Wilsons Promontory – Tidal River Area
Christmas is the period of long holidays and for me it usually lasts almost a month. On the last day of Office closing, my boss, suggested Wilsons Promontory, for a weekend get away. His reasons were many to back up his suggestion. ‘The place looks something out of Australia, more like Solomon Island’. He continued. ‘You can even make it a one day trip and you won’t regret going there’. Neither did I and I hope you won’t either if you heed my advice and visit this place.
Squeaky Beach – Wilsons Promontory
Before visiting any Australian tourist spot, curiosity knocks me to find out how the aborigines used that land. This land was a part of tribal lands of Brataualung. These people occupied the area from Cape Liptrap to the mouth of Albert River and inland to the ridge of Western Strezelecki Ranges. Aborigines worshipped the land and for that reason, Wilson Promontory has spiritual significances too. They called it Yiruk or Wamoon. Understandably, the aboriginal population survived on the abundant fish resources and the resources from the forest around it. European arrival pushed the aborigines to the brink and the last members of the tribe were sent to Aboriginal mission at Lake Tyers. As I walked through the narrow passes, enjoying the beauty of the beaches and the Boulders, did I hear the cries of those people who have died protecting their land? I am not sure. Human history is the story of the survival of the fittest and the winner always writes the history. The tears and agony may form part of the Karma, but the land always forgives. It still waits eagerly for the adoring visitors gazes like a bride. In 1798 when George Bass first sighted the Promontory during his whaleboat expedition, it was not its beauty but his commercial acumen that forced him to visit the land once again with Mathew Flinders the same year. The land was named after a London friend of Flinders, Thomas Wilson.
Wilsons Promontory – Camping Area
I planned for an early morning drive to spend more time there. The Navigator showed around 207 Km from Preston in Victoria, not to mention; Wilsons Promontory is a pretty long drive from Melbourne. Once we reached Wilson Prom Entrance, there was yet another 20 to 25 km drive to reach the main parking area. But it is worth it.
Wilsons Promontory is widely known as Wilsons Prom. Before I started my journey, I was more or less curious to know what does ‘ Promontory’ means. A quick check into free dictionary Online gave the following results.
- a high point of land or rock projecting into water beyond the line of coast; headland.
- a bluff, or part of a plateau, overlooking a lowland.
- Anat. a prominent or protuberant part.
And that is exactly what Wilsons Promontory is. With its sandy coves and wonderful beaches it is an ideal location to spend holidays. For many, holidays are all about the ‘running sight-seeing mania’ for taking photographs; standing near statues and land mark buildings. Wilsons Prom offers a multitude of possible physical activities coupled with an opportunity to relax and wind down. The scenery is pristine, but I would rather use the word ‘Divine’ to describe Wilsons Promontory.
It is a national park and protects around 50460 hectares of pristine beaches and cool shaded rain forests. It is a place for all sorts of physical activities like walking, camping, snorkelling, surfing, scuba diving and overnight hiking. Leaving the rest of the team for other activities, myself not being an athletic person, was searching through the brochure for an activity most suitable for a lazy goose. Finally I got it – ‘Bird watching ‘ . The information Office was nearby and I wasted no time in inquiring about Bird watching locations. But birds are a part of history too. There used to be flocks of visiting birds before; but not anymore.
There are many walking areas for enjoying the beauty of the land. The squeaky beach track is around 2km and offers spectacular coastal views. The must visit – never miss areas are the Squeaky beach, pillar point, Darby river area, the picnic bay and the lilly pilly gully track. The squeaky beach got its name because of the fine sand at the beach. As you walk through it will give a squeaky sound and the beach and the boulders area a feast for the eyes. There are not many places in Australia that can match the beauty of Wilsons Prom.
Other information about Wilsons Promontory
Day visitor entry to the park is free. The main visitor facilities are located at the tidal river. Camp ground facilities include amenity blocks, picnic areas, free gas barbecues and fresh drinking water. Call into Visitor centre at the Tidal river during open hours (8:30am -4:30pm) or alternatively phone (03) 56809555
There are 484 campsites available at Tidal river. Twenty of these sites are powered and pre booking is recommended. During the Christmas vacation period, it will be fully booked.
If you are looking for more comfort than a camp site choose from one of the Prom’s wilderness Retreats, self-contained cabins, groups lodges or huts. Advance booking is essential at all times Phone 131963 / 03 56809555
For more information visit parks.vic.gov.au