Wilson's Prom Southern Circuit
The spectacular Wilsons Promontory Southern Circuit is one of Victoria’s best multi-day hikes. The adventure takes you along a 59km graded trail through the most stunning sections of Wilsons Promontory, starting at Telegraph Saddle and ending at Tidal River. It’s a beautiful trek with an incredible variety of landscapes squeezed into a short distance – secluded coves, verdant rainforest, granite headlands, thick Eucalypt forest, tranquil rivers, impressive rock formations, and unspoiled beaches with clear, turquoise waters.
This area features an abundance of wildlife and there is limited mobile reception. It’s peaceful and wonderful and you are completely free to talk to walkers on the track and make enduring friendships. Switch off from the world around you and reconnect with nature.
It is possible to hike the circuit in either direction, although most go clockwise. Walking counter-clockwise is slightly more uphill and considered harder. Talk to our staff if you prefer this direction ( or other options) and we will arrange your camping sites that way. For fitter hikers it is possible to walk the circuit in three days. Alternatively, for those wanting to enjoy a more leisurely experience it is possible to arrange a five-day experience.
- Grazing wombats, Emus and other wildlife
- Picture-perfect coves & horseshoe bays
- Cool fern gullies & Lush rainforest
- Granite boulder mountains
- Towering Mountain Ash eucalypts
- Prolific birdlife
- Secluded campsites
- Expansive coastal views
- Swimming spots at white sandy beaches
Southern circuit - 4 day walk
Set off from the car park at Telegraph Saddle. If you have time and energy, start with the 7km return Mount Oberon Summit Walk to enjoy breathtaking views, and get your legs and heart warmed up. The 10km hike to Sealers Cove is a relatively easy beginning to your Southern Circuit adventure. You will gradually climb up through dry eucalypt forest to Windy Saddle, and then down through beautiful rainforests and large swamplands with grass trees and paperbarks. After a kilometre boardwalk at the end, the trail opens up to reveal the golden sands and turquoise waters of stunning Sealers Cove. You will need to cross a river, best at low tide, before reaching the campsite at the southern end of the beach.
NOTE: A shuttle bus operates on weekends and peak holiday periods between Tidal river and Telegraph Saddle
The first half of today’s walk takes you to idyllic and secluded Refuge Cove. Enjoy majestic views at several points along the way. The second half starts with an ascent to Kersops Peak, where the views are amongst the best of offer in Wilsons Promontory. From there, hike down to another stunning beach at North Waterloo Bay and then along the coast to picture-perfect Waterloo Bay and your campsite location. Be aware of rips if you decide to end the day with a rewarding and refreshing swim.
This longer and more challenging day begins with a stunning walk along the beach. Heading inland, the trail becomes rugged and rocky as it meanders up and down through lush fern gullies and heavily forested sections of the circuit. After 11kms of hiking you will arrive at Wilson Promontory Lightstation on South East Point. Originally built in 1859 from local granite and now offering accommodation in cottages, it is an excellent place to rest and enjoy sweeping views. Fill up your water bottle for another 2 hours of hilly walking to your campsite at Roaring Meg. If time permits, end the day or start the next with a 2hr return hike to the southernmost point of the Australian mainland and more scenic views.
On the way to Halfway Hut, take the narrow walking trail in preference to the jeep track, and enjoy hiking through fern gullies and forest. From Halfway Hut until you hit the coast, via Telegraph Junction, you will mainly be walking on jeep tracks and through low heathland, with occasional ocean views. From Oberon Bay to Tidal River, you will continue along the coastline on a mildly undulating path, with gorgeous views and mountain surrounds. Little Oberon Bay is particularly picturesque. Your circuit ends in Tidal River, the main hub for visitors coming to Wilsons Promontory.
The lighthouse cottages are expected to be reopened at some point early in 2021 ( dates TBC by Parks Victoria) and this will offer the option for a 5 day trip with shorter daily distances, by being based there for one night. The following 5-day itinerary gives an idea of the daily distances and would be priced at $448. It is recommended for people new to walking because of the shorter daily distances in what is challenging terrain in some places.
