Wilsons Promontory South-East Circuit
Wilsons Promontory South East Circuit is approximately 58kms. This is a story of my first solo hike. It took me three days to walk the circuit. But I would advise you to add at least a day and enjoy the beauty of the local flora and fauna without rush.
About Wilsons Promontory
Wilsons Promontory is one of the most beautiful places not only in Victoria but also in Australia. The variety of hikes will suit adventurers of any type. You can set the camp in one spot and do one-day hikes from there. Or if you prefer to stay every night in a new place then the overnight treks are there for you.
The ease of getting there attracts lots of visitors all year round. So, expect it to be busy in high season and during public holidays.
Making multiple days hike is very convenient there. First, you need to book any campsite you are going to stay at. Second, there’s a dedicated carpark for the overnight hikers. And the last but not the least, there’s a free bus service operating between the information center and Telegraph Saddle, where most of the hikes start.
The route plan
I had only three days to complete the hike. Also, the first and the last day I had to drive. Thus I planned the route to have the longest distance hike on the second day. The other important factor I considered was the daylight length. If you are going to do a walk in winter month — June-August, then daylight length will be approximately 10 hours, somewhat between 7 am and 5 pm.
The other important detail to remember is tidal time. There’s one creek that flows into the sea and it needs to be crossed. So, make sure you don’t get there at the start of tidal. To be honest, I missed this point and didn’t check the tidal timetable. But the fortune was on my side that day.
Bellow, you will see my hiking plan. The route is the circuit, with the start and finish at Telegraph Saddle carpark.
- Telegraph Saddle carpark to Telegraph Junction — 6kms
- Telegraph Junction to Halfway Hut Campground — 1.3kms
- Halfway Hut campsite to Roaring Meg Campground — 4.7kms
- Roaring Meg Campground to South Point, return — 6kms (optional)
- Roaring Meg Campground to Wilsons Promontory Lightstation — 6.1kms
- Wilsons Promontory Lightstation to Little Waterloo Bay Campground — 10.9kms
- Little Waterloo Bay Campground to Refuge Cove Campsite — 7kms
Stay the second night at Refuge Cove Campsite.
I arrived at Tidal River Visitors Centre around 12 pm. Quickly registered at the information center, parked a car, and caught a shuttle bus. Half an hour later I was at Telegraph Saddle, ready to start my adventure.
The path from Telegraph Saddle to Telegraph Junction is approximately 6km and it’s lovely. It’s a full wheel drive road and mostly downhill. So, the hiking was easy.
In about 1.5 hours I was at Telegraph Junction. I was happy and fresh. After a quick snack, I continued my trek.
After thirty minutes of the hike, I passed the Half Way Hut.
Several kilometers to Roaring Meg I found a start of the hiking trail. There was still an option to get to the campground by the car road. But I didn’t hesitate with my choice and continued on a tiny trek surrounded by grass trees and bush. The sky was blue, the sun was shining, and the wind drove the fleecy clouds.
Finally, I came to Roaring Meg Campground. It took me approximately three hours to get there from Telegraph Saddle carpark. By the time I came to the campground clouds covered the sky and medium rain started. Luckily it didn’t last long and finished just after I set my tent.
I had about 90 minutes of daylight left and I headed to Southern Point. Forty minutes later I was standing at the most southern point of mainland Australia. The view was stunning. But the strong persistent wind didn’t let me completely enjoy it. Besides I had not much time left before dark so that I quickly returned to the campsite.
Living in Melbourne for several years made me coffee addicted. So, I brought coffee with me. It doesn’t matter what’s the weather outside if you start the morning with a good cup of coffee.
After a quick preparation, I started the longest hiking day. The path went uphill from the beginning but it wasn’t hard at all. My backpack lost a bit of weight, and the weather was fantastic. The sun started heating but the forest where I walked kept the air fresh and cool. All that made ideal hiking conditions. I felt happy and ready to go infinitely.
Soon the trek brought me to the coastline. To the left of the footpath, there still was a forest. To the right, there was a cliff and an amazing view of the ocean and small scattered islands. The light station view was the icing on the cake.
One of the biggest advantages of the light station is that it’s almost isolated. But there are a few ways to get there:
Any of these options will give you a unique unforgettable experience. By the way, there is a hotel. So, if you are planning a romantic holiday then you should consider this place.
After a quick lunch at this picturesque spot, I moved on. The uphill to the light station was just a warmup before the next part of the trail. The path goes around the Boulder Range. So, uphills and downhills were expected. After a couple of kilometers, the gradient increased and I was constantly moving up. Using trekking poles I was crawling quite fast. And finally, I saw Waterloo Bay. The view refreshed me and I forgot how tired I was.
The sand on the beach was snow white. And I could see all the gradients of the blue in that crystal clear water. I continued walking above the bay for some time, but then the path went down and I quickly got on the beach.
