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Cape Liptrap Lighthouse

Home > Melbourne > Escape the City | Free | Historic Houses | Lookouts | Picnic Spots
by Brad Neal (subscribe)
I'm the author of Swimming Hole Heaven and Waterfall Seasons - The Waterfall Guide
Published December 9th 2019
Shining a light on Gippsland's shipwrecks
Cape Liptrap Lighthouse provides an insight into Victoria's seafaring past and is a unique picnic spot for a day trip from Melbourne to the Bass Coast region. Located on a peninsula south of Leongatha and Venus Bay, it's about a two and a half-hour drive from Melbourne, or less if you are leaving from the south-eastern suburbs. Note that the last few kilometres of road out to the lighthouse car park are gravel, but the road was suitable for 2WD vehicles when I visited.

According to information boards on site, the first lighthouse on this site was built in 1913 of steel construction, which was replaced in 1951 with the concrete tower that stands on the cape today.

cape liptrap lighthouse path
The path to Cape Liptrap lighthouse

The walk to the lighthouse from the car park is only a few hundred metres along the clifftop. It is quite open and exposed, so you will need sun protection and a windproof jacket on blustery days.

The lighthouse itself stands at around 10 metres high but located on the clifftop, it is 93 metres above sea level with commanding views of the coastline. Its light can be seen for up 16 nautical miles across the ocean. This was the first unattended automatic lighthouse commissioned by the Commonwealth Government after it took over responsibility for maritime safety after Federation in 1901. It was built after several shipwrecks occurred along this section of coastline, including the Duke of Wellington (1853), Cremona (1853), Bertha (1870), Magnat (1900), and the Ada Burgess, which sank in 1934, curiously some 21 years after the lighthouse commenced operation.

cape liptrap lighthouse
Cape Liptrap Lighthouse

From this elevated viewpoint, you see as far as Wilsons Promontory, located around 30 km across the ocean. Lowering your eyes, you can also follow the rock outcrop that heads stealthily out into the water, which has been the cause of all of these shipwrecks.

cape liptrap lighthouse rock outcrop
The rock outcrop that heads out into the water at Cape Liptrap

Unfortunately, you cannot enter the lighthouse or wander down to the water, but you can have a picnic or stop for a snack at the various picnic tables around the lighthouse. Remember to bring along some paperweights to stop your lunch blowing away, and bring a kite if you think you can hold onto it. For the calmest conditions, come for breakfast and watch the sunrise over Wilsons Promontory.

cape liptrap lighthouse picnic tables
One of the picnic tables at Cape Liptrap Lighthouse
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Why? For commanding views of Bass Strait
When: Anytime
Phone: 131963
Where: Cape Liptrap Coastal Park on the Bass Coast
Cost: Free
Your Comment
I've driven past the turn off to Cape Liptrap so mamy times now. Must plan a trip while the roads are mot wet.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|9021) 634 days ago
As a Child I remember walking to the bottom of the cliff from the Lighthouse and fishing with my Parents and Uncles. 60 years ago.
I can also remember and have photos of the old Lighthouse and how we could drive right to it. Maryan
by marya (score: 0|2) 316 days ago
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