Day 1: Telegraph Saddle to Sealer’s Cove 10.2km / 3 hours
Day 2: Sealer’s Cove to Little Waterloo bay 13.6km / 4.5 Hours
Day 3:Little Waterloo bay to Lighthouse cottages 10.9km / 3.5 hrs
Day 4: Lighthouse cottages to Halfway Hut 10.9km / 4 Hours
Day 5: Halfway Hut to Tidal River 12.3km 4 hours
Duration: 4 days +
Route type: Circuit trail
Start: Telegraph Saddle
End: Tidal River (or Telegraph Saddle)
Location: Wilsons Promontory National Park
Closest Town: Yanakie
Sealers Cove is a bush campsite situated on the east side of the Prom. The track passes through beautiful forest to a boardwalk over Sealers Swamp . The campsite is surrounded by lush vegetation and is within close proximity to the water. Water is piped into the campground, however treating the water is highly recommended. Camping is permitted for a maximum of two consecutive nights throughout the year. Maximum group size at any one campsite is 12.
Maximum capacity at this hike-in site is 60.
Little Waterloo Bay Hikers Camp is surrounded by steep forest slopes and set on the eastern side of the Prom. Accessed via Telegraph Track Refuge Cove or the Lightstation on arrival you will be rewarded with long white sandy beaches and crystal clear water. Treated water is not available at this site. Creek water should be treated before drinking.
Roaring Meg is a bush campsite situated inland on the Prom accessed from the walking track. The track crosses through woodland and fern gullies, and the campground is surrounded by lush vegetation. Water is available from Roaring Meg stream, however treating the water is highly recommended. Camping is permitted for a maximum of two consecutive nights throughout the year. Maximum group size at any one campsite is 12.
Maximum capacity at this hike-in site is 40.
Tidal River Campground
There are 484 campsites, including 20 powered sites available. Facilities include modern amenity blocks with hot showers and toilets, laundry, dishwashing stations, picnic areas with free gas BBQs, and a cafe and small shop. Campsites are in great demand and bookings must be made in advance. During summer a ballot is held to allocate sites from Christmas until late January, and minimum stays apply.
On the trail
The Southern Circuit walk is extremely varied, with wide heathlands, forested valleys, secluded beaches, fern gullies, granite cliffs, coastal dunes and thick scrub. The trail consists of well-graded trails, bush tracks, jeep tracks, boardwalks and sandy beaches. There are a couple of small river crossings to negotiate, and several climbs, although apart from the Lighthouse Promontory none are especially long or steep.
- Our detailed guide to hiking the Southern Circuit – contains all the essential information you need to know in advance
- 4 days worth of food for your adventure; breakfast, lunch and dinner each day – delivered straight to your home
- Our own range of Lightweight, highly nutritious meals that are locally sourced, delicious and easy to carry & cook ( freeze dried and dehydrated)
- Our ‘state of the art’ Navigation app to guide you on the track; showing huts, campsites and all points of Interest along the way
- Delivery to your door* of our ‘Adventure in a box’ food parcel
- Our ‘Get fit for hiking’ e-guide for backpacking adventures
- 10% GST Included
- * Additional $35 delivery charge for locations in NT, WA and Northern Queensland
- National Park campsite bookings ( required)
- Transfers or transport to Wilson’s Prom
- No equipment included
- Overnight campsite at Tidal river ($35)
Our essential information guides give you everything you need to know – and none of the information you don’t – to prepare well for one of these hikes. We cover off all transport and transfers with contacts, full equipment lists tailored to each walk, and safety factors to consider that can be unique to each track. We give you the information you need to know about water and where the best accommodation is before and after your trip, plus overviews of Aboriginal & European history and wildlife you can expect to encounter.
It saves countless hours of trawling through websites, guidebooks and forums to get to the essential information you need to know, so you don’t forget to factor in anything for your adventure.
Finding your way
Our unique RAW Travel walking app has been designed to help you navigate easily on the trail. Simply download your map with the link we send you and you’ll be able to follow your route with ease, showing your location in real time without any internet connection needed. The app has many great features; it shows you weather forecasts localised for each of your overnight stops, detailed information on each campsite/ hut and what facilities are available there so you don’t need to carry our trail guide. There are important reminders, safety information, videos and emergency contact information for your route. It also has a unique audio feature that can tell you about places and points of interest as you approach them on the trail.
