Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve Day Trip or Weekend Stay
Family Day Trip - Ocean, Bushwalking, Lighthouse
The Cape Schanck Lightstation stands elegantly above Bass Strait, her traditional light still fully operational. Visitors are welcome to tour the lighthouse, which is open every day of the year (including traditional public holidays Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Christmas Day).
Tour tickets include entry to the museum, and you can explore the reserve for FREE, right down to the water's edge.
The lightstation may be the main attraction, but it is only one part of the Cape Schanck Coastal Park. This is an explorer, sea lovers and bushwalkers delight. There are plenty of tracks to explore. Each is well signposted, with distances. Information pamphlets can be collected from the Lighthouse kiosk in the car park.
BBQ facilities round out this day trip or short break destination, and visitors can spend as little or as long as they like exploring the reserve.
Accommodation available onsite. For a holiday with a difference, stay in one of the award winning original lightkeeper's residences. There is single room, multi room, and a motel style room available year round for couples and families. Details can be found on the web site: www.capeschancklighthouse.com.au/accommodation-flinders-merricks
Located on the back beach of the Mornington Peninsula, the Cape Schanck Coastal Reserve is an easy drive through rolling hills from Rosebud and a smooth distance from Flinders.
Things to do
The main attraction at The Cape Schanck Lightstation Reserve is the fully functional lighthouse. Tour tickets, which include the lightstation and museum, can be purchased from the small kiosk adjacent to the car park.
From the Cape Schanck Lightstation car park you can walk 3km to Bushranger's Bay. Still looking for more? Follow the Two Bays Walking Track for a total 26km jaunt.
Alternatively, you can drive to Bushranger's Bay. Entry is off Boneo Road.
The Fingal Picnic Area, located off the Cape Schanck Road (on the way to the lighthouse), provides electric BBQ's with two hotplates beneath a covered structure, several uncovered picnic tables amid the tall, shady trees, running water, toilet facilities and a grassy area for kids to run, kick or hit a ball.
There is a fair amount of parking at the end of Cape Schanck Road near the lightstation. The visitor guide suggests fees apply, but we didn't see any signs or ticket machines during our visit (Sept 2014).
There is additional FREE parking at the Fingal Picnic Area, but this is located 2km north of the lightstation car park.
You can't see anything of the view from the Lighthouse car park.
The bush trails and boardwalk are not suitable for prams, strollers or wheelchairs.
The picnic area is suitable for everyone with (unmade) parking close to the BBQ facilities.
The kiosk adjacent to the Lighthouse car park provides little more than cold drinks and ice creams.
You'll need to take everything needed for a picnic if you wish to make a day of it at the park.
Rosebud provides all major supermarkets, including Woolworths, Coles and Aldi. There are also a number of specialty butchers for quality snags for the BBQ, or take a bundle of hot chips to enjoy in the park. The main fast food restaurants are also represented in Rosebud, including McDonalds, KFC, Red Rooster & Subway, just to name a few.
Flinders, a pleasant drive East of Cape Schanck, has a sophisticated ambience and provides a number of dine-in opportunities as well as some limited takeaway options.
What to Wear
Good, sturdy shoes. If you're planning on tackling the bush, you'll need solid footwear.
Dress according to the weather with rain or sun protection.
Swimming is restricted at Cape Schanck and not recommended at Bushranger's Bay due to strong rips and large waves.
You could spend all day bushwalking, enjoying the view or lunching in the leafy picnic areas.
What to do Afterward?
If the kids are longing for a swim, head back to the safety of the bay at any destination on the other side of the Mornington Peninsula. Rosebud is highly recommended as it provides everything you could possibly need in terms of shopping, supermarkets, specialty shops and fast food outlets.
Flinders boasts a sophisticated ambience, but is only a small town. It does, however, have a beach that is suitable for paddling and foreshore facilities such as picnic areas and public toilets.