One of the Mornington Peninsula’s less visited walking trails, the Tea Tree Creek Walk (also known as Cairns Bay Track) is a brief yet rewarding stroll, hidden in plain sight just outside Flinders.

Parking at a small car park on Boneo Road, your walk begins with a gentle descent along a well-mowed path that parallels the creek gully towards Cairns Bay (which is, weirdly, also known as Tea Tree Creek Bay). You’ll soon disappear between the rolling rural hills into a tranquil patch of forest, thick with Casuarinas and Banksias. Although the creek stays hidden from sight for most of the trail, when Tea Tree Creek is flowing, its gentle murmur will be the soundtrack to your walk.

But in the distance, you might hear the ocean calling.

When you emerge again from the Banksias into the rural hills, you’ll be struck by the views of the dramatic Flinders coastline, where waves relentlessly dance against basalt rock formations and cliffs.

Need to Know

Length (km): 2 km
Time (hrs/mins): 1 hour
Grade: Easy
Style: Return
Region: South-East Victoria
Park: Mornington Peninsula National Park
Closest Town: Flinders
Map: Not necessary – very easy to follow from the car park.
Access: The Tea Tree Creek Walk is accessed via a small car park on Boneo Road, about 3 – 4 km from Flinders (in between Punchbowl Road and Keys Road). The walk is signed from here as “Access To National Park – Walkers Only”.

Passing what appears to be an old quarry, the terrain soon reveals a staircase down to the rocky ‘beach’. Admire the views across the vast expanse of Bass Strait before descending to the grey boulders, where you’ll feel dwarfed by the 60 to 80-metre-high basalt cliffs. If you’re lucky and Tea Tree Creek has significant flow, you’ll be treated to a waterfall where it makes its final plunge.

Whether you decide to sit and soak it all in or explore further is up to you, but exercise caution. The rock pools and basalt platforms are incredible, but freak waves have swept people off the rocks here. It also wouldn’t be the best idea to swim in these unpatrolled waters. The waves are fierce, but the currents are terrifying.

When you feel as though you’ve soaked up the rugged beauty of Cairns Bay, return along the same path.

Tea Tree Creek

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.
  • 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 Baldry’s Circuit is a less known hiking trail with some of the most picturesque forest on the Peninsula.
A rusty old wheel (of some kind), found at Cairns Bay

Have you visited the Tea Tree Creek Walk? 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.