A few weeks ago, a friend and I went on a day trip organized through New To Melbourne, a tour organization that offers budget experiences and day trips around Victoria. For about $60 AUD, the tour would be a full-day experience, including a guide and transport to and from the park. This is an economical option compared to a lot of the organized tours that leave from Melbourne and is considerably cheaper than renting a car on your own.
We set off at 9 a.m. from the meeting point in front of the Victoria State Library and began the long drive southeast to Wilsons Promontory, or Prom. Wilson’s Prom is a national park on a peninsula that juts out into the ocean and is covered by mountains and thick greenery. The beaches are massive with formidable waves crashing on the shore, and rocky cliffs surrounding the open sandbars.
The drive takes about 3 hours, and we stopped at a Cafe and Bakery dedicated to the infamous Ned Kelly on the way to get food for before the hike. The hike itself was not terribly difficult, anyone of moderate fitness capabilities wouldn’t have a problem and there were even families with kids hiking up with no problem. At the top, you have a stunning view of a beach and bay, well worth all the effort.
For anyone visiting Wilson’s Prom, either on a day trip or otherwise, I’d recommend bringing:
- Sturdy walking shoes
- A sweatshirt or warm clothes to throw on at the top of the mountain, even if it’s a warm day. It was very windy and chilly at the top
- Plenty of water, but there are spots to refill
- Snacks. I’d recommend bringing a bit of food to avoid spending money at the campground restaurants if you’re traveling on a budget. You will get hungry from walking around all day.
- Sunscreen. Put some on, even if it’s cloudy.
- Your camera
The nature of this area is stunning. There’s really no shortage of beautiful natural areas in Australia to enjoy, but the problem is that they are all difficult to reach if you don’t have a car. I want to give an honest review of the tour company. The tour itself is a great option if you want to save money and see the sights, and are okay with having a long day of traveling and time spent on a bus. But I wouldn’t recommend seeing all the sights of Victoria this way. While it’s more expensive to rent a car and much more frustrating to assemble a travel team to go camping for a weekend, it’s worth it to give yourself extra time to see these natural wonders. Otherwise, you’ll be rushing through places you shouldn’t be, and driving long hours on an uncomfortable bus.
Despite the long drive, the frustrations of being in a large group, and the limited time, it was still a great way to get a glimpse of Wilson’s Prom and get out of the city for a day. It’s a great option for solo travelers who do not want to rent a car or people who don’t enjoy camping but still like to see nature. My favorite part of the day was the sunset on the beach, watching the intimidating waves crash on the smooth sandbar. It was a really fun place to fly my drone around, getting some interesting footage of the forest-covered mountains and open ocean.
If you’re living in Melbourne on a working holiday visa or traveling through, I’d highly recommend a visit to Wilson’s Prom. If you don’t want to camp, you can rent an Airbnb or stay in other accommodation nearby to enjoy nature hikes and beaches, but not sleep among the wildlife.