This weekend past The Hiking Society gang set out to one of the most beautiful and loved hiking spots in Victoria – Wilson’s Prom – but more specifically Tidal River to Little Waterloo Bay.
We chose the Southern Section, and planned to do Sealers Cove > Refuge Cove > Little Waterloo Bay (camp)> Oberon Bay> Tidal River.
Mother nature meant our plans changed a little but we still packed a lot in such a short time.
The hike starts at the small town (village really) of Tidal River. After checking into the visitors centre, we piled onto the shuttle bus that takes you to the start of the hike at Telegraph Carpark.
The weather forecast was a bit ordinary, with wind, rain, sun, and clouds all forecast for the same day so we really didn’t know what to expect.
The first section of the hike winds slowly up the track to Windy Saddle. The start of a pack carry hike is always interesting as your body gets used to 15-20 kilos strapped to your back, so there was a lot of grunting and adjusting till we all fell into our pace.
After a few kilometres, you come to Windy Saddle where we stopped for a breather.
On a clear day, you can climb the adjacent hill to get a view of Sealer’s Cove, but by that stage, the clouds had rolled in so we skipped it.
The next part of the walk is 6.6kms of a beautiful lush rainforest, with waterfalls and the noise of native birdlife everywhere.
The 2kms before the beach are over a boardwalk through the swamp, with frogs and lizards everywhere.
If you’re in a small group or solo, you’re likely to see Wallabies in the undergrowth too.
All of a sudden, the boardwalk ends and you find yourself at the breathtakingly beautiful Sealers Cove.
On this occasion there was rain, but we found a sheltered spot under the trees and ate our lunch and soaked our feet in the sea.
After crossing Sealers Stream we began the 7kms onto Refuge Cove. This section is particularly beautiful – it hugs the coastline on a gently undulating track, and you have clear views of the more wild and remote Northern Section.
By this stage, the sun was out and we were all just loving the amazing scenery.
Refuge Cove is the most popular of the campsites, and it was full when we arrived. It really is such a stunning part of the world, and best viewed from the track to Kersops Peak.
The next section to Kersops Peak is one of the tougher but by no means impossible parts. We had walked about 17kms by this stage, and were starting to get a bit tired – but above all else, we just wanted to get into the gorgeous sea for a swim.
The track from the top of Kersops Peak to Little Waterloo Bay is gorgeous, and the colour of the water blew us all away.
You descend through the bush, with the turquoise sea on your left as you go. At a few points, you get to walk along the beach as well.
By this stage we’d lost most of the crowds, most people choose to do two nights and stay the first at Refuge Cove, so we had the track to ourselves.
Once we finally arrived at Little Waterloo Bay campground, we threw our tents up in record time and went down to the pristine beach for one of the best swims of our life.
The water is warm and crystal clear, and perfect for sore muscles.
After 24kms of walking that day, we all ended up in bed by 9 pm and slept through what ended up being quite a wet night.
The next day was still raining hard, and hail was now in the forecast. We decided to cut our Tidal River to Little Waterloo Bay walk shorter and skip Oberon Bay.
While walking in the rain is quite soothing at times, hail is a different story and we didn’t want to have to deal with it.
The trip back went via Waterloo Bay and through another stunning boardwalk in the bush. We took the Telegraph Track back to the carpark, which is a vehicle service track and pretty bland after such impressive scenery.
Once back at Tidal River, we all dried off, changed, and wolfed down hot pies and chips from the local cafe.
This hike is probably one of the best examples in changeable weather in Victoria – we started in the rain and 14 degrees, went to sunny and 24, then back down to about 10 overnight and pouring rain the next.
If you do set out to Wilson’s Prom, make sure you take the right gear, including good wet weather and warm clothing.
Also note that there is water available at the three sites we visited, however, you must treat it by either boiling it or using tablets.
Drop toilets are available, and there is no rubbish collection, everything you carry in must be carried out.