EXPLORE TONGUE POINT:
A brilliant coastal walk to the tip of Tongue Point, where giant boulders tower above and the ocean drops away into the deep blue just meters from the edge. The environment is weathered yet beautiful, and the wildlife isn’t shy, often seen foraging close to the walking trails. Yes, the Tongue Point walk is one of many on Wilson Prom, but it’s truly unique and definitely worth adding to the adventure list!
- Start/Finish: Darby River Car Park.
- Distance: 9.6 km return.
- Time: 3-4 hrs return + time spent exploring.
- Grade: Medium. Suitable for most ages / fitness levels.
- Attire: Sports clothes & runners will do the job. Dress for the conditions.
- Where: Wilsons Promontory. Stay at Tidal River Campground.
- Nearest Town: Yanakie (although Tidal River Campground has a couple of shops).
- Provisions: Approx. 2 L of water per person & a decent amount of food/snacks.
- Explored In: Early Winter. Suitable for all seasons.
WHERE TO START THE TONGUE POINT WALK
The Tongue Point return walk starts (and finishes) at the Darby River car park, 18 km south of the entrance to Wilsons Prom, or 12 km north of Tidal River campground – your go-to for camping on the Prom. Note, there is an alternative route for this walk that finishes at Darby Saddle, but it will require pre-arranged transport.
When getting prepped, take a moment to look around as the Darby River plain is particularly popular with the local wildlife. Don’t be surprised to see Kangaroos, Emu, a Wombat, Echidna or any other animal/reptile that calls Wilsons Prom home. As always, enjoy the moment, but respect their space.
Once packed and ready to go, it’s time to start this epic walk! Get excited, the sights are truly unique to this special part of the world.
WHAT TO EXPECT EN-ROUTE TO TONGUE POINT
This can be a tough walk, particularly if you’re loaded up with lunch or whatever else you fancy indulging in en-route or at the destination. As such, take only what is needed and keep in mind that what isn’t consumed needs to come all the way back.
The first section of the Tongue Point walk takes you up and around a large sand dune. While on the march up this hill there’s an amazing view of the Darby River. This pristine water course contained entirely within Wilson Prom meanders 7 km and descends some 300m before reaching the ocean.
After taking in the views, continue on towards the beach. The sandy track ensures the legs get a decent warm up over this first 1 km or so. Thankfully the sand soon gives way to a hard packed trail. As you make it over the saddle, the dunes drop away and the ocean views open up.
Once on the coast, the trail tracks parallel to the ocean high up on the hill. This makes for epic views along the western coast of Wilsons Prom including the first glimpse of Tongue Point. It’s certainly hard yakka getting all the way out there, but the trails are great and with views like this who’s that concerned about how long you have to stare at them.
It’s worth noting that around 2.5 km into the walk, just as you make the bottom turn towards Tongue Point, there’s a 200m track down to Fairy Cove on your right (just out of shot in the bottom left of the photo above). This secluded little beach is the last safe swimming spot, as it’s all rocks and deep drop-offs from this point on.
WHAT YOU’LL SEE ALONG THE WAY
Wilsons Promontory National Park is a wild place – it is after all the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria at 50,460 hectares (505 square kms) and has been a national park in one form or another since 1898.
As such, it’s likely wildlife will be out and about en-route so keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings. Get going early in the morning or later in the day to improve your chances of seeing these guys out and about in their natural habitat.
EXPLORING TONGUE POINT
As the walk continues out towards Tongue Point the unique rock formations become more obvious and their size becomes apparent. The colours, shapes and textures are striking. This coastline has been forged over millions of years and here we see some of Mother Nature’s finest work.
After reaching the end of the Tongue Point walk at Wilsons Prom, find an area to chill out and take it all in. Go exploring. Climb rocks. Take a dip if the conditions allow (be extremely careful). This untouched tip of Wilsons Promontory National Park is so beautiful it has to be seen to be believed.
THE WALK BACK TO DARBY RIVER CAR PARK
All good things must come to an end, but this hike still has plenty to offer. The walk back to Darby River Carpark gives you a new angle on the coastline of Wilsons Prom and no doubt you’ll see plenty that you missed on the way to Tongue Point. Time the walk back with the softening evening light to experience a view that can only be described as picture perfect.
HOW TO GET TO DARBY RIVER CAR PARK
Wilsons Promontory is a solid 3 hour drive south-east of Melbourne, taking either the M1 or the South Gippsland Hwy (M420) out of Melbourne. If taking the M1, take Koo Wee Rup Road south from Pakenham, which will eventually join up with the South Gippsland Hwy. The South Gipssland Hwy then veers left soon after the Lang Lang turn off, and from there it’s straight through to Meeniyan. Here you turn off towards Fish Creek and follow the signage to Wilsons Prom. From Wilsons Promontory entrance it’s a further 18 km to Darby River car park.
If coming at it from Tidal River Campground, just head back 12km towards the Prom entrance. You’ll see the carpark on your left.