The Mirror News

Southern Prom tracks to open at Easter

PARKS Victoria has pulled out all stops in its flood recovery efforts at Wilsons Promontory National Park.

As a result, access to the majority of the popular southern hikes at the Prom will be available from Easter.

This will no doubt please the many visitors expected in the national park over the holiday break.

The Tidal River campsite ballot has closed and the camping ground is fully booked for Easter, as is roofed accommodation, though there are now spaces available for those wishing to camp at the outstation locations, including the light station, where accommodation is available in refurbished cottages. Bookings can be made by contacting 13 1963.

The recovery team has been working at a ferocious pace to restore and repair walking tracks that were severely damaged when flooding rains swamped the Prom a year ago – on March 22, 2011.

Parks Victoria’s Chief Ranger Wilsons Promontory, Helen Dixon, said that recent efforts have concentrated on the severely damaged Oberon Bay Track, to reinstate access to the southern hikes via Oberon Bay.

Mt Oberon Rd and Telegraph Saddle will remain closed due to ongoing flood repair works. Hikers keen to head out to Sealers Cove are advised that Sealers Cove will only be accessible from Refuge Cove, as the direct track from Telegraph Saddle will remain closed until major flood repair works are completed.

From Easter, visitors will have access to most of the southern hikes, however, including:

  1. Norman Bay to Oberon Bay;
  2. Oberon Bay to Telegraph Junction;
  3. Telegraph Junction to Waterloo Bay;
  4. Waterloo Bay to Refuge Cove;
  5. Refuge Cove to Sealers Cove;
  6. South Point Track;
  7. Halfway Hut and Roaring Meg via the Oberon Track and Telegraph Track;
  8. Light Station via Telegraph Track and the South East Track;
  9. Waterloo Bay via the South East Track.

“The campsites including Sealers Cove, Refuge Cove, Halfway Hut, Roaring Meg, Waterloo Bay, Oberon Bay and the Light Station will still have a two-night maximum stay to ensure all visitors have the opportunity of camping at the southern outstation locations,” said Ms Dixon.

Visitors are advised that the Telegraph Track from Telegraph Saddle through to Telegraph Junction (including access to Sealers Cove from Telegraph Saddle Car Park) and Mt Oberon will continue to remain closed due to the significant flood damage incurred. This will be the sole focus of the engineering team over the coming months.

The light station can be accessed via Oberon Bay – the return distance to Tidal River is 48km. Bookings are essential and must be made prior to departure. Please note that camping is not permitted at the light station.

“We are reminding visitors that they will be walking through a highly altered environment and that some tracks are not fully repaired, and therefore we request that they follow the new signage in place for their own safety, as well as adhering to areas that remain closed to the public,” said Ms Dixon.

After the success of the spring and Cup Day weekend activity programs, Parks Victoria kept up the momentum over the summer ballot period, delivering nearly 160 activities to over 1700 park visitors. Activity programs will also be offered over Easter. Bookings can be made in person at the Tidal River Visitor Centre.

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