Picnic and Whisky Bays and Pillar Point – Wilsons Promontory National Park

posted in: Victoria, walks | 4

I was all geared up for our second day at Wilsons Promontory and boy it didn’t disappoint. The drive in had us pulling over to take in the view and allow me to get out and take a happy snap. Seeing as Harry walked to the top of a mountain yesterday I decided I would go easy on his little four-year old legs today and take in a couple of smaller walks today.

driving in towards Tidal River
Driving in towards Tidal River

Picnic Bay

First up is the short walk between Picnic Bay and Whisky Bay. We start from the Whisky Bay car park. Harry is out in front. He gets to a junction in the track and announces that we will be going left, up over the hill. Ok then, Picnic Bay it is. Lead on young Harry.

Whisky Bay track


We come up over the rise and our breath is taken away by the stunning beaches stretching out on either side of us – Picnic Bay to the left and Whisky Bay to the right.


Viewing platform between Picnic and Whisky Bays

Picnic Bay and Whisky Bay Panorama 2

PIcnic Bay 2


The weather today is just perfect and as we walk down to Picnic Bay we pass another family on their way back up. “We were the only ones down there. You will have that whole beach to yourself” the mother tells me as exchange pleasantries. “This place is just magic” she says “Enjoy”.


PIcnic Bay

PIcnic Bay beach

PIcnic Bay  beach 3

Picnic Bay beach 2

Rocks at Picnic Bay

PIcnic Bay  beach 5

Playing in the rock pools at Picnic Bay


And enjoy we do. Harry runs down enthusiastically and immediately discards his shoes. Shallow pools of water left behind by the outgoing tide tempt his little feet to have a splash. I stroll around taking in the view, before sitting down to soak up the beauty of this place.

Whisky Bay

When Harry has finished playing we walk back along the track to Whisky Bay, this time taking the track over the creek and down onto the beach. The creek is stained by tannin’s and has a whisky like colour, but I also think the rocks down here on the beach with their orange lichen look like they could be ice cubes clinking around a glass of the amber liquid. Alcoholic references aside, this bay is a delight.


walking down to Whisky Bay

Whisky Bay 2

crossing the creek to Whisky Bay

Whisky Bay


We weave in and out of the rocks and watch the ever-changing clouds paint the sky with feathery masterpieces. I could stay here all day but I want to move onto to Tidal River and do some more walking over there, so we drag ourselves away.


Whisky Bay Panorma

Whisky Bay 3

Rocks at Whisky Bay

Whisky Bay 6

Whisky Bay 4

Whisky Bay 5

Whisky Bay 7


Tidal River and Pillar Point

During the short drive to Tidal River Harry falls asleep. So rather than risk the wrath of a cranky and tired four year old we let him nap in the car. The first words out of his mouth when he opens his eyes are “I’m hungry”. We search out a shady place and sit down to eat our lunch.

Harry has switched gears and has now dropped back into slow mode and there is no hurrying him up. After taking 45 minutes to eat his lunch he then announces he needs to use the toilets. Another half an hour later and we finally begin the walk up towards the Tidal River overlook and Pillar Point. He has just begun complaining beside me how he can’t do any more walking today because his legs are tired when something red flitters in front of him. “Wow! Look at that red and blue bird Mum! Its beautiful”. Distracted by the Crimson Rosella his complaining temporarily ceases. We move on from the bird and he is about to complain again when he sees the bridge ahead and then after the bridge we see a few kangaroos.



Tidal River walk

Tidal River Bridge

Tidal River 2

Tidal River


I am lagging behind Harry and Chris taking photos when I hear Harry begin to complain again. He suddenly stops and asks “What is that?” That is a very big wombat! The wombat is completely unfazed by us gawking at him and continues to shuffle around eating. “It must be my hat” Harry says. “That’s why I found the wombat, because I’m wearing a wombat finding hat”. Ok, if that is going to get you out to Pillar Point I will go along with that. Another few hundred meters along and he finds another wombat. Maybe it is the hat I think to myself.



Looking down towards Tiddal River

Tidal River 3

Pillar Point Walking track


The track to Pillar Point opens out from under the trees to reward us with views of Normans Beach, Squeaky Beach, Mount Oberon and the islands. The track continues upwards for a short distance before terminating at a granite outcrop. We sit and take in the magnificent views. I don’t let Harry stand up here at all and only let him shuffle along on his bottom to get to where we sit, keeping him well back from the edge. It’s a long drop down into that big blue sea.

Pillar Point view

Pillar Point panorama 2

Pillar Point view 3

Pillar Point view 5

Pillar Point panorama

Pillar Point view 4


Once again the day has gotten away from us. I still want go up to the Tidal outlook but Harry is done for the day and like a stubborn mule there is no budging him when hes decided hes had enough. He wants to play at the playground back at Fish Creek, have a fire in the fireplace and eat dinner at the Fish Creek Hotel.  I can live with that though. I am learning the art of compromise now I have a small child. Plus the temperature is going to drop to 12 degrees tonight so I think Harry’s request of lighting the fire-place at our cottage tonight is a good one. Red wine in front of a roaring fire at the beginning of March in Australia? You have to love Victoria 🙂


Wine by the fire


At a Glance

mapWilsons Promontory National Park 2 1/2 hours (200km) south west of Melbourne to park entrance. Allow another 3o minutes to drive down to Tidal River.


mapPicnic Bay approximately 700m from Whisky Bay


mapWhisky Bay 400m from the Whisky Bay car park


mapPillar Point walk 1.8 kms (one way) from Tidal


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4 Responses

  1. Jane

    Hi Amanda,
    Another set of beautiful pictures showcasing the beautiful beaches that the south has to offer. Once again I have to say am surprised at how much hype our Queensland beaches get when there are so many great (and less crowded) spots down that way. I had to laugh at Harry’s comment about seeing a wombat because he was wearing the wombat hat! Kids come out with the most delightful comments sometimes. I thoroughly enjoyed your post, Amanda. I love that we get to see the “inner workings” of a family’s day out. It is certainly a different ball game to an adult hiking solo! Brings back some memories for me. 🙂

    • Amanda

      Thanks Jane. Yes the beaches at Wilsons Prom easily rival those of sunny Qld! I’m glad you enjoy reading about the “inner workings” of our family days out and about. It may be boring to some but that’s where I am in my life at the moment and compromise (as much as I dislike it!) forms a big part of our adventures. I just tell myself that at least I am scoping out places I want to come back to and do longer walks in the future. But really these memories we create as a family are invaluable to me, and I hope to Harry also.

  2. Greg

    I must admit, other than Tasmania, Wilsons Prom is the only place I’ve seen wombats during the day, just wandering around! Usually they’re so elusive, but it’s a free-for-all down there 🙂 Fantastic landscape. Oh, plus Fish Creek Hotel has some great food!

    • Amanda

      I must admit I was very surprised to see wombats just casually wandering around. Sadly when we visited Tasmania years ago the only wombats we saw were dead ones on the side of the road. Wildlife and logging trucks just aren’t very compatible. As for the Fish Creek hotel, we ate there on two nights and I agree the food was good. We actually stayed in a cottage only a few hundred meters up the road from the hotel. There was also a great little coffee shop in town to pick up fresh baked goods and delicious coffee. We will definitely be returning to the Prom and Fish Creek one day. Thanks for reading and commenting Greg 🙂

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