Tidal River Campground is the major camping facility within Wilsons Promontory National Park, which preserves the oceanfront paradise at the southernmost point of Mainland Australia. Tidal River Campground is located on the west coast of Wilsons Promontory, framed by Tidal River to the northwest and Norman Beach to the southwest. The 558-meter (1,830-foot) summit of Mount Oberon stands over the campground to the southeast, rising above green bush-covered hills. On all sides, Tidal River Campground is surrounded by natural beauty and is a great basecamp for exploring the Prom’s boulder-strewn capes, white sand beaches, and granite mountains.
The large 484-site campground has two main areas divided up by dirt and paved roads, as shown on the detailed campground map. The area closest to Norman Beach has a few long rows of campsites just behind a short row of brush-covered dunes. Several access paths connect the campground to Norman Beach. Walk out on the Fifth Ramp to pass a wooden lookout that provides a good overview of Norman Bay. Norman Beach is an inviting place to spend the afternoon, with a long flat stretch of pale sand meeting a bay of clear blue water betwixt rocky points. A string of undeveloped islands, the Glennie Islands, runs along the horizon to bolster the scenery even farther.
The other main area of the campsite is located closer to Tidal River around a large field by the visitor center and general store. Loo-Errn Track runs between the north side of the campground and the river, and can be used to reach the Tidal River Footbridge, which connects to trails on the other side of the river. South Norman Bay Track also departs from the center of the campground toward the south end of Norman Beach where a track continues on to Norman Point, Little Oberon Bay, and Oberon Bay. For a short, roughly three kilometer walk around the area, take a stroll down the beach from the campground and then return to the visitor center via South Norman Bay Track. At night, if the moon is bright, take a quite walk along the beach’s luminescent sand. A rotating beam of light will also be visible coming from the lighthouse on Citadel Island at the south end of the Glennie group of islands.
Twenty of the campgrounds 484 sites have power hookups for campervans and the others are non-powered. Wilsons Promontory National Park does not have an entrance fee, but Tidal River Campground does have site fees. The non-powered sites at Tidal River Campground are $33.70 per night during the peak season and $30.40 per night during the off peak season. This fee is for up to three people. It is $7.90 for additional adults, $4.50 for additional children, and $9.50 for additional vehicles. Up to eight people per site are allowed. Powered sites are $56.10 during the peak season and $50.50 during the off peak season for up to 8 people (all prices as of April, 2014). Tidal River Campground has additional accommodations for those who prefer to stay in a cabin, hut, wilderness retreat, or group lodge. Check out the Tidal River Accommodation and Camping Guide for more information on these options. Book a site by calling Wilsons Promontory National Park at 13-1963 or 03-5680-9555. A ballot system is in place for those who want to obtain a campsite during the busiest five weeks of the yea from Christmas until late January. Ballot applications can be made online in advance throughout the month of June.
The campground has lots of amenities, including drinking water, flush toilets, complimentary hot showers, laundry facilities, kitchens with dishwashing stations, picnic areas with gas barbecue grills, and a dump station. Campfires and generators are not permitted. Beyond trails for hiking, a coastline for surfing, and a river for fishing, there is a large field and a playground in the campground for other forms of recreation. There is also good wildlife viewing in the surrounding area at dawn and dusk when the kangaroos, wallabies, and wombats are most visible.
The visitor center for Wilsons Promontory National Park is located at Tidal River, so it will be easy to get ranger recommendations to make the most of your visit. There is also a general store and cafe next to the visitor center where you can grab a meal or pick up a few camping essentials. The visitor center is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The general store opens at 9 a.m. and stays open until 4 p.m. or later depending on the season.
Directions: From Melbourne, take M1 east for approximately 55 kilometers to the exit for C422. Turn south at the end of the ramp onto Healesville – Koo Wee Rup Road (C422). After 13.5 kilometers, when you reach the town of Koo Wee Rup, make a right onto Rossiter Road, followed immediately by a left on Sybella Avenue to stay on C422. Drive 1.8 kilometers and turn left onto M420. After 10.6 km, turn left onto A440 following signs for Wilsons Promontory. Stay on A440 for 46.8 kilometers to the town of Leongatha where you’ll make a right followed by an immediate left at the first roundabout to continue on A440. Drive 17.6 kilometers and turn right on C444 (Meeniyan-Promontory Road). After another 17 kilometers, pass through the town of Fish Creek and turn right to continue on Meeniyan-Promontory Road. Stay on this road for 54 kilometers to reach Tidal River Campground, which is 29.5 kilometers pass the park entrance. At the end of Wilsons Promontory Road (C444), make two right turns to reach the visitor center and campground.
Campground address: Wilsons Promontory Road & Ring Road, Wilsons Promontory National Park, VIC 3960, Australia
Campground coordinates: -39.030469, 146.318342 (39° 01′ 49.68″S 146° 19′ 06.03″E)
Use the map below to view the campground and get directions:
|South Norman Bay, Norman Point, and Little Oberon Bay|
This 8 to 9.5 kilometer hike is packed with coastal views, traveling from Tidal River Campground to Norman Bay and across Norman Point to Little Oberon Bay, a pristine beach with pale sand and clear turquoise water.
Find out more about the Voyager, a four-person campervan that can be rented from Britz.