Here’s our guide to the best time to visit Wilsons Promontory National Park near Melbourne.
Wilsons Promontory is home to untouched beaches and mountains with panoramic ocean views. It’s also famous for it’s forest trails, beachside campsites and unique Australian wildlife. To explore this incredible National Park on the southern coast of Australia, it’s best to take a day tour from Melbourne.
A day tour lets you sit back and enjoy views of rolling green hills and countryside as you depart the city and drive 2.5 hours to the National Park. Wilsons Promontory awaits you, as your guide shows you the best trails, lookouts and beaches. There’s also a chance to glimpse the local wildlife, including wombats, emus, kangaroos, wallabies and many native birds.
We’ve put together this handy guide to the seasons so you can choose what time of year you would like to visit.
What is the best time to visit Wilsons Promontory?
Spring: September, October, November
Spring is a great time to visit Wilsons Promontory. The warm weather is perfect for walking the trails and exploring the beaches. It’s also a time of year when the summer crowds haven’t yet arrived and you might find that you have the trail all to yourself. If you are planning a quick swim at the beach, keep in mind the water is at its coldest straight after winter – a very chilly 12°C.
The weather in Spring tends to be warm during the day, but cooler in the evening and still very cold at night. It’s always best to bring an extra layer of clothes for a day trip to Wilsons Promontory. Particularly as the National Park is located on the southern coast of Australia, it is often exposed to th cold southerly winds. In particular if you walk up to the mountain lookouts, you are likely to find there is a cold wind blowing at the top.
Summer: December, January, February
Summer is a busy time at Wilsons Promontory. The weather is warm (sometimes very hot!), and people have time off work and school to escape the city for holidays. The campgrounds at Wilson Promontory get so busy at this time that there are annual ballots to decide who gets to hire the campsites.
Despite the crowds, summer will allow you to explore the National Park in the best temperatures. Plus, it will probably have you ready for a swim in the ocean at the famous Squeaky Beach. There are so many beaches and walking trails in the national park that it is easy to find a spac to yourself.
Autumn: March, April, May
Autumn is a wonderful time to visit Wilsons Promontory – the weather, wildlife and lack of crowds will have you in awe. After the summer rush, the National Park quietens down again and the trails are almost empty during the week. It is the perfect time to walk to a mountain peak and take in the crisp clear views.
Autumn is also a good time for wildlife spotting as most Aussie animals do not appreciate the summer heat. Once the daytime temperatures drop, animals like kangaroos, emu and wombats are more likely to be seen out and about in the park. When taking to the trails it’s also a good idea to look out for wallabies. They are shyer and like to remain amongst the bushes alongside the trails.
Winter: June, July, August
Winter is the time to rug up and visit the Wilsons Promontory National Park in the comfort of a heated bus! Brave the cold winds and low daytime temperatures and you’ll be rewarded with an almost empty National Park – except for the wildlife!
Kangaroos and emus are commonly seen during the day in the Wildlife Walk area of Wilson Promontory. Because the days are cloudy and cool, these animals are happy to come out in the open and graze for food in the grasslands. It’s also the best time of year to spots wombats as they come out of their burrows just before sunset. During winter in Melbourne sunset is earlier than the rest of the year, so you are more likely to see these animals on tour.
Take a Day Tour to Wilsons Promontory
Join us on tour to experience the best of Wilsons Promontory.
The most popular beach at The Prom is Squeaky Beach. The famous white sand is rounded grains of quartz – that actually do make a squeaking sound when you walk. This is how the popular beach got its name.
From the Squeaky Beach car park you can wander across and stream and through coastal scrub, to reach the beach. From the sand you can see the offshore island in the distance. At the northern end there are large granite boulders with a maze of passages to explore in between. There is also a trail which takes you to the campground and kiosk at Tidal River.
Tidal River to Squeaky Beach Coastal Trail
One of the most scenic walks from Tidal River is the track to Squeaky Beach. This trail can be walked in either direction, starting at either Squeaky Beach or Tidal River.
When starting at Tidal River, you can walk along boardwalks before crossing over the river. The path ventures through swamp paperbark forest and wetlands. Upon reaching the Squeaky Beach end of the trail you are treated to spectacular views of the crisp white sands and turquoise waters.
Mountain Summits with Panoramic Views
Wilsons Promontory’s mountains offer fantastic views of the coastline and offshore islands. The journey to the lookout points is just as exciting as the views themselves. Mt Bishop is one of the lookout points that we walk to on our tours. The trail begins in the Lily Pilly Gully where immense re-growth has occurred after devastating bushfires. The trail meanders along through the valley before turning upwards and heading for the summit. The most spectacular view is reserved for when you reach the top.
Wilson Promontory is home to many native Australian animals. The most famous is the wombats. These nocturnal animals burrow into the ground and sleep there during the day. But they can often be seen out and feeding in the late afternoon.
The Wilsons Promontory Wildlife Walk is the best place to see kangaroos and emus. They live on what used to be an airfield, but is now a wildlife reserve. The walking trails are the best places to spot some wallabies and native birds including the black cockatoo.
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au