Summary: A stunning, protected beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park. It was the site of a camp in the 1840s used to slaughter fur seals.

The stunning Sealers Cove beach in Wilsons Promontory National Park sweeps around for 2km, and is backed by a vegetated foredune. The beach is fairly calm, especially at the southern end where it’s sheltered by Horn Point. At the northern end of the beach is The Cathedral.

At the southern end of the beach (near where the Sealers Cove Walking Track meets the beach) is Sealers Creek, which drains the 1 to 2 km wide Sealers Swamp which is behind the beach. On the other side of the creek is the Sealers Cove Campsite.

Originally inhabited by the Boon Wurrung Aboriginal tribe (middens and fragments of stone tools have been found among the coastal dunes), the bay was used for shelter by George Bass in his voyage in the Whaleboat in the late 1790s during a storm, where he noted: “This cove, which from the use it may be to anyone coming here to seal will bear the name, Sealer’s Cove.” It’s likely that the name came from the large amount of fur seals sean on the beach. The cove provided not just a safe anchorage, but reliable fresh water from Sealers Creek.

From the early 1800s sealers and whalers operated in Bass Strait, often using the east coast of Wilson’s Promontory as a base. By 1842, fur sealers had established a camp in the Sealers Cove, although as a result of the declining seal population seal this was not in use very long – by the mid 1840s the seal population was reduced to a remnant and whaling was in decline. Following the sealers, farmers grazed their cattle at Sealers Cove for a short while, and timber cutting took place around the cove with a sawmill was established in the late 1840s, which operated until the 1850s. Timber was transported to the beach by flying fox and wooden tramway, and a few exposed jetty stumps still remain from that period.

image Sealers Cove - a stunning Wilsons Prom beach with a dark past
Source: Nicholas Chevalier in Artists Footsteps (1864 oil painting)

Getting to Sealers Cove

The southern end of the beach is traversed on the 2-4 day Wilsons Prom Southern Circuit, with the campsite here being one of the popular overnight stops. The shortest access to the beach is a 20km return bushwalk from Telegraph Saddle, which can be done as a day-walk or an overnight walk staying at the cove (booking required) via the Sealers Cove Walking Track – due to extensive storm damage in 2021 this track is closed and should re-open in 2024. A much longer 48km return route via Refuge Cove provides alternate access.

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