You want an exclusive adventure? Why not stay a night at the Lightstation in the Wilsons Promontory National Park. There are not many lighthouses and lightstations around the world where you can actually do this. Unfortunately we just visited the lightstation during our 55km hike. When you look for something special a stay at the lightstation is for you … but you will still need to hike in.
A tough hike in Wilsons Prom
Ethan really wanted to see the Light Station on this hike. None of us had made it there before so it was something we all agreed on. From Little Waterloo Bay it’s a steep climb most of the way to Wilsons Promontory Light Station. Fortunately it was an overcast day and the temperature dropped to somewhere bearable in the high 20’s. It’s approximately 11kms from Little Waterloo Bay.
Even though he had great hiking shoes, poor Ethan’s calves were giving him a bit of grief due to the hills we had to climb. With some treatment from me during our rests, he was able to continue without too much of an issue. We also walked through lots forest areas and ferns, and trudging through muddy areas. After passing over a creek within a forest, Ethan complained about his calves again. It was fortunate that we stopped to give him some massage. On inspection of his legs, I noticed a tiny black caterpillar on his sock near his heel.
When trying to brush it away with a stick, I noticed that this caterpillar was moving way too fast as he tried to dodge my stick! Turns out that it was a leech. If we hadn’t discovered it at that moment, it may have latched on and had a good feed on the poor little boy! God knows what I’d have done if that had happened as I have this massive phobia to anything slimy like that! A leech has latched onto me when I was a little girl and when my uncle told me about it, I ran around screaming like a headless chicken! He managed to calm me down enough to burn it off with his cigarette. Never try to pull a leech off! It’s teeth will remain locked onto you and you will bleed. Burning it off (without burning yourself or whoever is carrying it) or pouring salt onto it is the best approach.
Leave your backpacks behind …
When we finally reach the junction where you can choose to go on to Roaring Meg campsite or to visit the Lightstation, we saw that some hikers had left their backpacks at a large rock. The climb up to the Lightstation is really, really steep – the reason why some choose to leave their heavy backpacks behind.
There were some food items and underwear scattered around the bags. Initially I was wondering why there was such a mess! Turns out that the local crows are very clever and have learnt to pull on zips to open up bags! Ethan left his very secured backpack behind but we had too much to lose if we left ours so we carried them with us. It’s a picturesque walk with some impressive large rocks along the way. The climb up the paved road to the Lightstation took some energy to get up but it really is worth going up to see.
Wilsons Promontory Lightstation
It’s a little pricey for a family of three to stay at the Lightstation. It starts from $150 per person for a bunk bed in a shared room (up to 4 people) and has shared facilities including use of a kitchen. There’s also the option to hire bedding. The Banks Cottage starts from $405 per night. So unfortunately we did not stay the night at the Lightstation (a bit too pricey compared to the hike in campgrounds and booked out). It’s advisable to book way ahead of time as this place does get booked out months in advance!
Most are day visitors like us. On arrival, we were informed by the lovely man who runs the accomodation and the Lightstation that there is a tap where we get flowing filtered water! There’s also a flushing public toilet! LUXURY!
Luckily we carried our backpacks up there as we were able to fill up our water bladders with “fresh” treated rainwater. Again luxury to not drink creek water! Seeing that some people had made it to the top of the lighthouse with a guide. We waited patiently for them to come down and asked the guide if she would kindly take the boys up as well. We’re presuming that these tours were normally reserved for the guests who stayed at the Lightstation but since the guests hadn’t arrived yet, we got lucky and the guide (we found out later that she and her husband were running the venue at that time) was kind enough to oblige.
There is also a little museum at the bottom of the lighthouse which has lots of information about the history and antique items on display.
The neighbouring islands that you can see from the Lightstation is actually part of Tasmania!
The lightstation is not the southernmost point of mainland Australia (but pretty close!) … you have to walk to South Point (which you can do from Roaring Meg Campground).