When I was looking at the bay from the top it didn’t seem big. But it took me about 20 minutes to hike from one end of the beach to the other. Then I crossed the Fresh Water Creek, luckily it wasn’t a tidal time. And I lost. In front of me, I saw a cliff, to the left the creek, and to the right the beach and ocean. I almost started climbing on the huge boulders along the beach when I noticed footprints near the creek. And then, deep inside the forest, I saw the navigation tag.
After a fast uphill, I came to the Lt. Waterloo Bay campsite. It’s a beautiful place. Awesome views, beach, and just a peaceful place. I regretted I could not stay there for a night. I still had to go 6.5km to Refuge Cove and I had about 2 hours of daylight left. A quick snack and I was back on the trek. I quickly walked on North Waterloo Bay beach and turned to a bush. And it was uphill again. I worked hard with the trekking poles to help myself to get over the hill.
After some time I was at a fork. One path led to Refuge Cove campground. The second path led to Kerson Peak. From the fork, it’s only 2km to Refuge Cove campground. I still had some daylight time left. I left my backpack and went to Kerson Peak viewpoint. And I didn’t regret it.
On the way to Refuge Cove campground, I almost run. As soon as I stepped into the territory of the campground the last bits of light completely disappeared and it became a full dark. Well, it was a long and exhausting day. At the same time, I was satisfied to reach all my goals for the day. I was even more pleased with what I saw during the day.
The next morning started from the campground inspection. A wallaby came to check what’s for breakfast. These animals are so cute. But I think I won’t be an exception and ask you not to feed them. They are wild animals and should stay independent of us. After all, we are just visitors to their home.
This day the weather was as good as the previous one. It was sunny, lightly cloudy and pleasant temperature. I didn’t need to rush anywhere. Unfortunately, it was the last day on the trek. And I was a bit sad that this adventure is going to end soon.
Keeping the moderate tempo I hiked on the next hill. Looked back and saw Refuge Cove bay from the other side. One more unforgettable view in my collection. I waved my hand to Refuge Cove and promised to return there again.
The path was winding along the cliffy coastline. In a couple of hours of enjoying the trek, I came to Sealers Cove. There’s a huge campground there. I almost lost the path while walking on the territory of the camping. Finally, I escaped the bush and got to the beach divided by a creek. And I was lucky again. It wasn’t a tide time and I could cross the creek.
After I reached the end of the Sealers Cove beach the path turned into a forest again. But it was different. The first two days I walked through the bush-like forest. Now I was walking through the rainforest.
The first part of the path through the forest called Sealers Cove Board Walk. It’s quite flat and there’s wooden flooring. After a couple of kilometers, it turned into Sealers Bay Track. And the landscape changed dramatically. There we no flooring anymore. In some places it was muddy. But the most challenging was that it’s almost all time uphill hiking with the highest point at Windy Saddle. In total, on the path between Sealers Cove beach and Windy Saddle which is the 7.3km length I gained about 300m of elevation.
A remaining couple of kilometers were easy. It was a quite steep downhill all the way until Telegraph Saddle. I reached it somewhat around noon. That was it. I was waiting for the bus and remembering what I walked during the day. In the bus, there were other hikers, some of them I met on the trek. We were sharing snacks and joking. Then the bus reached the overnight hikers' car park and we said goodbye.
Slowly I found the car, changed dirty boots and drove to the information center to inform about my return. That was the official final of my Wilsons Promontory adventure.
- Sleeping bag
- Trekking poles
- A dry case for map and documents
- A dry sack
Electronics and devices
- Mobile phone
- Photo camera
- Two head-lamps with an extra set of batteries
- Wilsons Promontory outdoor recreation guide by SV Maps
- Suunto A-30 Compass
Shoes and clothes
- Hiking boots
- Hiking shoes to wear at campsite
- Two pairs of hiking socks and two pairs of casual socks (I wore casual socks under hiking socks to avoid blisters)
- Hiking pants
- Two casual/dry fit t-shirts with short sleeve and two shirts with long sleeve
- Light down jacket
- Rain jacket
- Warm baselayer set
- MSR PocketRocket 2 stove
- Snowpeak Trek 900 Titanium Pot
- Sea To Summit X-Bowl x2
- Sea To Summit Delta Insulmug
- Coffee maker
- Powdered milk
- Coffee, tea
- Ham and chicken
- Cherry tomato
- Trail bars
In addition to the aforementioned categories, I had the first aid kit and personal care kit.
During this hike, I tested several lifehacks for hiking. Well, at least it was something new for me.
- Take a couple of big bags for the garbage. One bag will be used for the garbage itself. In case when your boots or clothes dirty you can pack it to the other bag to keep the car clean.
- Pre-pack food for meals. I packed all the meals in sealable bags. It reduced the amount of garbage I had to take. The food packed this way takes less place in the backpack. Also, it reduces meal preparation time - all ingredients are already packed by serves.
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading. If you have any questions please leave the comments below. Have a nice day and keep exploring.