The Wilsons Promontory, also known as Yiruk and Wamoon in the
Gunai Gunai may refer to: * Gunai people The Gunai ( ), also spelt Gunnai, or Kurnai ( ), often now referred to as the Gunai/Kurnai ( ), people are an Aboriginal Australian Aboriginal Australians are the various Indigenous peoples Indigenou ...
Bunwurrung language Boonwurrung (also anglicised as ''Bunurong, Bun wurrung'', among other spellings) is an indigenous Australian language traditionally spoken by the Bunurong people, Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation, Kulin Nation of Central Victoria (Austral ...
s respectively, is a
peninsula A peninsula ( la, paeninsula from 'almost' and 'island') is a landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el ...

that forms the southernmost part of the
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

n mainland, located in the state of
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...
. South Point at is the southernmost tip of Wilsons Promontory and hence of mainland Australia. Located at nearby South East Point, () is the
Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse is situated on South East Point, Wilsons Promontory, Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia. From its point on the peninsula, it commands almost 360° views of Bass Strait, Australia, Bass Strait. The Wilson's Pr ...

Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse
. Most of the peninsula is protected by the
Wilsons Promontory National Park The Wilsons Promontory National Park, commonly known as Wilsons Prom or The Prom, is a national park in the Gippsland region of Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia, located approximately southeast of Melbourne. The national park is the ...

Wilsons Promontory National Park
and the
Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park The Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park is a state park, protected marine park, marine national park located in the South Gippsland, South Gippsland region of Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia. The marine park is situated off the sou ...

Human history

''Yiruk/Wamoon'' was first occupied by indigenous
Koori Koori (also spelt koorie, goori or goorie) is a demonym A demonym (; from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Gló ...

people at least 6,500 years prior to European arrival.
Midden A midden (also kitchen midden or shell heap) is an old dump for domestic waste which may consist of animal bone A bone is a rigid tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carr ...
s along the western coast indicate that the inhabitants subsisted on a seafood diet. The promontory is mentioned in dreamtime stories, including the Bollum-Baukan, Loo-errn myth, Loo-errn and Port Albert Frog myths. It is considered the home of the spirit ancestor of the Brataualung people, Brataualung clan - ''Loo-errn''. The area remains highly significant to the Gunai people, Gunai/Kurnai and the Boon wurrung people, who consider the promontory to be their traditional country/land. The first European to see the promontory was George Bass in January 1798. He initially referred to it as "Furneaux's Land" in his diary, believing it to be what Tobias Furneaux, Captain Furneaux had previously seen. But on returning to Port Jackson and consulting Matthew Flinders he was convinced that the location was so different it could not be that land. Bass and Flinders recommended the name Wilsons Promontory to John Hunter (New South Wales), Governor Hunter, honouring Flinders's friend from London Thomas Wilson. Little is known of Wilson except that he was a merchant engaged in trade with Australia. Seal hunting was conducted in the area in the 19th century. Shore-based whaling was also carried out in a cove at Wilsons Promontory from at least 1837. It was still underway in 1843 at Lady's Bay (Refuge Cove). Throughout the 1880s and '90s a public campaign to protect the area as a national park was waged, including by the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria, Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria. The promontory has been a national park, to one degree or another, since 1898.
Wilsons Promontory National Park The Wilsons Promontory National Park, commonly known as Wilsons Prom or The Prom, is a national park in the Gippsland region of Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia, located approximately southeast of Melbourne. The national park is the ...

Wilsons Promontory National Park
, also known locally as "the Prom", contains the largest coastal wilderness area in Victoria. Until the 1930s, when the road was completed, it was accessible only by boat. The site was closed to the public during World War II, as it was used as a commando training ground. The only settlement within Wilsons Promontory is Tidal River, Victoria, Tidal River which lies south of the park boundary and is the focus for tourism and recreation. This park is managed by Parks Victoria. In 2005 a burn started by staff got out of control and burnt 13% of the park, causing the evacuation of campers. In 2009, a lightning strike near Sealer's Cove started a fire that burned over . Much of the area had not been burned since 1951. The fire began on 8 February, the day after "Black Saturday bushfires, Black Saturday", where an intense heat wave, combined with arson, faulty electrical infrastructure and natural causes, led to hundreds of bushfires burning throughout the state of Victoria. Although the fire burned to within , the Tidal River camping area and park headquarters were unaffected. The park reopened to the public one month after the incident and the burned areas quickly regrew. Despite the damage, the natural beauty of the area remained largely intact. In March 2011 a significant rainfall event led to major flooding of the Tidal River camping area. The bridge over Darby River was cut, leaving no vehicle access to Tidal River, leading to the evacuation of all visitors by helicopter over the following days, and the closure of the southern section of the park. In September 2011 public access to Tidal River was reopened following repair of the main access road, and the bridge at Darby River. All sections of the park south of Tidal River were closed while further repairs of tracks and footpaths were undertaken. The park was fully re-opened by Easter of 2012. Tourists may choose basic or glam, cabins or camping (powered/unpowered) if they wish to stay inside Wilsons Promontory National Park. Many however choose to stay in accommodation just outside the Park in Yanakie, Victoria, Yanakie, where they can still view the Wisons Promontory mountains and scenery and be only minutes from the Park's free entrance. There are overnight hiking tracks with two key circuits, one in the north and one in the south. The southern circuit is more popular with overnight hikers with several camping areas suited to wild camping. Camping is only allowed in the designated areas to reduce damage to the bush.

