjbourne is a full time architect, urban masterplanner and sustainability designer. In his free time he’s outside with a camera, running, hiking or mountain biking through the Alps where he lives or indoors in front of the iMac planning another long road trip in a campervan to the other side of the world, whilst listening to David Bowie.

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