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Wilsons Promontory: Leave Civilization BehindThe closest town to Wilsons Promontory is almost 40 km away, so when you drive up to this National Park, you will literally be miles from civilization. Wilsons Promontory can be found at the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland and consists of lush forests, rocky headlands and seemingly untouched beaches. Wildlife abounds – as you step out of your cabin in the morning, don’t be surprised if you spot a wallaby casually hopping by. Self-contained holiday rentals dot the parks’ outskirts, so it is just a short car ride to some of Victoria’s most iconic landscapes.Wilsons Promontory Beaches and Water SportsNorman Beach is one of the Park’s only safe swimming beaches, situated a short distance from Tidal River. Patrolled over the summer, it is also a popular destination for surfers. From the beach, you will be able to enjoy prime views of Mount Oberon. A grassy picnic area borders the water, with plenty of shade. At Squeaky Beach, walk on the white quartz grains and you’ll see where this stretch of sand got its name. Wade in the turquoise water or navigate your way through the granite boulders at the beach’s northern end. Quite a few walks depart from Squeaky Beach. Secluded Whisky Bay Beach is sheltered and more out of the way: you need to follow a creek to reach the water’s edge. To discover the plant and animal species who call the waters around Wilsons Prom home, rent snorkeling or diving gear and head further offshore. The waters surrounding Wilsons Prom are part of Wilsons Promontory Marine Park.Wildlife Observation at Wilsons PromontoryThroughout your stay at Wilsons Prom, it will be difficult not to spot an abundance of wildlife, especially if you spend some time close to Tidal River. Kangaroos, wallabies, emus and many other iconic Australian species are relatively tame close to the campgrounds and are likely to come right up to you. (It is illegal to feed them, but you will get some great photos!) Further away from Tidal River, you can go for nocturnal strolls to spot possums. Drive slowly along the Park’s roads for a chance to see kangaroos grazing. During daytime hikes, keep your eyes peeled for swamp wallabies. Don’t forget your binoculars for a closer look at the park’s birdlife. If you are more interested in marine mammals, look out for whales, dolphins and sea lions from the coastal headlands.Scenic Lookouts at Wilsons PromontoryOne of the few traces of human activity within the park is Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse, from which visitors can take in panoramic views over the Bass Strait. The lighthouse has been in continuous operation since 1859, when it was built by convicts. An 18 km trail leads to the lighthouse from Tidal River. Learn more about the lighthouse by participating in a tour (bookings are required). The less-visited Sparkles Lookout, accessible via a side trail off the Darby Saddle Track, features some of the best views over the coastline, encompassing Shallow Inlet on one end and Rodondo Island on the other. Close to Norman Beach is Norman Point Lookout, which provides views of Norman and Oberon Bays. Accessing Norman Point can be a strenuous workout, as you will have to ascend steep stairs made from local granite to reach the summit.Wilsons Promontory Hikes & WalksWilsons Promontory National Park features a network of trails of all lengths and difficulties, from short beachfront paths to overnight treks. Millers Landing Nature Walk is an easy 2km adventure for the whole family which will take you through the woods, past the planet’s southernmost mangrove forest. For a change of scenery, trek through inland sand dunes at Big Drift, but make sure you mark your path so you don’t get lost. Longer walks offer visitors constantly changing scenery. One example is the path from Darby River to Tongue Point, which will lead you past swamps, granite headlands and beachfront coves. Serious hikers may wish to undertake the 40 kms of Wilsons Promontory’s Grand Circuit, which will take you up to misty mountain summits, past placid lakes and deserted beaches, across rainforests and through meadows in full bloom.Getting to Wilsons PromontoryWilsons Promontory National Park is located just under 200 km from Melbourne, a 2.5 hour drive along the South Gippsland Highway. Make sure to buy food and other necessities before you get to Wilsons Prom, as the only place to stock up in the park is the Tidal River General store, which sells basic groceries and serves café-style food at a premium.