Search for Alfred Howie at Wilsons Promontory – the first search

We don’t know the names or the clubs of the 11 volunteer bushwalkers who left the Russell Street Police Headquarters in 2 trucks early on Friday 6 May 1949 for Port Welshpool. There they boarded a fishing ketch and were landed on the east coast of Wilsons Promontory to join the large search for a missing bushwalker.

This was the first occasion volunteer bushwalkers organised through the Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs (now Bushwalking Victoria) assisted in a bush search.


The search for Alfred Howie, a solo walker missing at Wilsons Promontory, commenced on 6 May 1949.  No trace of him was ever found.  What happened to him?

His family recall one possibility discussed at the time. Given that his destination was Refugee Cove, he may have fallen off the slippery log crossing Sealers Creek at Sealers Cove, either at high tide or when the Creek was in flood and been washed out to sea.

The newspapers of the time tell the story.



Thank you to the family of Alfred Howie for sharing their recollections and records.

See “The Scroggin Eaters, A history of bushwalking in Victoria”; pp 183 to 190 for a detailed account of the search.


Last Updated on February 17, 2021