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Arthurs Seat Walk

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Escape the City | Outdoor | Parks | Walks
by Lorraine A (subscribe)
Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published June 25th 2013
More than breathtaking views
Track between Arthurs Seat and Seawinds

On a crisp clear winters morning with ice on the ground and the sun shining outside and with the heater on giving me a false sense of warmth, I decided on a walk up Arthurs Seat and the surrounding area.

Starting in Dromana it suddenly dawned on me it was cold, really cold! I knew I wouldn't be cold for long with a child on my back and a hill to climb so it was time to leave my jumper in the car and walk as fast I could.

Arthurs Seat State Park entrance

Walking through the stone pillars at the bottom which say "Arthurs Seat State Park" is pretty much where the ascent to the top begins. It's not a huge climb at approximately 3.1km from the pillars to the top of Arthurs Seat which is 314 meters above sea level. It's no Mt Everest, but enough of a challenge for a person of average fitness.

Along the road

It's a really quick to drive up Arthurs Seat and I see so many tourists get to Chapman Lookout take a photo, hop back in the car and gone again, what they're missing are the best views and actually getting a feel for the area. Walking up it gives you the chance to take in the smells, the sights and the sheer beauty all in, it really gives you another perspective.

One of the corners up Arthurs Seat

Unfortunately there is no walking track up Arthurs Seat, it was removed years ago. I walked up on the side of the road and I would only do this in the mornings when there are more cyclists than cars.

View over Port Phillip Bay towards The Heads

There are plenty of great photo opportunities along the way at the 3 lookouts and others that are simply from along the road.

View from Murray's lookout

When we reached the lookout nearest to the top there is a walking track that cuts across the side of the hill to Seawinds, this is where the spectacular views are, and only 50 meters from the road.

Locals on horseback

From Seawinds Gardens I went onto Pindara Rd where I came across some very friendly locals on horseback who were keen to stop for a chat and have their picture taken.

Georges Culinary Retreat

At the end of Pindara Rd it joins up with Arthurs Seat Rd which I turned left onto to continue back to the top of Arthurs Seat. There are 4 or 5 luxury bed and breakfast's on the way back to the top, including George's Culinary Retreat.

No Tip sign

One thing that is extremely obvious walking through the area is the locals concern for a proposed tip below Arthurs Seat. There are many signs with "No Tip For Arthurs Seat" and one pictured above that says "we want our children to grow up in a park not a tip".

Picture taken next to the Arthurs Seat Hotel

The main lookout and parking area on Arthurs Seat is disappointing for what should be the Mornington Peninsula's main tourist attraction. However, plans have been made to erect a new chairlift and to freshen it up.

Picnic area

Just before the main viewing area and at the intersection of Purves Rd and Arthurs Seat Rd there is a nice picnic and BBQ area with playground, shelters with picnic tables, electric BBQ's, toilets and a lawn area .

Looking down on the old chairlift track

Heading back down the hill I noticed walkers on the old chairlift track, which goes straight up and down the hill. I have walked here years ago when it was legal but now there are signs and fences everywhere. I can understand why people break the rules to walk up the track as it's much safer than taking the road, but I'm not encouraging anyone to break the law.

History of Arthurs Seat:
Aboriginals were the first inhabitors of Arthurs Seat for thousands of years. The first non Aboriginal to discover the bay was Lieutenant John Murray on the 5th of January 1802. On April 27th of 1802, Matthew Flinders climbed Arthurs Seat. John Murray named it Arthurs Seat after a resemblance of a mountain in Scotland.

This monument marks the spot where Matthew Flinders stood

Each of the Points and Lookouts have these stone monuments with a little bit of history of whom they were named after, which include Bowen's Point, Franklin Point, Murray's Lookout, Chapman Point and Matthew Flinders.

Bowen's Point

A road was not built on Arthurs Seat until 1929.

Arthurs Seat is also the site for two airplane crashes, the first on August 10 th 1938 when an RAAF Avro Anson A4-29 was flying in low cloud and crashed into the western face of the hill killing 4 out the 5 members.

The second crash was another RAAF aircraft, Bristol Beaufort A9-64 killing all 4 crew members in 1942.

In 1960 Arthurs Seat chairlift was built and opened to the public in December. The chairlift was the biggest tourist attraction on the Peninsula and unfortunately due to a string of bad luck from 2003 it eventually closed surrounded by controversy.

View towards Dromana with Mt Martha in the distance

Arthurs Seat is an easy 88km one hour ten minute drive from Melbourne, along the M1, Citylink and Mornington Peninsula freeway.

Other attractions at Arthurs Seat are the Enchanted Maze, trail rides, car museum and the Pig and Whistle all located on Purves Rd which begins at the top of Arthurs Seat.
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Why? For great views
When: All year round
Where: Arthurs Seat on the Mornington Peninsula
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Shame the chairlift has gone, I would prefer the slow trip being disabled to a certain extent the car would be my only option. Your kids are so lucky to go to so many wonderful places with their parents. What a great lot of memories they will have as they grow up. Good on you .love your stories.. Ronnie
by Ronnie (score: 1|96) 2179 days ago
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