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Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse, Victoria’s Best Kept Secret

02/10/2016
4 mins read

Description

The Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse was built in 1859 and it continues to light the night sky to this day. However, unless you are the lighthouse keeper or captain of a shipping vessel, you probably didn’t even know it existed. The lighthouse sits on the point of a raised peninsula that extends from the South-East coast of Wilsons Promontory National Park.

A number of shipping vessels crawl past this exposed coastline, but they’re not the only ones passing through. Whales pay regular visits during Winter and Spring, as well as Seals and Dolphins who call this place home all year round.

Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse during the day in Portrait photo with cloudy skies

The Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse is only a 10km walk from the most southerly point of mainland Australia. Its Southerly position can leave this unique location open to roaring Westerly winds and treacherous Bass Strait conditions. However, when the water turns to glass and the wind settles, it is a sight to see like none other.

The Accommodation

Fortunately, Parks Victoria recently opened the lighthouse cottages for visitors. Walk in the footsteps of previous lighthouse keepers and experience this remote accommodation. The clean and cosy Banks Cottage sure beats any camping setup; make yourself at home in the lounge, kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom. There’s no arguing about the highlight of staying underneath the lighthouse. Waking up to start your day with some of the best ocean views that Victoria has to offer.

Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse view of the coast from the Banks Cottage Accommodation

Book the Banks Cottage and all your essentials are covered:

  • Tea, coffee, milk, condiments
  • Shampoo, conditioner, soap
  • Warm linen and towels
  • Heater/Air conditioner
  • Board Games and cards

Remember to bring all your supplies for a nice meal and maybe even a bottle of your favourite wine. Upon your arrival, organise a time to tour the lighthouse with the lovely hosts Renata or Colin.

Master Bedroom at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse Accommodation

Lounge and Kitchen area at Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse accommodation

Interview with the current lighthouse keeper: Renata

Q: How long have you been the Wilson Promontory Lighthouse keeper for?

Renata: “Three and a half years roughly, and I love it. It’s a hard place not to love.”

 Q: What are your favourite things about the lighthouse and the cottages that make you love it so much?

Renata: “We have wombats and wallabies in our yard instead of puppies and kittens!” Renata then continued to list more reasons, “People have to make such an effort to get here, I think that’s the thing that I appreciate about it most, because there are so many places that are so accessible in our lives these days… We’ve travelled a fair bit and this to me, is still one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world”

Q: We’ve seen whales, wombats and seals during our stay, what other animals have you seen in the area?

Renata: “There was one day in particular where we saw literally hundreds and hundreds of dolphins and there were three distinct pods of them… We’ve seen four killer whales going just down below the lighthouse there as well, which is quite extraordinary because their fins are so formidable.”

Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse Accommodation

 

Getting to the Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse

  1. Book your accommodation early.
  2. Use the address Wilsons Promontory Road, Tidal River, Victoria.
  3. Check in at the Tidal River Visitor Information Centre as an overnight hiker.
  4. Drive to the Telegraph Saddle car park .
  5. Begin your hike:

The lighthouse is only accessible by continuing on foot through the southern section of the “Prom”. The 19.7km hike to the lighthouse separates the weak from the willing. Follow our suggested hike to make it to the lighthouse and see one of Victoria’s most untouched beaches. Download the overnight hikers guide to make sense of our hiking instructions.

Map of Southern section of Wilsons Promontory National Park
© OpenStreetMap contributors

Day 1: Are we there yet?

Park your car in the Telegraph saddle car park and begin your hike down the Telegraph Track. The Telegraph Track is a single lane, emergency access road that has an easy downhill to start before a few minor climbs coming in to the Roaring Meg camping ground. Continue on this track for 12.2km, passing the Telegraph junction and Halfway Hut before arriving at Roaring Meg. Roaring Meg is a good stop for lunch as the walking difficulty increases after this point.

Once you have refuelled, follow the signs for the Lighthouse via the walking track. The walking track is a skinny donkey track that consists of some fairly serious climbs to start. The walking track extends for 7km with the last 3km offering views of the Lighthouse at multiple lookout points. Finish with a gruelling climb up and on to the peninsula where the Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse sits. Take a look back to see the dense bush that you just conquered. 

