Telegraph Saddle Walking Track

Wilsons Promontory National Park (or “The Prom” as its fondly known) is one of Victoria’s premier walking destinations, and each year the number of visitors travelling to the Park to hike is increasing. The Park is threaded with numerous breathtaking walking trails, winding their way through pristine beaches, beautiful eucalyptus forests, cool rainforest gullies and rocky mountaintops.

However, there are a limited number of day hikes and short walks that can be accessed by foot from Tidal River, with no overnight hikes accessible by foot directly out of Tidal River. During peak periods, an intermittent shuttle bus is needed to deliver hikers to the start of the acclaimed southern circuit.  At other times walkers must travel by foot along the road shared with incoming and outgoing vehicles.  This break in the circuit is a source of frustration for many.

One of the stunning tracks that make up the southern circuit of hikes at The Prom

Our Opportunity:

Telegraph Saddle Walking Track provides the missing link between Tidal River and the Park’s southern network of walking tracks. The track will be approximately three kilometres in length, rising approximately 200 metres in elevation with an average grade of 7-8%.  It is designed to be accessible to walkers of varying fitness levels.

Starting at the Commando Cairn in Tidal River, Telegraph Saddle Walking Track will lead walkers up to the top of Mount Oberon. Visitors will be able to follow in the footsteps of Australia’s first Commandos and learn about the intrinsic connection between the Prom and this key episode in Australia’s wartime history. The track will be an interactive legacy to the feats of endurance, fitness and fortitude displayed by Australia’s first Commandos.

Constructing the track will:

  • create a new iconic day walk from Tidal River up to Mount Oberon
  • reduce walkers’ dependence on the shuttle bus service during peak season
  • close the existing gap in the Southern Circuit overnight hiking route, creating a true end-to-end walking experience
  • commemorate Tidal River as the birthplace of today’s Australian Special Forces
  • create further opportunities for connection to the landscape – environmental, cultural and historical
  • for those running it, recreate the physical and mental challenge that Australia’s original Commandos faced as part of their gruelling selection training

Design, planning and construction of the track is estimated to cost approximately $1 million, and will be delivered in partnership between the People and Parks Foundation and Parks Victoria.  We are pleased to acknowledge the Australian Commandos Association (Victoria) as a key supporter of the Telegraph Saddle Walking Track.

The track will wind through interesting and diverse terrain – from ocean views and rocky outcrops to shady green forest. In a few kilometres walkers will be able to experience what makes The Prom so special – the natural environment.

Junior Commando Challenge:

Alongside the construction of the walking track, the Australian Commandos Association is collaborating with Parks Victoria‘s education team to deliver a Junior Commando Challenge, based on sites where commando training was conducted during World War II, and other sites of significance linking with the Commando Memorial at Tidal River.

The challenge will be designed for young people, aged 10 to 15 years old. Those who complete the course will receive an achievement card and the Australian Commando Association Victoria will issue a Certificate of Achievement and small Junior Commando lapel badge, similar in design to the Double Diamond badge on top of the Commando Memorial.

An integral part of this will be the establishment of the Telegraph Saddle walking track. This will provide several key locations of commando significance and a higher level of endurance than walking or running around the flat areas of Tidal River.

 

Your donation to the Telegraph Saddle Walking Track is tax deductible.