Map: Inspiring Gippsland Walks website. Also see ParkWeb Park Note: George Bass Coastal Walk – Visitor Guide.
Last Visited: 19/09/2010
Length (km): approx. 8 km (according to MapMyHike.com)
Time (hrs/min): 2 hours
Grade: Easy
Return / Circuit / One-Way / Partial Circuit: One-Way
Region: South-East Victoria
Park: Unnamed coastal reserve
Closest Town: San Remo (4.7 km)
Maximum Elevation: approx. 77 m (according to MapMyHike.com)
Total Ascent: approx. 77 m (according to MapMyHike.com)
Car Access: From the Bass Highway, exit to Phillip Island and then keep an eye out on your right for a sign pointing left to Punch Bowl Road. The walk starts from the car park at the end of Punch Bowl Road.

 


It quickly becomes obvious what the main attraction of this walk is

 

In 1797, the explorer George Bass was the first European settler to sight the Victorian coastline, but it would have looked very different back then. Today much of the original vegetation has been destroyed by grazing but there are still pockets of remnant vegetation and volunteers have done quite a bit of revegetation over the years. The coastal views and what remains of the native vegetation are what makes this walk worth doing.


Much of the walk is on mowed grass tracks

 

The walk can be done in the opposite direction to that suggested here but I would recommend starting at Punch Bowl Road and stopping for a beer at the friendly Kilcunda Pub upon finishing your walk. The track is also signed from the car park at the end of Punch Bowl Road so this makes finding the track initially easier. There is a small lookout platform near the beginning of the track which is worth checking out. The bird life at this end of the walk was also a highlight.


Looking back (west) from near Half Moon Bay

 

Though there are a few unsigned junctions along the way, it is fairly easy to figure out which way to go. The general rule is stick to the coastline, so if heading in the suggested direction you would usually take the path that goes to the right. The majority of the walk is on mowed grass tracks, so that can also give you a clue as to which track is most likely to be the official one.


Looking east over Half Moon Bay

 

At Half Moon Bay, walkers have the option to head down a steep track to the beach or to continue around and just enjoy the view. Considering that it was threatening to rain on us, we decided to go for the second option.


A creek on the beach walk section

 

Toward the end of the walk, following my advice (ie. sticking to the right at track junctions) will bring you to a section where you must walk along the beach. This may not be possible depending on tides, so if you find yourself on the beach at high-tide you will need to back-track and find the alternative route. We just happened to be walking at low-tide, so we didn’t need to do this.

You’ll know you’ve come to the end when the track leads you in to a small car park. Cross the car park and follow the track on the other side to find your way to the Kilcunda Pub for a hard earned beer.

Note: This walk was part of a feature article I co-wrote, that appeared in the February/March 2011 issue of Great Walks Magazine.

Further Info:

On my trip to Inverloch, I was a guest of Tourism Victoria and Destination Gippsland. This does not influence the view that I put forward here in any way.

Accommodation Ideas:

  • RACV Inverloch Resort – With everything from caravan sites to villas, the RACV Inverloch Resort caters for just about everyone. I stayed in a Premium Ocean View Room, the highlight of which (funnily enough) was the view south-west along the coast to Cape Paterson.

    Regardless of your accommodation choice, you’ll have access to the whole range of facilities (most importantly, the heated pool, spa and sauna). The resort also offers a courtesy bus service to take visitors in to Inverloch, a coastal town that is yet to be completely overrun by tourists (* This statement was true at the time of my visit).

 

Have you visited the George Bass Coastal Walk? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.

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