Emma Martel (Lee)
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In our ongoing running reviews, we'll be checking out some of Victoria's most-loved running tracks and jogging trails. This week, we take a look at Wilson Prom’s Mount Oberon Summit.
We’ll consider the nature of the workout, any interesting features, and a range of other notes and thoughts that we find worthwhile. Let’s go!
Track: Mount Oberon Summit
Location: Wilsons Promontory National Park
Escape the hustle of the city for a weekend away in Wilsons Prom. A 2-3 hour drive out of Melbourne, this spectacular national park is filled with short, full day and overnight trails to explore.
Wilsons Prom is notorious for being overrun by crowds in the warmer months and over long weekends. For a little elbow room, we recommend visiting the track at the turn of the season during spring or autumn. The experience is no less incredible in cooler weather – and you’re more likely to have the trail all to yourself.
Depending on the time of year, the Mount Oberon carpark is closed to public vehicles and there is a shuttle bus from the Tidal River carpark to the base of the mountain. Alternatively, during low season, you will be able to drive to the starting point by car and climb at your leisure.
While the Mount Oberon Summit track is just 3.4 km, it’s a fairly steady uphill slog. The track is well trodden for the majority of the run, with lots of switchbacks and some rocky terrain as you near the summit.
Depending on your fitness level and how much of a challenge you’re up for, you can run the whole way or complete it interval style.
The run begins fairly gentle and winds through the lower underlying forest. Make sure you take a look to your left, for some gorgeous views of the nearby hills and forestry.
You will start to ascend the mountain when the workout gets tougher, with plenty of switchbacks. As you near the summit, you will pass the aerial towers and some narrow rocky stairs. This short part of the track is the steepest, and can get slippery – so take care while ascending.
The peak of Mount Oberon has a beautiful view, but is often covered by clouds – which means that the view after your hard slog could be nil during these times! A good tip is to check that you can see the aerial towers at the top of the peak from sea level, or the Tidal River carpark before you embark on the climb – to ensure optimal viewing and satisfaction from the workout.
The additional benefits.
Although it’s a little far away for a day trip, Gippsland is worth the stay. Aside from offering ‘The Prom’, which Is truly a highlight, it also boasts a plethora of wineries, beaches, charming rural towns and fresh country air.
There’s plenty of other tracks to undertake in the national park, and the region doesn’t fall short on activities for the whole family. In a stunning combination of beachside and forest, Wilsons Prom is great for a quick getaway without being too far from home.
The Mount Oberon Summit track is a great workout that’s easy on the eyes. The picturesque surroundings are unbeatable as you look out over a 270-degree view of ocean, beaches and mountains.
If you can, aim to get to the summit for sunset, as the views are beyond what daytime offers. You will still be able to see the track when safely descending during this twilight period.
The workout is an uphill battle, but before you know it, you will emerge at the topmost viewpoint of the track – overlooking the incredible western coastal view of the Prom.
We recommend this track for anyone looking for a run with a view, and a tough workout to boot!
Be sure to watch this space. We’ll be back soon with another running review, to give you the facts on our favourite tracks.
About the Author
Emma Martel (Lee) — Consultant Physiotherapist
Emma values the importance of listening to her patients to fully understand their symptoms and treatment goals. Through skilled biomechanical analysis of the whole body, her objective lies not only in treating symptoms but identifying the true origin of the problem and working with her patients to prevent future episodes of pain and injury.