Let's Take a Hike Down Unda'
Ever wondered what the terrain is like down under? Throw a shrimp on the barbie and venture with us into the beauty of Wilsons Promontory National Park in Victoria, Australia through the lens of Max Blackmore, founder of Left Foot Right Foot hiking guides.
Wilson Promontory National Park: Lighthouse Walk
...is a large national park south-east of Melbourne in an region called South Gippsland. The park is full of many great walks it would take a week to do them all with a good mix of overnighter and day walks.
The lighthouse, the southern most point of Victoria, can be reached in a couple different ways that make it a single night or a multi-day walk. With 9kgs of food, water and whiskey strapped to our backs, we set out on the 24km walk to the lighthouse from Tidal river. Walking along the shore of Little Oberon Bay you can see the massive amount of damage caused by the previous years storm and the mudslides that followed. The beach was covered with car-size boulders dislodged from the hillside by the heavy rain. The storm also caused the airlift evacuation of a school group on a walk in the park.
Once you head inland the scenery changes constantly; from open scrub land to beach side forest. Finally after passing a girl with heals rubbed raw from poor choice of footwear and a year 9 school group of about 30 screaming kids headed for the same destination as us we saw the lighthouse perched on top of a giant boulder in the ocean (luckily we didn’t have to bunk in with the school group). It seems to always be the way that the final kilometer is the worst, but dropping that backpack on the doorstep of an 1890's cottage that's home for the night and waking up to seals frolicking the bay at the bottom of the cliff side make it so worth it. However it wasn’t until we arrived at the lighthouse that we realised that 2 hours had been added to our walk by leaving from Tidal River.
This walk is close to a 40km round trip (the way we went) and will probably take about 16 hours walking return. Although long, it is well worth the effort for the scenery and accommodation. For $80 per night you can stay in the old cottages at the lighthouse fully equipped with kitchen, bedding and hot showers (which we did for 2 nights) but... if on a budget you can camp at certain locations along the trail and in the lighthouse grounds.
After two nights of relaxing around the lighthouse, and taking too many photos of rocks, we headed back to Tidal River. You don’t have to go back the same way you came, there is a more scenic route along the eastern coast of Wilsons Prom with picturesque swimming locations such as Little Waterloo bay. Wet in winter and hot in summer so precautions are needed, but it’s a popular route so you’ll never be far from somebody if you need a hand.