DAY 1 Sunday 29 September
Accom: Radisson on Flagstaff Gardens Hotel, Melbourne
Our tour begins at the Radisson Hotel opposite the oldest civic park in Melbourne and not far from the Queen Victoria Markets. (It is Grand Final week in Melbourne so be prepared for some AFL crowds.) We’ll get together for a tour briefing late in the afternoon then take advantage of being in the city most renowned for its fine cuisine!
DAY 2 Monday 30 October
Walk: Squeaky Beach to Tidal River (approx. 3.5km - moderate)
Travel: Approx. 180km
Accom: Tidal River Cabins (see accommodation notes)
Meals: B L D
After a buffet breakfast we travel southeast out of Melbourne on the South Gippsland Highway to Foster then head south into Wilson’s Promontory NP. As a lovely introduction to the park we’ll be dropped off at Squeaky Beach and hike into Tidal River. This popular walk offers spectacular coastal views as it climbs up and over the headland that separates Norman and Leonard Bays. A return sidetrack ends at Pillar Point; an outcrop of granite boulders providing breathtaking views of Norman and Squeaky Beaches and the Prom’s offshore islands. The track continues into Tidal River.
DAY 3 Tuesday 1 October
Walk: Darby Saddle, Tongue Point & Fairy Cove to Darby River (9.4 km – moderate +)
Accom: Tidal River Cabins
Meals: B L D
The Darby Saddle track has spectacular coastal vistas and forest scenery. At 2.1km a 300m sidetrack leads to Sparkes Lookout, which offers views as far as the pyramid shaped Rodondo Island in the south and Shallow Inlet in the north. From the turnoff the track climbs steeply to Lookout Rocks affording views across to Norman Island. The track then descends steeply through low heathland to join the Darby River track, which continues to Tongue Point, a coastal headland jewelled with stacks of weathered granite. The track ends prior to the semi-attached island. After lunch at the point we begin the final 3.8km of our walk by returning to the main track and taking a side trip to the delightful Fairy Cove before the gently descending track leads on through windswept coastal vegetation with magnificent views to Darby Swamp, Vereker Range and Darby and Cotters Beach. The final decent is through heath forest to the river and our vehicle. In the evening we will need to prepare all our equipment ready for the hike and two-night stay at Southeast Point.
DAY 4 Wednesday 2 October
Walk: Telegraph Track to Lighthouse via Roaring Meg (19.1km – moderate to hard)
Accom: Wilson’s Prom Lightstation Cottage
Meals: B L D
With a long walk ahead of us it will be important to make an early start. Bags need to be packed, the cabins cleared and our gear stowed in the trailer. The trailhead is a short drive away at Telegraph Saddle (where the vehicle remains). Today’s walk is the direct route to the very end of the Australian Mainland – named for the old telegraph line to the Lighthouse, remnants of which may still be spotted in places. We don’t need to madly rush but we will need to maintain a reasonable pace.
Telegraph Saddle car park to Telegraph Junction (6.1 km, 2 hours) Most of this route south follows the management road through the Proms undulating interior. Telegraph Junction to Light Station via Halfway Hut and Roaring Meg Campsite (13 km, 3.5 - 4.5 hours) (Telegraph Junction to Roaring Meg 6.1 km, 2 hr) From Telegraph Junction the park management track continues, passing by Halfway Hut which is a welcome spot to take a break. The final 3 km to the Light Station from Roaring Meg campsite are on a dedicated walking track.
NB This side trip is an option only if we are travelling well and the weather is kind and there is sufficient enthusiasm to hike an extra 2 hrs return to stand at the southern most point of the Australian mainland!
Roaring Meg to South Point (3.7 km, 1 hour) Starting at Roaring Meg this track leads to the most southerly point on the Australian mainland.
DAY 5 Thursday 3 October
Activity: Relax in the Lighthouse precinct.
Accom: Wilson’s Prom Lightstation
Meals: B L D
No matter what the weather at this isolated point overlooking Bass Strait you will certainly experience a very special day. After a well-deserved sleep in there is much to explore around the precinct including magnificent natural granite sculptures and historic relics. Or you may prefer to sit on the verandah with a book and binoculars spotting for albatross or Short-Tailed Shearwaters returning from their northerly migration. If the weather is wild then there is no better place to be than inside the thick granite walls of the cottage! At some stage during the day there will be a guided tour of the beautiful granite lighthouse which was made of stone quarried on site.
DAY 6 Friday 4 October
Walk: Lightstation to Telegraph Saddle via SE Track & Waterloo Bay Track
Trans: Approx 40min drive
Accom: Fish Creek Hotel (detached ‘retro-style’ motel units)
Meals: B L D
Today we farewell the Peninsula heading north on the Southeast Track that links the Light Station to Waterloo Bay. This dedicated walking track was the last to be constructed at The Prom and finally connected the rugged east coast to Waterloo Bay. It’s a great walk with wonderful viewpoints and plenty of natural diversity. Once at the Bay there is a beach walk of about a kilometre before we turn west, ascending the central high country past Mussolini Rocks and once again arriving at Telegraph Junction. From here it is 6km on the familiar Telegraph Track back to the trailhead and our vehicle.
Tonight’s accommodation is at the village of Fish Creek about an hour drive away. We’ll settle in and make the most of the menu and well-earned refreshments!
DAY 7 Saturday 5 October
Trans: Bus return to Melbourne
Today we farewell Fish Creek and return to Melbourne. If you are extending your stay there will be a stop in the CBD before we head on to Tullamarine Airport to connect with flights home. We expect to be at the airport by lunchtime.
Tidal River Cabins These private cabins accommodate up to six people. They feature natural light and a timber deck area for outdoor relaxation. Features include:
- Spacious living area and fully equipped kitchen with microwave and two small fridges.
- One bedroom with queen sized bed and one bedroom with two bunk beds.
- Linen and towels are provided.
- Bathroom, most with a bath tub.
- Gas heating
Lighthouse Cottage Our residence was once the head lightkeeper’s home and it has been fully restored to preserve its structure and historic feel. Indoors it has a well-appointed kitchen and rooms with bunk beds. This is not a luxury B&B however it is wonderful haven at the end of Australia! It has a lounge with comfy couches and magnificent views to Bass Strait.
Fish Creek Hotel The iconic Fish Creek Hotel (1939) is a magnificently imposing Art Deco building located in the heart of artistic Fish Creek. The restaurant offers an extensive menu of fresh, seasonal and regional produce that highlights the best South Gippsland and Victoria has to offer. The wine list features a predominance of local vineyards and wider Victorian selections. Accommodation is provided by nine well-equipped retro motel units behind the hotel.