“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Henry David Thoreau
Wilsons Promontory National Park has plenty of short walks; taking in forests, sand dunes, pristine beaches, mountains, and lookouts with incredible views. I’ve been visiting this national park for many years and still haven’t explored every trail. But, here are three of my favourite short walks at The Prom.
One of the most iconic walks at Wilsons Promontory is from the Telegraph Saddle car park to the summit of Mount Oberon. It’s a hike I’ve done several times and, although it’s a bit strenuous, it’s well worth the effort. The trail winds its way 3.4km up a service track, before finishing with a series a steep steps. It takes about an hour to get to the top, but it’s very easy to spend another hour scrambling across boulders at the summit or enjoying a leisurely lunch. On a sunny day (like my last visit), the panoramic views of The Prom are truly spectacular. Be prepared for cold weather (even in summer) and take care on the unprotected cliffs.
Lilly Pilly Gully
The Lilly Pilly Gully Nature Walk is an easy 2.6km and takes about an hour at a leisurely pace. We hiked the Lilly Pilly Circuit (5.8km), which begins with a gradual climb through stringy-bark forest on the southern face of Mt Bishop and then descends to the rainforest in Lilly Pilly Gully. Even though it was a rainy weekend, this two-hour walk was delightful. The colours in the forest were so vivid, including a sprinkling of beautiful wildflowers, and the scent of the bush was deliciously fresh. This area was burnt in bushfires a few years back and we could still see the traces; brilliant green vegetation set against stark black tree trunks.
I have been to Squeaky Beach at least a dozen times. Occasionally we’ve driven directly to the car park, where it’s only a 300 metre walk to the beach. But most of the time we hike the 2.1km from Tidal River, starting at the footbridge, so we can enjoy the spectacular coastal views. The trail climbs across the headland that separates Norman Bay and Leonard Bay, before descending to Squeaky Beach. The walk takes about 50 minutes; or a bit longer if you detour to the rocky outcrop at Pillar Point (a further 0.7km). From here, there are brilliant views of Norman Beach, Squeaky Beach and some of The Prom’s offshore islands.
Squeaky Beach has brilliant white sand, which, as the name suggests, squeaks as you walk on it. Why? Because it has rounded grains consisting of almost pure quartz, which rub together causing the sand to squeak. At the northern end of the beach, there are some great rock formations that are also fun to explore and scramble over.
Note: There’s a free shuttle bus that runs from the car park at Norman Bay (Tidal River) to Darby River, which stops at Mount Oberon, Squeaky Beach, Lilly Pilly Gully and other points of interest. Do you have a favourite short walk at The Prom? Please share it in the comments section below.
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