Tucked away in the Greens Bush section of Mornington Peninsula National Park, only an hour and a half from Melbourne, lies a little-known short hiking trail waiting to provide you with your nature and exercise fix – Baldry’s Circuit.
The Bunurong People have been caring for this place for thousands of years, evidenced by shell middens and other artefacts discovered in the area. Some time after Europeans settled the area, the Green family purchased 900 hectares here in 1926 with the intention of farming it. However, much of the land was fortunately deemed unsuitable for farming and remained mostly unaltered. In 1989, the government purchased the land from the Greens, and it was subsequently incorporated into the Mornington Peninsula National Park. I guess we have the Greens to thank for its continued protection, which is why it’s still known as Greens Bush.
It’s here, amongst the dense understorey thick with bracken fern, dotted with grass trees, and towered over by tree ferns and huge gum trees, that Baldry’s Circuit weaves its path.
Although I’m not generally one for returning to the same hiking trail twice, something about this one has obviously drawn me back time and time again. When I set off from Main Creek Picnic, I feel a gentle yet relentless unfolding of secrets as the track leads me deeper and deeper into Greens Bush, and the towering gums whisper stories of the wild. Some of those trees are hundreds of years old, so it’s unsurprising that they know things.
There are two route options for Baldrys Circuit Walk…
The first option, sometimes known as Baldrys Short Circuit, is only 1.6 kilometres – a fantastic choice if you’re short on time or have small children and are seeking a brief yet rewarding stroll in nature. Despite its brevity, it still manages to condense the rich beauty of Greens Bush and Mornington Peninsula National Park into one easily digestible quick adventure.
If you hear someone talking about Baldrys Circuit, they probably mean the longer 3.6-kilometre option (which some refer to as Baldrys Long Circuit). If you’re up for the longer distance and a few hills along the way, this route will reveal a broader range of forest types, get the heart pumping a little more, and allow you increased chances to meet the shy resident wildlife.
Whichever route you choose, your journey will begin alongside the charming Main Creek. The tranquillity of Greens Bush will immediately grab your attention. The creek’s soothing babble and the soft murmurs of the rustling leaves overhead set a relaxing tone.
Before long, the forest grows thicker, and you’ll forget how close you are to the road you drove in on. From here on your constant companion will be a mesmerising symphony of birdlife, with kookaburras, rosellas, and cockatoos often sighted along the path. Their resonant calls are punctuated by the occasional rustle of an echidna foraging in the underbrush, reminding you that humans are mere visitors in this vibrant ecosystem.
Keep your eyes peeled for kangaroos that call this area home. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a koala nestled in the gum trees.
Those who opt for the longer route will traverse verdant fern gullies and cross dry creek beds, climb to drier forests where they can note the contrast in wildlife and vegetation, and even walk a very short section of the 26-kilometre Two Bays Walking Track.
For all its enchantment, Baldry’s Circuit remains something of a local secret. It’s a trail less travelled and less known, even among locals, but it has so much to offer to those who seek solace here.
Let’s get those boots laced up and get out there.
Other things to do on the Mornington Peninsula
Once you’ve soaked in all that Greens Bush has to offer, the Mornington Peninsula has much more in store. Just a short drive away, you’ll find local wineries offering tastings and tours. For beach enthusiasts, the Peninsula’s coastline boasts beautiful sandy beaches. If you’re a foodie, head to Flinders for a delightful selection of eateries that feature locally sourced produce.
Baldrys Circuit is just one of many spectacular Mornington Peninsula walks. If you’re a regular visitor, you probaly already know some of them, but here’s a selection…
- The Tea Tree Creek Walk near Flinders provides spectacular views of the rugged coastline.
- Arthurs Seat is home to the Arthurs Seat Eagle (a gondola with spectacular views) and also a network of walking trails with something for everyone.
- Bushrangers Bay (via Cape Schanck is a bit more on the challenging side (wait until you have to climb back up those steps from the beach) and features an incredible secluded beach.
- The Cape Schanck Walk is another walk (albeit a very short one) that starts from the Cape Schanck carpark
- Baldry’s Circuit in Greens Bush is another gorgeous short Mornington Peninsula walk.
- The Point Nepean Walk (and its variations) can be found at the Mornington Peninsula’s pointy end. They’re a little further afield but well worth a visit.
You should definitely also consider Tree Surfing at the Enchanted Adventure Garden.
Finally, you’ve no doubt heard of Mornington Peninsula Hot Springs, but if you haven’t been to experience it for yourself, it needs to be added to your bucket list. I can attest to the blissful relief of soaking your aching legs and feet in their healing waters after a day on the trails. It’s a paradise to unwind in, renewing not just your body but your spirit, too.
Need to Know
Length: 1.6 km or 3.6 km
Time: 30 min or 1 hr
Grade: Easy / Grade 2 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System)
Park: Mornington Peninsula National Park
Closest Town: Main Ridge
Access: Turning off the Mornington Peninsula Freeway at Rosebud, follow Jetty Road and Browns Road to Main Ridge and then follow Greens Road south until you can follow the signs
Have you visited the Greens Bush? Hiked Baldrys Circuit? Or have you got some ideas for better hikes to do on the Mornington Peninsula?
If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.