Geography and wildlife

Coastal features include expansive intertidal mudflats, sandy beaches and sheltered coves interrupted by prominent headlands and plunging granite cliffs in the south, backed by coastal dunes and swamps. The promontory is surrounded by a scatter of small granite islands which, collectively, form the Wilsons Promontory Islands Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International because of its importance for breeding seabirds. Tidal River (Victoria), Tidal River is the main river in Wilsons Promontory. It runs into Norman Bay and swells with the tide. The river is a very interesting colour, a purple-yellow. This is due to the large number of Leptospermum, tea trees in the area, which stain the water with tannin, giving it a tealike appearance. Darby River is the second major river, with extensive alluvial flats and meanders. It was the site of the original park entrance and accommodation area from 1909 to the Second World War.Garnet, J. Roslyn, (with additional chapters by Terry Synan and Daniel Catrice) ''A History of Wilsons Promontory'', Published by the Victorian National Parks Association
/ref> Wilsons Promontory is home to many marsupials, native birds and other creatures. One of the most common marsupials found on the promontory is the common wombat, which can be found in much of the park (especially around campsites where it has been known to invade tents searching for food). The peninsula is also home to kangaroos, snakes, Wallaby, wallabies, koalas, long-nosed potoroos, white-footed dunnarts, broad-toothed rats, feather-tailed gliders and emus. Some of the most common birds found on the promontory include crimson rosellas, yellow-tailed black cockatoos and superb fairywrens. There are also many pests, including hog deer, red fox, foxes, feral cats, European rabbit, rabbits, common starlings, and common blackbirds. As the
Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park The Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park is a state park, protected marine park, marine national park located in the South Gippsland, South Gippsland region of Victoria (Australia), Victoria, Australia. The marine park is situated off the sou ...
and Corner Inlet Marine National Park have been established, the area holds a variety of marine life and coral reefs. In recent years, after a long disappearance, due to illegal hunting by the Soviet Union with help by Japan, Southern right whales finally started coming back to the area to rest and calve in the sheltered bays along with Humpback whales. Killer whales are also known to pass the area, and dolphins, Pinniped, seals, sea lions, and penguins still occur today.


Wilsons Promontory has an oceanic climate heavily influenced by maritime currents bringing summer temps far below what is the norm, even by south coast Australian standards, while winters are heavily influenced by low-pressure systems and high rainfall.


Image:Emus, Wilsons Promontory National Park.jpg, Emus in the park. Image:FiveMileBeach-4a.jpg, Five Mile Beach Image:FiveMileBeachCamp.jpg, Five Mile Beach Camp Image:ProcessedBeach.jpg, Beach near Johnny Souey Cove, home to many crabs. Image:SouthEastPoint.jpg, Southeast Point. Image:Squeaky Beach-Wilsons Prom-Vic.JPG, Squeaky Beach Image:Tidal river on wilsons prom looking towards mt oberon.JPG, The Independent Companies Memorial at Image:Whiskey Beach.jpg, Whiskey Beach Image:Wilson's Promontory - Tidal River from Mt Oberon - Dec 2004.jpg, Tidal River seen from Mt Oberon. Image:Wilsons Promontory lighthouse 1 Stevage.jpg, Southeast tip and lighthouse. Image:Wilsons Promontory lighthouse 4 Stevage.jpg, Lighthouse and cabin accommodation. Image:Wilsons Promontory southeast 13 Stevage.jpg, Skull Rocks. Image:Wilsons Promontory southeast 5 Stevage.jpg, Waterloo Bay. Image:Wombat Wilsons Promontory.jpg, Wombat Image:Wilsons Promontory southeast 15 Stevage.jpg, Rocks at Waterloo Bay. Image:Wilsons Promontory southeast 16 Stevage.jpg, Hiking track to the southeast. Image:Wilsons Promontory southwest 2 Stevage.jpg, Oberon Beach. Image:Wilsons Promontory southwest 1 Stevage.jpg, Mt Oberon, seen from Oberon Beach. Image:Wilsons Promontory southwest 5 Stevage.jpg, Norman Beach, near Tidal River.


External links

Wilsons Promontory Resources
Parks Victoria.
A map of the burned area from Prom Map, Parks Victoria.
{{Authority control Wilsons Promontory, IBRA subregions Bass Strait Seal hunting Whaling stations in Australia Whaling in Australia