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Refuge Cove in Wilsons Promontory National Park: Hidden travel gems in Australia – Victoria and NSW

Why this little-known beach in Australia has been called ‘one of the most beautiful travel spots on Earth’

  • Travelers rave about a small secluded beach three hours from Melbourne
  • Refuge Cove is located in Wilsons Promontory National Park and is accessible by a trail
  • The beautiful bay is popular for its sparkling waters and tranquil surroundings
  • ‘A truly beautiful part of the world’, one traveler wrote of his experience

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A little-known bay has been dubbed “one of the most beautiful places on earth” by visitors thanks to its remoteness, sparkling waters, abundance of wildlife and tranquil surroundings.

Refuge Cove, a beautiful beach three hours from Melbourne in Wilsons Promontory National Park, has been used for over 200 years by sailors looking to escape the rough swells of Bass Strait.

Consisting of two sandy beaches and surrounded by tree-lined slopes, the bay is accessible by a walking trail from Sealers Cove to the north or Little Waterloo Bay to the south.

The most popular route to take is Telegraph Track, which is 13.4 km from point to point and approximately four hours; it includes firm sand and gravel paths and sections of beach walks.

A little-known bay has been dubbed 'one of the most beautiful places on earth' by visitors thanks to its secluded location, sparkling waters, abundance of wildlife and tranquil surroundings

A little-known bay has been dubbed ‘one of the most beautiful places on earth’ by visitors thanks to its secluded location, sparkling waters, abundance of wildlife and tranquil surroundings

Refuge Cove, a beautiful beach three hours from Melbourne in Wilsons Promontory National Park, has been used for over 200 years by sailors looking to escape the rough swells of Bass Strait

Refuge Cove, a beautiful beach three hours from Melbourne in Wilsons Promontory National Park, has been used for over 200 years by sailors looking to escape the rough swells of Bass Strait

Consisting of two sandy beaches and surrounded by tree-lined slopes, the bay is reached by a walking path from Sealers Cove to the north or Little Waterloo Bay to the south

Consisting of two sandy beaches and surrounded by tree-lined slopes, the bay is reached by a walking path from Sealers Cove to the north or Little Waterloo Bay to the south

Refuge Cove, a beautiful beach three hours from Melbourne in Wilsons Promontory National Park, has been used for over 200 years by sailors looking to escape the rough swells of Bass Strait

1662424235 32 Refuge Cove in Wilsons Promontory National Park Hidden travel gems

1662424235 32 Refuge Cove in Wilsons Promontory National Park Hidden travel gems

Dense forest and vegetation grow to the back of the south beach, with the Refuge Cove campground under the trees.

While swimming is likened by some to an ‘ice bath’, others say the water has a nice – if not slightly fresh – temperature during the summer months.

Advanced booking is required for hikers and recreational boaters staying at the free campground, and hikers can spend between two and seven days exploring the park.

For those who prefer to explore the serene bay by boat, Refuge Cove Cruises is an ecotourism cruise for Wilsons Promontory and departs from Port Welshpool, 191km southeast of Melbourne.

The most popular route to take is Telegraph Track, which is 13.4 km from point to point and approximately four hours;  it includes firm sand and gravel paths and sections of beach walks

The most popular route to take is Telegraph Track, which is 13.4 km from point to point and approximately four hours;  it includes firm sand and gravel paths and sections of beach walks

The most popular route to take is Telegraph Track, which is 13.4 km from point to point and approximately four hours; it includes firm sand and gravel paths and sections of beach walks

Dense forest and vegetation grow to the back of the south beach, with the Refuge Cove campground under the trees

Dense forest and vegetation grow to the back of the south beach, with the Refuge Cove campground under the trees

Dense forest and vegetation grow to the back of the south beach, with the Refuge Cove campground under the trees

Everything you need to know about Wilsons Promontory National Park

Wilsons Promontory National Park is located on the southernmost tip of mainland Australia and is known for its coastal bushland trails and pristine beaches dominated by granite towers.

This 50,000-acre preserve is punctuated with a labyrinth of hiking trails that showcase all manner of magical realms that harbor an abundance of wildlife.

You can stay under canvas or in modern cabins and enjoy tranquil rivers, intimate coves, granite peaks and lush, forested valleys.

Wilsons Promontory is a haven for an array of native wildlife, including kangaroos, emus, wombats, echidnas, and lively plumed birds such as rosellas. Visit in the spring to see spectacular displays of wildflowers, including orchids, wattle, heather and other species.

The drive from the entrance at Yanakie to the Tidal River settlement is scenic and well signposted, with parking, beaches and bushland accessible by side roads. However, the best way to enjoy the spectacular scenery is via one of the many hiking trails on the peninsula.

1662424239 313 Refuge Cove in Wilsons Promontory National Park Hidden travel gems

1662424239 313 Refuge Cove in Wilsons Promontory National Park Hidden travel gems

Advance booking is required for hikers and recreational boaters staying at the free campground, and hikers can spend between two and seven days exploring the park

Advance booking is required for hikers and recreational boaters staying at the free campground, and hikers can spend between two and seven days exploring the park

Advance booking is required for hikers and recreational boaters staying at the free campground, and hikers can spend between two and seven days exploring the park

For those who prefer to explore the serene bay by boat, Refuge Cove Cruises is an ecotourism cruise for Wilsons Promontory and departs from Port Welshpool, 191km south east of Melbourne

For those who prefer to explore the serene bay by boat, Refuge Cove Cruises is an ecotourism cruise for Wilsons Promontory and departs from Port Welshpool, 191km south east of Melbourne

For those who prefer to explore the serene bay by boat, Refuge Cove Cruises is an ecotourism cruise for Wilsons Promontory and departs from Port Welshpool, 191km south east of Melbourne

‘This was one of the best tours I’ve been on in my life and believe me, that’s saying something! We ended up in really isolated beaches and coves. We got very close to the various islands that were awe-inspiring,” said one traveler recently.

“A truly beautiful part of the world,” added another.

Wilsons Promontory National Park, sometimes referred to as ‘The Prom’ by locals, is the southernmost tip of the Australian mainland.

It has warm temperate and cool temperate rainforest, high open woodlands, woodlands, moors and swamps that have earned the National Park entry on the Victorian Heritage Register.

Those who raved about the beautiful spot have been bombarded with questions from avid travelers who doubt whether the water in the bay will ever be a comfortable temperature due to its southern — and typically chilly — location.

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