Updated: Apr 7, 2019
Distance: 15.9km one-way – you can also go another direction which will be 19.1km
Time: 6hrs one-way
Distance: 9.5km one-way
Time: 3hrs one-way
Toilets: Mt Oberon Car Park, Sealers Cove & Refuge Cove
Water: There was water available at both Refuge & Sealers Cove, it does need to be either boiled or filtered.
This walk has been on my list since I started hiking nearly 2 years ago and FINALLY I was able to tick it off my list. It certainly didn’t disappoint, and I will be doing it again very soon. We walked to Refuge Cove but on your way you will pass through Sealers Cove Camp, so I thought I would include both into this blog.
Getting there: This walk is located in Wilson's Promontory and starts out from the telegraph saddle carpark (Mt Oberon car park). In the summer though you are sometimes required to catch a free bus from either the Tidal River General Store or the Overnight Hikers Car park.
To get to Refuge cove there are 2 routes you can take, 15.9km - 5hrs or 19.1km - 7hrs. We chose the smaller of the 2 because we were already running later than we wanted. You start your walk out in very sparse dry bush and make your way up a mountain but it’s not terribly hard going. Lots of huge boulders along the way and you also see where some landslides occurred in the 2011 floods. I have to say Parks Victoria & Volunteers did such an amazing job fixing the tracks and making them safe to walk on. At the top you reach the Windy Saddle which is a random grassy patch in between all the trees.
Once you pass through here you then walk into very lush green forest which is very different to what you just walked through. From here you will be going downhill for quite some time and come across a couple of small waterfalls along the way (on the way back this hill hurts a little and is actually a 300m climb). At the bottom of the hill you come across the boardwalk which is about 2km long and takes about half an hour to complete. It is an amazing part of the walk its really very pretty.
Once you finish the boardwalk its only a couple of minute walk until you reach the beach of Sealers Cove. It’s beautiful and actually a lot bigger than I pictured it being. From this point you want to turn right along the beach all the way down until you reach an inlet. You will need to cross through the small inlet, the Sealers Cove Camp is on the other side and so is the path to Refuge Cove. The first time we crossed the tide was coming in and was quite deep, the second time we crossed we could almost jump across it. Getting there at low tide would be definitely helpful but it might be a little harder to do.
From here there are signs to guide you through the camp site to the Refuge Cove track. As you start back out again you climb up for a little bit and are treated to some amazing views back towards Sealers Cove and the ocean.
From Sealers Cove to Refuge Beach it took us about 2hrs of undulating rocky terrain. Once you reach Refuge Beach, you might think you have made it but sorry to say you’ve got at least another 20-min walk to the Refuge Cove Camp. You need to turn right and walk along Refuge Beach until you meet back up with the track, you are going to get a lot of sand in your boots from this beach.
I have to say this last half hour was the hardest because you knew camp was close but you just weren’t quite there yet. As you come into the camping areas you will come across the Boaties Camp first you will need to keep walking a but further to find the hikers camp.
Once you have arrived you plenty of areas to set your tent up and some small tables scattered throughout, if you can get one of those for yourself it makes things a little easier. It’s a fantastic camp area with the beach just a minute walk away. Just don’t forget to take your permit with you as we had a ranger ask to see ours.
Just don't forget to go and enjoy the amazing Refuge Cove while your there. Its a very special place and so beautiful.
I have to say I loved every minute of this walk, even the pain at the end. I’m already planning my next hike here and challenge myself even more with a multi day hike.