Need to Know
This walk is generally moderate and accessible to hikers of reasonable fitness who can carry an overnight pack and walk for upto 5-6 hours a day. There is a more challenging uphill section when approaching the elevated promontory at Roaring Meg and the Lighthouse.
RAW Travel has a detailed guide specifically for multi-day walk training, you will receive this as part of your booking.
There are a number of outdoor gear hire companies in Melbourne who can help outfit you with equipment for the Southern Circuit, full details and contacts are provided in our information guide.
We recommend driving yourself as the best option for easily getting to Wilsons Promontory and being able to explore the national park. Tidal River is about 225kms and three hours from Melbourne. There are options for private shuttles from Melbourne to take you to Tidal River. Your car can be left while you are walking the track at either the Tidal River overnight hikers parking area. V/Line bus services link Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to Fish Creek. From Fish Creek you’ll need to organise private transport.
All this information & the relevant contacts are contained in the essential information guide you receive after booking , along with many other details such as recommended local accommodation.
Independent adventures place you at the centre of the experience, giving you the confidence to be a self-reliant walker on the trail. We take care of the research needed and give you all the essential information relating to the trip ( a task that seasoned walkers can tell you often takes many hours to get the correct information) so you can be thoroughly prepared and confident that you have everything you need for your adventure. We give you all the contacts & details to nearby transportation, accommodation and hire services, highlight any risks to be aware of and how to mitigate them.
The food prep is a major hassle of many hikers trips and we solve that for you. We prepare all the food that you need for your trip, all pre-measured and dehydrated / freeze dried to take away the weight but keep the freshness. Our meals are reviewed by Nutritionists to provide the right daily nutrition and energy for your demands of the walk. And our ingredients are prepared from the best local ingredients here on the Mornington Peninsula, cooked to order and freeze dried fresh – not sitting on a shelf for years at a time!
Once you arrive at the trail it’s all over to you the adventure begins! You are free and independent to create your own experience the way you want it. We provide you with an app to help you navigate in real time on the trail and give you the campsite locations and points of interest but you are completely autonomous & self – supporting on the walk. These trips are best suited to people who relish that sense of liberation and freedom that comes with being self-reliant and don’t need the back up of a leader or group travel. Independent Adventures are different from our other self – guided walking trips as there are no briefings, transfers or local support from RAW Travel staff. It’s just you and nature out on the trail!
Despite being in the thick of a national park, it feels very safe. The trail is well marked for its entire length and there are campsites to head to each evening, so there is no reason to deter solo walkers providing you follow local safety warnings.
All campgrounds on the Southern Circuit track are in beautiful locations by the beaches and bush but have limited numbers, and are only open to walkers who have permits to stay. You are free to choose whatever specific campsite that is available when you arrive at the campground. You are not permitted to stay outside of campgrounds during the circuit walk.All the campgrounds have composting toilets, although you must bring your own toilet paper. There are no power facilities at any of the campsites. Spots at the campsites on the Southern Circuit are limited, so early reservations are always recommended, especially during summer and over long weekends when it is extremely popular.
There is detailed information on campsites in our app which you receive a link to before your trip.
The security of carrying a personal locator beacon (PLB) to activate in the event of a life-threatening emergency, you can hire them through companies based in Melbourne.
Our itineraries are based on staying in tents at designated campgrounds. There is the option (for an extra fee) of staying at one of the lighthouse cottages during the walk.
All this information for hire gear & the relevant contacts are contained in the essential information guide you receive after booking, along with many other details such as recommended local accommodation.
Social and environmental
All our adventures are fully carbon offset so that you know your travel has minimal impacts. Hiking itself is a low impact activity but we offset the cost of all our office operations and food production as well, so you can be satisfied that you have chosen a form of travel that is both good for you and good for the planet. Each year we also plant trees on behalf of every customer who has travelled with us, aiming to build towards a carbon positive effect with our operations.
As a B-Corp a focus on local community is an important part of who we are. We are committed to buying locally and source our produce from growers here on the Mornington Peninsula. We care about people in our community and for every meal pack you buy with us we donate a meal to a homeless support charity, to spread some love and share good food with those who need it most.
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed