Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

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Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Wed 20 Oct, 2010 11:04 am

Hi all,

Has anyone done this hike? The 2 day one where you stay in the lighthouse cottages?

Just wondering what the best time of year would be to do it?

Looks like we'll leave on a Saturday and come back Sunday. I know that's not ideal but it's the best we can manage.

Any other tips/info/feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby optdyl » Wed 20 Oct, 2010 11:28 am

I have done a few walks at The Prom, but have never stayed at the lighthouse...

I guess the use of the word "best" is pretty subjective. If you don't want to go when it's busy go when the weather is going to be crap. However, if you want nice weather I'd be going around late spring - early summer, but be warned it can get busy! :wink:

I believe you have to book the accommodation at the lighthouse, so you could probably use that phonecall to gauge how many other walkers can be expected. Otherwise, the walking is nice and fairly easy; enjoy it!

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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Wed 20 Oct, 2010 1:45 pm

Thanks for the info... How do you think we'd go in Feb?
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby optdyl » Wed 20 Oct, 2010 3:05 pm

manofunreal wrote:How do you think we'd go in Feb?


I was there last Feb, and it's a bit quiter then because school holidays are finished; but it was still pretty busy (i.e. the majority of campsites in Tidal River were taken).

Weather can be touch and go in Feb; you might have days in the high 30s, or (as was our case) it might rain constantly. Not much you can do about that though, as you're probably going to have to book the lighthouse accommodation in advance.
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Thu 21 Oct, 2010 11:53 am

It's looking like it will have to be Feb or mid-March... Not much availability. Thanks again optdyl
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby optdyl » Sat 23 Oct, 2010 10:40 am

No problem. I thought it might be hard to make a booking, I remember seeing someone in the visitors centre unable to comprehend that there would not be room for her and her friends in the lighthouse... :oops: :roll: I hope you enjoy the walk,it's a beautiful part of Victoria!
Don't forget to post a trip report after you've done it!
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Sun 24 Oct, 2010 5:00 pm

Thanks mate!
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby davids » Mon 25 Oct, 2010 10:23 pm

Hi MFR
Are you doing the lighthouse walk because you don't like to camp? If so, go for it, but if not, I think the Sealers, Refuge, Little waterloo circuit is far more scenic with more beaches (and you may need them to cool off in Feb). The circuit is just doable in 2 days (36km) with a night at Refuge.
The lighthouse walk is a bit of a road bash, though the views etc at the end are worth it.
Have fun
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Tue 26 Oct, 2010 7:48 am

Hi David,

Don't have the equipment to camp anyway but doing it because staying at the cottages seemed like a fun idea.

I read somewhere that there was a track you could take for some of the hike to avoid the vehicle tracks?

Cheers
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby Marwood » Tue 26 Oct, 2010 8:59 am

The info sheet from Parks Vic has the basic route info on times and relative difficulty, and a sketch map: http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/resources05/05_0857.pdf. For a more detailed topo, the 1:50,000 Vicmap "Wilsons Promontory Special" shows the roads and tracks. The walking times Parks Vic give are pretty leisurely by my reckoning, but maybe not for some ;-)

The Telegraph Track is a pretty hard-packed single lane gravel road all the way and easy walking, but note that the road doesn't go all the way to the lighthouse - the last about about an hour or so's walking is on a walking track. A far as the walking track alongside the Telegraph track is concerned, the section from just past Martin's Hill to the Roaring Meg camping area is pretty easy going, though there may still be some wet or muddy areas along it at the moment. This walking track comes back together with the Telegraph Track at Roaring Meg. From Roaring Meg towards the lighthouse the walking track becomes somewhat rougher and eroded, and goes up and down into three or four gullies along the way. So you may prefer to stay on the road for this section.

Another option, though it will make for a longer walk, is to depart from Tidal River rather than from Telegraph Saddle, and walk along the coast track to Oberon Bay, then take the sandy 4WD track from Oberon Bay to join the Telegraph track just short of Halfway Hut. Last time I was at the Prom we camped at Roaring Meg, walked to South Point and back in the early morning then walked out to Tidal River via Oberon Bay after that, arriving at Tidal River at about 6pm. So for me, walking to the lighthouse from Tidal River via Oberon Bay would certainly be an OK day's walk for me. But you have to decide what suits your own fitness. YMMV.
Come on lads, let's get home. The sky's beginning to bruise, night must fall, and we shall be forced to camp.
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby davids » Tue 26 Oct, 2010 11:56 am

Yes, it will certainly be fun staying at the lighthouse and well worth doing. I'd suggest on the way back you could turn left (west) to Oberon Bay after Roaring Meg (well signposted) and walk back to Tidal River via the coast track. Your car may have been left there anyway if the Telegraph Saddle carpark is closed (often on weekends - and a shuttle bus runs between Tidal R and Telegraph Saddle). Saves walking up that last long hill to TS at the end of the day! Haven't looked at the map recently, but I don't think that would add much distance/time.
Cheers
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby leithel » Wed 27 Oct, 2010 11:43 am

Haven't been down to the lighthouse yet. I did the eastern circuit (Sealers, Refuge and Waterloo Bays)a couple of years ago over 2 days. It was a challenge as I was very unfit at the time. It was my first overnight hike in about 12 years! Walking back up the Telegraph track up to the carpark def wasnt much fun at the end of the day. The track isnt very exciting either.

Have also done an overnighter to Oberon bay and it's a really nice walk and pretty easy. Def a much nicer route than the telegraph track but would add a few more km's to your trip.

I definitely wouldnt recommend walking the Prom in the mid/late summer heat! I head to the Victorian alps for my mid summer walks. It's much cooler!
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Wed 27 Oct, 2010 12:05 pm

Thanks for all the info guys...

I think we've narrowed it down to the 26/27 of March due to us all being too flat out to go any other time. We're all pretty keen to stay at the lighthouse and it might make for an interesting article to write, so I'll save the other options for another time I think. I might look into Davids suggestion of heading to Tidal River on the way back too.

I'd love to do Feathertop via The Razorback this spring/summer too but not sure if I can find the time.

Leith: About time we had a beer! Heading to Miss Libs on Saturday or Jungle Run on Monday?
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby Out_Walking » Sat 30 Oct, 2010 11:52 am

I did the southern circuit of Wilsons Prom last year in winter with my son and we stayed in one of the lighthouse cottages for one night. If I knew how good it was I would have booked for two nights! It is great accommodation in a stunning location. It was actually hard to hike after it, having spent a day lazing on a couch in the sun-room reading books, cooking in a kitchen and best of all a nice hot shower! We had one of the houses to ourselves and I can't think of a more relaxing day.

One other part I seem to remember was the insanely steep hill getting up to the lighthouse! It's like, really, really short and steep as anyone who has walked up would agree (I hope!) Either that or I'm insanely unfit! I did notice the lighthouse keeper has a car to drive up and down the hill if he needs to. He's not stupid. He wouldn't walk up and down that hill if he didn't need to! I did wonder if that car does the least amount of kilometres per year than any other seeing how it's probably a 250 metre drive...
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Mon 01 Nov, 2010 7:14 am

Thanks for the info OW. Glad to hear the accommodation is nice - it would want to be for the price! We'll only be there for the night so we wont have time to get too lazy
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby Biggles » Thu 18 Nov, 2010 3:42 pm

The Lighthouse Walk is best done anticlockwise, which avoids the long, steep incline near Boat Harbour Hill.
And of course, at the end of the descent is the sublime beauty of Little Waterloo Bay — looking quite the picture from Tahiti, but no, it's right here in Victoria!

My walk to the Lighthouse was completed last week over a 4N/5D day course, commencing Telegraph Saddle, south to Roaring Meg (camp), along Telegraph Track to Lighthouse (brief stop), then up and down and eventually right down to oh-so-blue-and-white Little Waterloo Bay. After that, boring Refuge Cove (stayed here to treat blisters in the briney!), then drop-dead gorgeous Sealers Cove (major battle keeping dry as 50mm of rain bucketed down...) and back up and up and up through the deep, damp treefern glooms to Telegraph Saddle.

As is known, it is a very strenuous walk coming up the hill (walking south) from Little Waterloo Bay, hence the suggestion to do it in reverse.
The 11km downhill / gently undulating walk to Roaring Meg is a good, but a little boring (NB: no reliable water after Fraser Creek).

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G: Petty theft from cars and unattended tents is on the rise at Tidal River. I know, my cherished digi clock was flitched while I went 150m across the road to the Store! Break-ins at Telegraph Saddle carpark occur in the summer holiday months but nothing at all for most of the year. The important thing is to safeguard your car and belongings at Tidal River e.g. not tuck the tent into a secluded place where it cannot be seen by people passing by. It's a double edge sword of course: those secluded little places are great for privacy and quiet, while the more open/visible places have some peace of mind (but not peace and quiet at weekends / holidays). Rangers think it's mischievous kids responsible for thefts, not adults. :x
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby crockle » Thu 18 Nov, 2010 5:28 pm

Biggles wrote:After that, boring Refuge Cove

Curious as to what you found boring about it ..

Refuge.jpg
Refuge.jpg (24.63 KiB) Viewed 28529 times


Biggles wrote:As is known, it is a very strenuous walk coming up the hill (walking south) from Little Waterloo Bay..

I think 'very strenuous' is overstating it a bit. It's only 2 - 2.5 hrs from Little Waterloo to Refuge ?

A salutatory warning re valuables in cars though.

For a number of years there was an individual supplementing a portion of his criminal career by breaking into cars at Telegraph Saddle.
I heard he was eventually caught and charged, it became safe/r to leave your car there again.
But not for ever, no doubt.
Tidal River is a pretty safe place I would have thought for a locked car
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Thu 18 Nov, 2010 5:43 pm

Hi Biggles,

That sounds awesome but we've only got 2 days unfortunately. I would like to avoid going down and back the same way though.

I'm thinking Telegraph Saddle - Lighthouse - Oberon Bay - Tidal River or Telegraph Saddle - Lighthouse - Waterloo Bay - Oberon Bay - Tidal River. Anyone got any idea of distances and times? Otherwise I can just measure them out on MapMyHike.com and try to just judge by the distance.
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Thu 18 Nov, 2010 6:00 pm

Just worked out from the Park Note (http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/resources05/05_0857.pdf) that the figure 8 (second option in my post above) should be 46 km's... That might be a bit far I think.

The other route couldn't be much more than 40... Maybe that's a good option.

Does anyone know if the tide is a concern at all on the way back to Tidal River (via Oberon Bay)?
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby crockle » Thu 18 Nov, 2010 7:21 pm

manofunreal wrote:Does anyone know if the tide is a concern at all on the way back to Tidal River (via Oberon Bay)?

If you don't mind wet feet / shins , not a problem. There's just the one point at the North of Oberon Bay where you go from beach to climb up around the little headland ahead.
As it should be only one little crossing - worth taking boots off for.

Oberon and the Western side of the Prom are not as classically 'pretty' as the Eastern Side (Sealers/Refuge/Waterloo).
Given that you only have the one night (at the Lighthouse) -therefore 2 days up your sleeve - perhaps your first option may be the way to go, if you're not keen on 'pushing things'.

The track West from Telegraph Track to Oberon is really a sandy (wide) 4WD track - not as pleasant walking as the well-worn but compact little paths over on the East coast.
But it's not drab by any means. The last 3 times I've been along there I've seen families of wombats at play - which is always nice. :)
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby Biggles » Fri 19 Nov, 2010 8:03 am

Yes, nothing much to see on the western side, apart from pretty Whiskey Bay. Campsite at Oberon is attractive though with a dress circle view of sunsets and terrific swimming.
I think with only 2 days to play with it would be wise to see the eastern side and skip the Lighthouse, chiefly for the longer distance to get there; the track to Oberon from the west is quite sandy in parts, so too, is the track to Lt. Waterloo Bay; you could take my V6 down the Telegraph Track it being so wide, smooth and fast. From rough notes, I think my trip was 47.2km all up, but I did several involved diversions and backtracks for photography (particularly around Lt Waterloo). I'm going back to Sealers Cove for more photography next weekend! :lol:

On my gasp-o-meter the reverse walk from Little Waterloo Bay sidling Boat Harbour Hill is a strenuous 7. Doing it in reverse eliminates that (zero...). Lt. Waterloo to Refuge rates a 2 on my Gasp-o-meter, and does spend a lot of time rising to windy Kersops Pk through tall, quiet forest.

How people perceive places like Refuge and Sealers can be subjective. As a landscape photographer, the visual quality of the landscape is paramount; Refuge strikes the right chord on the approach (the view from the granite), but once there, it is despoliated by rubbish left by (predominantly) school groups passing through. I busied myself in poking around the swamp photographing with my novel 6x6 pinhole). Cove Creek estuary is interesting for watching the assortment of fish and the unusual behaviour of the tide, but otherwise I'd side with the common choice of walkers who only stop at Refuge for lunch or a breather, then continue on to Sealers for the night. I only stopped there to treat a blister, which healed promptly ready for the next 2 days.

So ...
Sealers Cove is well worth spending 2 nights at, if the weather is warm and sunny. In wet weather (such as which hit me on the night of my departure) it takes on an entirely malevolent look but even the big arc of beach where the old jetty posts are can provide a calm, sublime and reflective atmosphere after a stormy night (it's where I stopped for an hour to get several B&W pinhole photographs). And the rainforest is unforgettable. Stop along here to soak up the atmosphere and have a chat with a swamp wallaby.

Tidal River is a safe place for a locked car (ditto, a zipped tent with valuables removed...), but I'd be much more wary on weekend / holiday periods.

It's Friday! :D
Yours sent packing,
Last edited by Biggles on Fri 19 Nov, 2010 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Fri 19 Nov, 2010 8:10 am

Thanks again for the info guys... Staying at the lighthouse was sort of the whole point of this trip so we wont be skipping it. It's worth noting that the east is nicer than the west but I'm not really swayed too much by that as I know I'll be back at some stage to hike whichever parts I don't hike this time anyway. Plus I can't really see how anything down there could be unattractive (except maybe the rubbish - people really do suck sometimes).
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby Biggles » Fri 19 Nov, 2010 8:20 am

At this time of the year (November) when many, many schools are passing through (a total of 6 were walking during my trip) and schoolies now upon us, it is very busy and campsites are dirty. Little Waterloo Bay was a bit cleaner than the rest. Refuge Cove was especially filthy. Then to my horror was 2 sites at Sealers Cove with vomit, wrappers, forgotten cups and plates, half-eaten food etc. Compare that to experienced walkers passing through who leave no trace of their visit!! Now wait 'til you see the crap the Christmas holiday crowd leaves around these beautiful beaches. I will spare you the photo of the toilet just off the Sealers Cove beach taken last February where boaties and day trippers offloaded a huge dump of rubbish — by logjamming it down the toilet!! :x
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby neil_fahey » Fri 19 Nov, 2010 8:27 am

I'll say it again... People really suck :x
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby davids » Fri 19 Nov, 2010 9:24 am

Seeing as other newcomers to the eastern circuit might read this thread, its worthwhile cautioning about swimming at the extreme north end of Little Waterloo. Stay well away from the rocks as there is often a dangerous rip here. I know of several local school groups coming to grief here.
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby Biggles » Fri 19 Nov, 2010 9:59 am

That's right, davids. The Rangers do advise walkers about this shifty rip but try telling kids about it...
I'd also avoid swimming in the creek at Lt. Waterloo because of run-off (read: pollution) from the water tap that is also used by walkers washing off their utensils! The scum accumulating in (presently closed mouth of~) the creek is nauseous. Same junk can be observed at Refuge Cove and Sealers Cove.
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby Pongo » Mon 23 Jul, 2012 11:58 am

Hey folks. I figured I would bump this thread instead of making a newie. Looking at hiking to the lighthouse from tidal river as telegraph saddle is closed.

Does anyone know where I could track down some elevation profiles for this walk (or the prom in general). I have the topo map and have a feel for it, but I'd much rather look at an elevation profile. Thanks :-)
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby paidal_chalne_vala » Tue 31 Jul, 2012 12:13 pm

Hi /salaam

The telegraph track is closed from Oberon saddle to the Oberon bay junction track.
You walk via little and big Oberon bay from Tidal R., past roaring meg etc to get to the Lighthouse.Martin's hill is the real fat burner on this stretch.
The Sealers' cove access is closed from Oberon saddle to Sealers' cove.
This means you hike to Little Waterloo bay via Oberon bay , tong it up to sealers' and then hike back the same way from Sealers'.I 'd manage that in 3 nights of pack carry and camping activity.
The scenery on the sealers' /refuge/watleroo hike is the best at the Prom. I must say ,it is really a knock out.
I have stayed at the lighthouse and it is very enjoyable. One must book in advance over the phone by credit card.
Beware of leaches at Roaring meg and the south point track.
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby Pongo » Tue 31 Jul, 2012 12:37 pm

Thanks for the feedback :D

I'd love to wander up to Sealers but the group I'm going with is not sufficiently geared for a multi-day hike (part of the reason we're staying at the lighthouse). If I like what I see, I'll come back with some more spare time.

In lieu of an elevation profile may I ask how would you rate Martin's hill in terms of difficulty?

I like to be prepared as best I can so I've been prepping for elevations out at Lerderderg park. With abour a 10kg pack I've legged spur track, link track 1 & 2 and razorback spur out there (plus the usual walks that accompany these spurs); plus Mt Dandenong (very disappointing) and few other odds and bods. FWIW, the topo show Martins hill as 292m elevation.
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Re: Wilsons Prom - Telegraph Saddle to Lighthouse - Done it?

Postby BillV » Thu 02 Aug, 2012 5:25 pm

I did the the south of the Prom a few years ago .......I went the anticlockwise way via little Oberon to camp at Roaring Meg the first night then Via the lighthouse to Refuge Cove for the second night and then via Sealers to Tidal river.........I found the walk mostly easy to moderate with some slightly more difficult sections from Little waterloo to Refuge........Apart from 2 boring sections, they being the walk from Oberon bay to the Walking track to Roaring Meg. And the walk back from Oberon carpark saddle to Tidal river.........All the other scenery was maginficent, the climax being the walk up the east coast........I'm looking to take my 9 year old some over the same route but over 5 days this time in another month or two........Personally I think you'd be better off hanging back a bit till you get some gear together and at least spending one night at little waterloo as it will give you a much better idea of the place.......Cheers Bill.
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