Wilsons Promontory

Mount Oberon Summit

This is a guest post by Monique Winterhoff.

There is nothing quite like the challenging climb of Mount Oberon, where the summit rewards avid walkers with breathtaking views across Wilsons Promontory National Park and over some of the outlying islands.

This incredibly popular walk begins at the Telegraph Saddle carpark, a four-kilometre drive from the Tidal River campgrounds and approximately a three-hour drive from Melbourne. It is a relatively steep 3.4-kilometre track. For the most part, the walk is on a wide, compacted gravel track used by management vehicles until you reach the stair section just before reaching the summit, which consists of some steep steps.

Along the track are glimpses of the view to come and a wonderful walk through the outstanding flora and fauna that the Prom has to offer.

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After making the final ascent, walkers emerge out onto enormous weathered boulders and have 360-degree views across the Prom and Bass Strait. Even in summer, the weather at Mount Oberon can be windy, cloudy and cold, so be sure to check weather conditions ahead of time.

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SUMMARY

  • A relatively steep 3.4-kilometre track.
  • Spectacular views of Wilsons Promontory.
  • A variety of local flora and fauna.
  • Be sure to check weather conditions.

Tim Brown of the Wild Melbourne Productions Team reveals the breathtaking views from the Mount Oberon Summit in this short video.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

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EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY

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WILDLIFE

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SCENERY

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OVERALL

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Monique Winterhoff is a MSc student at the University of Melbourne studying blood parasites in small mammals on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. One of her interests is the combination of art and science, using art as a medium for communicating scientific research.


All images courtesy of Monique Winterhoff.

Lilly Pilly Gully Circuit

Located in Wilsons Promontory, this boardwalk through beautiful, primitive rainforest provides walkers with an array of mosses and fungi, and countless species of forest birds to discover!

The spectacular Mount Oberon. Photo: Cathy Cavallo

The spectacular Mount Oberon. Photo: Cathy Cavallo

The Lilly Pilly car park is about five minutes by car from Tidal River on the road away from the campsite. There are two options to explore here: a hillside circuit of 5.8 kilometres (2 to 3 hours) or a pram and wheelchair-friendly stroll of 2.6 kilometres return (1 hour). Both move through a striking variety of vegetation types and feature a 600-metre boardwalk through a remnant patch of ancient warm, temperate rainforest.

These walks offer an insight into the wealth of habitats offered by the Promontory’s landscape. Look out for dry heathland with striking grass-trees, banksia-dominated open woodland and tall eucalypt forest in addition to the jewel in the crown: an ancient rainforest remnant from an earlier era.

Recent fires have left their mark on the tall eucalypts and encouraged vibrant regrowth, resulting in a stunning vista of black and green. Flooding and storms that followed those fires also left their mark, scoring great scars across the mountainsides and creating new open spaces.

The rainforest boardwalk is like entering another world, another time. From tall, open forest you will enter an ethereal, darkened place of utter tranquility. The vegetation changes abruptly and the wildlife in this section is particularly exciting. Frogs call and the odd native galaxiid fish can be seen swimming languidly in the creek. We found three times as many bird species in this small patch as we did across the rest of the walk; Eastern Spinebills, Grey Fantails, Yellow Robins, Thornbills and Scrubwrens flit all around. I suspect some were drawn by the many mosquitos that hovered around the area (repellent would be a good idea).

Once you walk back to the car park, check out the impressive views of Mount Oberon opposite and be sure to keep an eye open down low for lovely mosses, lichens and fungi, the latter of which are particularly abundant at this time of year.

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Summary:
1. Boardwalk through primitive, remnant rainforest
2. Multiple vegetation classes

3. Fungi and mosses
4. Forest birds


Tidal River to Squeaky Beach, Wilsons Promontory

An energetic climb that links two iconic beaches, offers breathtaking ocean views and will most definitely include a wombat sighting!

A beautiful section of the walking track. Photo: Cathy Cavallo

A beautiful section of the walking track. Photo: Cathy Cavallo

This walk begins at the western end of the Tidal River campsite at Wilson’s Promontory, where the new footbridge crosses Tidal River.

A camera is essential, as this track offers spectacular views of Tidal River and Mount Oberon on one side of Pillar Point and Squeaky Beach, as well as several islands on the other.

As the track climbs out of Tidal River, it progresses through multiple vegetation types, from wetland, through banksia-dominated open coastal forest, shady melaleuca stands and finally to an exposed coastal hilltop. The descent to Squeaky Beach traverses rocky scree consisting of gnarled coastal bushes, and tenacious succulents and lichens.

When walked in the morning or late afternoon, visitors can be assured of encountering a wide variety of bird life, as well as the local (and very charismatic) wombats. On our walk, we were lucky enough to discover a beautiful white-lipped snake, resting by the path.

One of the most exciting features of this environment is the colossal granite boulders seemingly littered throughout the forest and bursting from the side of Pillar Point. The origins of these boulders date back to the Devonian Period, which stretched from around 419.2 to 358.9 million years ago. Boulders the size of houses give the forest an otherworldly air of enchantment, while great sheets of granite dip into the surrounding waters, joining a granite bedrock which reaches all the way to northern Tasmania.

This walk is 2.1 kilometres in each direction, and is essentially one long incline followed by a long decline. There are therefore steep sections. Due to this, it is an inadvisable choice for the mobility-limited. That said, less energetic walkers and families will definitely enjoy this walk, provided time is allowed for rest-breaks at the many stunning viewpoints.

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OVERALL RATING

Summary:
1. Spectacular views
2. Multiple vegetation classes

3. Wombats!
4. Striking geology


Roy Henderson Walking Trail

The trail runs through rugged coastal heathlands from the small township of Sandy Point to nearby Shallow inlet, which opens up to a swamp full of wildlife, including water birds and crabs. 

Review

This easy walk starts in the coastal town of Sandy Point, leaving from the corner of Manuka Street and Woodlands Avenue. It curves its way through dense coastal heathland until it reaches Shallow Inlet.

I suggest walking a dusk or (if you’re an early riser) dawn – this is when the bush’s inhabitants come to life. There are birds aplenty, including superb fairy wrens and yellow-tailed black cockatoos. If you’re lucky you may even spot a hairy nose wombat or echidna. We even cam across a baby tiger snake crossing the path!

Once you reach the inlet, you have the option of walking further along to where it meets the sea, or curving back around to explore the marshland.

Unfortunately, the beach is very compacted, as patrons are allowed to drive cars onto the sand to launch boats, which may disrupt your viewing of the waterbirds that live in the inlet.

The marsh is home to an enormous army of crabs, so you can have fun watching them scuttle back a forth along the mudflats.

If you’re up for a bit more of a hike, it’s about 4km up to the entrance of the inlet – although the walk is quite long, the scenery is impressive when you get there. 

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Summary:         

  1.  Easy Walk     

  2.  Diverse Habitats      

  3.  Lots of Wildlife         

  4. Optional Walk to Inlet Entrance