Wilsons Promontory National Park

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Wilsons Promontory National Park[2], commonly known as Wilsons Prom or The Prom, is a national park in the Gippsland region of Victoria (Australia), 157 km southeast of Melbourne.

It is mainland Australia's southernmost national park, known for its beautiful rainforests, unspoiled beaches, and abundant wildlife.

It covers the southern portion of Wilsons Promontory, a peninsula containing South Point, the southernmost point on the Australian mainland. A lighthouse on the south-east corner of the peninsula is the southern-most lighthouse on mainland Australia and has operated continuously since 1859.

A large section of the park was burnt out in April 2005 by a bushfire caused by a controlled burn that breached containment lines because of warmer and windier conditions than were forecast for that day, causing the evacuation of six-hundred people[3].

The park is highly popular with bushwalkers and campers, and has a number of lodges and serviced camping areas at a camping area near the mouth of Tidal River.

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History

Indigenous Australians occupied the area at least 6,500 years ago based on archaeological records.

The first Europeans to sight Wilsons Promontory are believed to be George Bass and Matthew Flinders in 1798.

Extensive sealing took place at Sealer's Cove during the 19th Century, such that seals are no longer found there.

Lobbying by the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria and the Royal Society of Victoria (including Arthur Henry Shakespeare Lucas) led to the Government of Victoria temporarily reserve the area as National Park in 1898, made permanent in 1908. The original settlement in the Park was on the Darby River site, where a chalet existed.[4]

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