To experience Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse you better have a strong set of legs. This historic light station on Wilsons Promontory can only be reached by foot— and requires a journey that last two days and just over 23 miles. After sloshing for nearly 12 miles through lush, Victorian bush, this lighthouse that’s stood since 1859 appears as literal beacon of hope that the hike is nearly complete. There was once a time when hardy families would live on this isolated point—dutifully manning the flickering light to keep mariners safe at sea. Today those homes where the light keepers lived have largely remained the same, and are split into three, dorm style cottages where hikers can rest for the night. The granite cliffs surrounding the lighthouse form the mainland’s southernmost point, and the roiling Pacific surrounds the cottages on nearly every side. After cleaning up from a long day of hiking, poke your head in the small museum of original lighthouse artifacts, or talk with the rangers who still call the lighthouse their temporary home. On the return trip, many hikers opt to return via Little Waterloo Bay, where golden sands and clear water are worth the extra couple of miles to the trail’s original start.
There’s a two-night maximum for the lighthouse cottages, and advanced reservations are required. Permits are obtained at the Tidal River information center, and all food, water, and rubbish must be packed both in and out.