When Neil asked me to do a guest post with the theme ‘favourite day walk’, I was more than happy to participate. The only problem is how to pick just one?
Victoria has much to offer the bushwalker, from rugged coastline to snow-covered mountains. Ultimately, the choice was easier than I thought it would be, as I stuck to one principle.
“Which walk do I return to year after year without fail?”
In the end, it’s that simple, as there is one that I’ve been going to every year since 1983.
It’s the coastal walk from the Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve to Bushrangers Bay on the Mornington Peninsula. Coastal was always going to be my logical choice as they are my favourite type of walk.
What makes this attractive for me is that it’s a simple drive to the start, the walking isn’t too strenuous, the coastline is fantastic, and there’s a secluded beach which can’t be reached by car.
Even better, the location has some history attached to it, as Bushrangers Bay was named after two escapees from Tasmania who allegedly landed at the bay in 1853. What more do you want in a walk?
The destination for the day is to get to Bushrangers Bay, and there are two ways of getting to that spot, but I always use the same one, starting from Cape Schanck.
The abundance of coastal views from the cliff tops and a boardwalk leading down to rock-covered coves, whilst the Cape Schanck Lighthouse looms above, makes Cape Schanck worthy of a visit.
In order to get to Bushrangers Bay, though, there’s a wide grassy track that leads from the Cape Schanck car park.
Bushrangers Bay Track is easy to walk on and can be done comfortably in runners. Initially, the path follows the cliff tops with views of Bass Strait along the way before descending to Burrabong Creek.
When I first visited here in 1983, the creek, which flows beneath a small timber bridge, was clear and inviting. These days, unfortunately, it’s overgrown with weeds and scrub. With all the farming in the immediate area, I couldn’t imagine it ever being as pristine as it once looked, anyway.
The track rises out of the creek and then turns off the track to descend to the beach at Bushrangers Bay, which is dominated by a large outcrop called Elephant Rock. The sandy beach is a lovely relaxing spot, which you’ll appreciate after the roughly 2.5 km walk from Cape Schanck car park.
If one wants to keep exploring, there’s a large rock shelf at the beach’s eastern end, complete with an arch which water crashes through. As with any rock shelf, care should be taken regarding incoming waves.
Now, I’m more than happy to return via the same path, but if one wants to utilise a car shuffle, there’s a continuation of the track (before descending to the beach). This is the Main Creek Track, which continues inland before reaching a car park on Boneo Road.
Why do I always go back on the same path? I like to walk back late in the day with the chance of viewing an incredible sunset from the top of the Cape Schanck cliff tops!
Length (km): 7 km
Time (hrs/min): 3 hrs
Grade: Moderate / Grade 3 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System)
Region: South-East Victoria
Park: Mornington Peninsula National Park
Closest Town: Flinders (12 km)
Access: The walk starts and finishes at the Cape Schanck car park, which is accessed via a signed turn-off from Boneo Road (aka Rosebud – Flinders Road).
Further Info: If you don’t wish to return along the same route, leave a car at the Bushrangers Bay car park on Boneo Road (aka Rosebud – Flinders Road) and continue the walk along Main Creek Track. Greg also wrote about this hike over at Hiking Fiasco, back in January 2011.
Other Mornington Peninsula Walks:
If you’re visiting for more than a day, you’re definitely going to want to check out some other Mornington Peninsula hiking trails.
- Stop off at Cape Schanck for a quick walk down to the rugged cape where you’ll find the famous Pulpit Rock.
- Discover the Peninsula’s war time history on the Point Nepean Walk (and its variations).
- Arthurs Seat offers many options for hikers but the Arthurs Seat Circuit Walk is perfect for an afternoon out with the kids.
- The Tea Tree Creek Walk near Flinders leads walkers to another secluded beach.
- The Baldry’s Circuit is a less known hiking trail with some of the most picturesque forest on the Peninsula.
Have you visited Bushrangers Bay? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.