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.
One of the most scenic coastal walks on the Mornington Peninsula is the Bushrangers Bay walking trail. The trail follows the coastline from the Cape Schanck boardwalk along the cliff tops, through a small lush gully and over Burrabong Creek before rising again and descending into Bushrangers Bay. You can also take the other option of following the Two Bays Trail from the Boneo Rd car park where you will find the walking track is narrower and goes through coastal shrubs before it opens up to overlook farmland and spectacular ocean views.
Bushrangers Bay is about the same distance to walk from either starting points (2.6km vs 2.5km each way) but I would say that starting from Cape Schanck to Bushrangers Bay return is a slightly easier walk than Boneo Rd carpark return, especially if you have children in tow.
We walked from Cape Schanck to Bushrangers Bay and returned via the same trail (as seen in pictures), which is around 6 km return. If you are taking friends you could carpool and leave a car in each location so you could walk the entire length of the trail (a little over 6 km ) not including a lap of the Cape Schanck boardwalk which is a must see if you're in the area.
From the Cape Schanck lighthouse car park head to the left of the toilet block to where the track starts. The track is wide, well used and signposted, making it an easy trail to follow. There is a sign at the beginning of the walk that indicates guidebooks are available at the kiosk, however it's unlikely you would need the $4 guide book as a map but rather to stop at the numbered markers along the trail to read about the history and the significance of the area.
Choosing the day you visit will also determine the experience you have, both on the trail and at the bay. We visited on a Sunday and there were plenty of people out and about fishing, picnicking, reading Sunday papers, children searching for sea creatures in the rock pools, students trying to leap over the creek and coming unstuck and a few trail runners doing some training. On a weekday however, you can expect it to be very quiet and to feel secluded, especially as the beach is only accessible by foot.
Along with the dramatic coastline comes an interesting past about how the bay became 'Bushrangers Bay'. You can read more about the historical events here.
I must admit that I am a little biased towards this walk as I am a local and consider it one of the Peninsula's best coastal walks. What I really enjoy about this walk apart from the scenery is that Bushrangers Bay is a fantastic place to explore despite your age. As a child, the challenge of having to get across the creek on precariously placed stepping stones in the water was a challenge. We loved turning over rocks to find crabs and pretending we were shipwrecked. With school we made boats out of recycled material to see if they would float on the creek. As a teenager it was climbing Elephant rock and now it's getting children to walk there and back.
There's something about Bushrangers Bay that keeps us returning time and time again and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.