  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Distance: 19.7km
  • Time: 6 hours – Including stops and lunch

Landscape photo at WIlsons Promontory Lighthouse at the top of the hill looking back

Day 2: Waterloo Bay

Say your last goodbyes to the Lighthouse and jump back on to the walking track heading around the East coast. This section of the walking track has some moderate climbs at the beginning. If the rock hopping and pretty surroundings aren’t enough to satisfy, just wait for the lookout that awaits you at the top of the climb.

After walking for 7km you will begin the easy decline down to Waterloo Bay. Waterloo Bay is undoubtedly one of Victoria’s best kept secrets. The Bay features turquoise waters and stunning white sand, all enclosed by large granite rocks and dense bush land. A great stop for lunch.

lighthouseht-13-of-13

Continue up the beach for 900 metres and follow the raised grated track to your left off the sand. Walk 4.5km through swampland until you reach the Telegraph Track Junction. The track is well maintained with a raised boardwalk keeping your socks and shoes dry for most of the walk.

Head North on the Telegraph Track, toughing out the last 6km of walking up to the car park.

  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 22.5km
  • Time: 7 hours – including stops and lunch

Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse Hiking Tips:

  • All hiking can be completed in comfortable runners.
  • Pack light: Walk with change of clothes, food and water.
  • Invest in a water bladder to drink while walking.
  • Consider purchasing a small hiking pack or large comfortable backpack.
  • Best hiked in mild temperatures.
  • Remember to Check out at the Tidal River Visitor Information centre!
  • Consider booking accommodation in Yanakie or Foster after last day.
  • Bring at least one block of chocolate to enjoy at the Lighthouse after a long day of walking!

Want to find more hidden gems near Melbourne, Victoria? Search The Trail and follow us for updates and new places on Instagram: @humble.trail

mattcharlesworth

Matt Charlesworth is the co-founder of Humble Trail, an independent publisher born from a passion to showcase Australia's natural wonders. With a love for outdoor adventures, Matt has spent countless weekends surfing at Phillip Island and dreaming of van conversions for ultimate Australian explorations. Though he has stepped back to allow a dedicated team to lead, his spirit of adventure and dedication to connecting people with the beauty of Australia continue to inspire the content and vision of Humble Trail.

4 Comments

  1. Hi! We are thinking about going to Wilsons Promontory. We would like to do 2 nights 3 days; if you would be able to stay 2 nights (one would be the light house) where would you spend the second one? Waterloo bay?

    Would you do the route starting from Waterloo bay, then to the light house, Roaring Meg campsite and finish at Tidal river? Would this make the hike easier? I’m thinkin this would allow us to sleep the second night on a nice bed and take a shower.

    Thank you so much in advance for any information! BTW This article is one of the most complete an easy to understand I have found so far. It’s our first time to Australia and government sites are quite ok but at some point it’s so much info that you get lost in it

  2. Hi AD28!
    That sounds like a perfect length for your Wilsons Prom hiking trip. Your itinerary sounds like a good plan and it is doable. However, be aware that the section of the track walking from Waterloo Bay towards the Lighthouse is a large climb for around 4-5km. With the difficulty in mind I would allow 4-5 hours just for this section of the track (11km).

    I would recommend walking all of the South-East Wilsons Prom tracks in an anti clockwise direction. e.g. Telegraph Saddle -> Roaring Meg -> Lighthouse -> Waterloo Bay -> Sealers Cove… Most hikers in this area will average 15km per day so the less uphills the better I say!

    My suggestion would be to commence at Telegraph Saddle. Stay your first night at the Lighthouse. Hike towards Refuge cove on day 2 and camp there the night. Before finishing your last leg back to telegraph saddle. Refuge Cove campsite is very unique and it is within close proximity of the water. Hope you have an awesome trip!

  3. Thank you for this article!
    I have been in Wilson Promontory when I lived in Australia and it was an amazing experience! I visited a lot of places and did a website about it with some articles 🙂

    • That’s great Marianne, Where was your favourite place at Wilsons Promontory? I went to “The Big Drift” a few weeks ago and I was very impressed!

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