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Cape Schanck Lighthouse to Bushrangers Bay

Home > Melbourne > Beaches | School Holiday Activities | Walks
by Mia Ferreira (subscribe)
Born in Madeira, raised in Sydney, living in Melbourne and dreaming of Bali...
Published January 2nd 2019
Somehow we always end up climbing something - rocks, mountains, stairs... and this walk was no different!

Parking the car at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse in the Mornington Peninsula, we took some time to walk around the lighthouse and take in the breathtaking view from the lookout before starting off on the 40 minute walk to Bushrangers Bay along the coastal track.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse
Cape Schanck Lighthouse


Cape Shanck Lighthouse
Cape Schanck Lighthouse


The walking track passes by farmland and is quite enclosed and bushy in many parts, a little bit of a 'Hobbit-esque' type adventure we thought. The track is unsealed and wet and muddy in some parts. Rocks and trees lay in our path, asking us to scramble over or around them.

Cape Schanck Coastal Walk
Cape Schanck Coastal Walk


Cape Schanck Coastal Walk
Cape Schanck Coastal Walk


Every now and then, we would emerge into the open and the views were stunning - we simply had no choice but to take plenty of stops for photos and to soak in the vastness of our surroundings!

Cape Schanck Coastal Walk
Cape Schanck Coastal Walk


Before long, we arrived at the stairs leading down to Bushrangers Bay and were instantly blown away by the long stretch of beach, giant boulders and rocks. The ocean was much too rough for swimming but it was a gorgeous spot for a picnic or to sit down and read a book for a few hours!

Bushrangers Bay
Bushrangers Bay


Bushrangers Bay
Bushrangers Bay


Although it was still winter, the sun had come out and had us feeling a little playful. We frolicked and cartwheeled on the smooth white sand, climbed rocks and practised our favourite yoga poses. There weren't very many people around - most were taking leisurely strolls up and down the beach, while a few sat on picnic blankets watching the ocean (and us!)

Bushrangers Bay
Bushrangers Bay


Bushrangers Bay
Bushrangers Bay


Deciding to check out the far end of the beach, we crossed the running water (is it a river?) down the middle of the beach and walked towards the cliffs, where we were promised rock pools. Wondering around the rocks, we did see some small-ish rock pools but nothing we thought would be worth swimming or sitting in - perhaps we did not explore far enough or maybe the tide was too low? But we were able to climb the rocks around Elephant Rock\ - a huge mountain that sits just off the mainland.

Elephant Rock
Elephant Rock


Elephant Rock
Elephant Rock


At first, we were content to just climb around the black rocks and take in the views, but little by little we seemed to be getting higher. There were many well-formed steps and shelves that made it easy to climb and soon we arrived on top of Elephant Rock to find some well-made paths, where others had also clearly walked! It was exhilarating to be up so high, surrounded by ocean and the open beach - we were on top of the world and giggled about the fact that once again, our random climbing adventure had paid off...

Elephant Rock
Elephant Rock


Elephant Rock
Elephant Rock


We stayed a little too long, found ourselves getting hungry (not realising how wonderful the beach would be - we had foolishly not packed a picnic lunch on this occasion), so we took one last look around us and carefully climbed back down.

Elephant Rock
Elephant Rock


On the walk back we were chatting casually - feeling refreshed and satisfied - when a rather large kangaroo jumped out of the bushes beside us and bounded up ahead. I think we scared him/her as much as it scared us - the four of us stood very still for a few moments, unsure what to do next. Luckily, the kangaroo decided to bounce away behind the bushes but we were extra vigilant for the rest of the walk - looking out for any other wildlife! Sadly, we did not get a photo of the kangaroo but the shock she/he gave will not be quickly forgotten - none of us had been that close to such a wild and large kangaroo before!
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