Last Updated on June 18, 2023
There’s a little-known hidden gem right at the entrance of Wilfons Promontory in Victoria: Big Drift is a large expanse of inland sand dunes, similar to those of a desert, a mere couple of hours drive south of Melbourne.
Big Drift is yet to be discovered, both by tourists and locals, but it offers breath-taking views, incredible hikes, and opportunities for sandboarding.
The dunes are located just right beside Wilsons Prom’s entry gate, about a 2km (30 minutes) walk each way from the Stockyards car park.
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Wilsons Promontory National Park is a national park in Victoria, Australia.
Located at the southernmost tip of mainland Australia, it is the largest national park in Victoria, covering an area of 4,940 square kilometres (1,900 sq mi).
The park is home to a variety of landscapes, including beaches, forests, mountains, and lakes.
It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, emus, wombats, and koalas.
Wilsons Prom is a popular destination for camping, hiking, fishing, and boating.
It is also a popular destination for whale watching, as humpback whales migrate past the park each year.
The park is open year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring or fall, when the weather is mild.
The sand dunes at the Big Drift are made up of fine-grained sand that has been blown inland from the coast.
The dunes are constantly moving and changing shape due to the wind and rain. This makes the Big Drift a unique and challenging place to explore.
The tallest dunes in the Big Drift can reach up to 100 meters (330 feet) high.
There are a few different hiking trails that you can take in the Big Drift, ranging from easy to challenging.
The views from the top of the dunes are amazing. You can see for miles in every direction.
The Big Drift Track
The hike is not particurarly challenging, but it involves a bit of climbing up the dunes.
You’ll be rewarded by a unique desert-like landscape surrounded by vegetation, and the dunes are steep enough you can sled with a sandboard or boogie board.
Because of the lack of shade, it is recommended to pack enough sunscreen and water, and perhaps some snacks.
You can easily spend a couple of hours just enjoying the dunes, which are quite hidden from the main tourist track. There are no toilets or facilities whatsoever.
In the area it is possible to spot some local wildlife including birds, bees and wombats, be warned that there can be mosquitos in the summer.
If you are planning a visit to Wilsons Promontory, adding the Big Drift to your itinerary is a must.
There is another set of smaller dunes just nearby, named the Little Drift.
These are not as steep as the Big Drift dunes but offer equally stunning views, and are especially good for photography lovers who want to take a good shot of the sand dunes with the sea in the background.
Despite the name, the dunes at Little Drift are still rather large and impressive, and can be reached on foot in around 20 minutes from the main entrance car park.
Big Drift Activities
Here are some activities you can enjoy at the Big Drift:
There are a few different hiking trails that you can take in the Big Drift, ranging from easy to challenging. The views from the top of the dunes are amazing. You can see for miles in every direction.
Explore the stunning natural landscapes and immerse yourself in the serenity of the surroundings as you hike through the Big Drift’s diverse trails.
Sand dune surfing
Sand dune surfing is a lot of fun. Feel the adrenaline rush as you slide down the steep sand dunes, enjoying an exhilarating sandboarding experience in the Big Drift.
You can rent sandboards from the Stockyard Campground.
The Big Drift is a popular spot for camping. There are a few different campgrounds in the area, including the Stockyard Campground and the Tidal River Campground.
Set up your tent, unwind, and spend quality time in nature’s embrace as you camp under the starry sky at the picturesque campgrounds of the Big Drift.
There are a few picnic areas in the Big Drift, including the Big Drift Picnic Area and the Tidal River Picnic Area.
Enjoy a leisurely picnic surrounded by the captivating beauty of the Big Drift, savoring delicious food while creating lasting memories with your loved ones.
The Big Drift is home to a variety of wildlife, including kangaroos, wallabies, emus, and birds.
Observe and appreciate the fascinating wildlife that inhabits the Big Drift, as you encounter unique species in their natural habitat during your wildlife-watching adventures.
Wilsons Promontory (often shortened in “Prom”) is a National Park located in the Gippsland region of Victoria, Australia.
The Promontory is located approximately 300 kilometers southeast of Melbourne, and can be reached by car in about three hours.
Follow the Monash Freeway (M1) to join the South Gippsland Freeway (M420/A440) to Meeniyan. Take the Meeniyan- Promontory Road (C444) to the Wilsons Promontory Entrance.
Entry to Wilsons Promontory National Park is free for day visits. If you are planning to stay overnight, you will need to obtain a campsite permit from the Visitor Centre in Tidal River, 30km south of the park entrance.
To access the Big Drift: on the right-hand side of the Promontory Road just after the Wilsons Promontory National Park entrance you will find the Stockyard Campsite and the start of the walk. Car parking is also available at Stockyard Campsite.
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