Updated: Feb 16, 2021
Among the several walks at Cape Schanck, the Bushrangers Bay walk is a special one because it leads you to a beautiful secluded beach that is only accessible by foot.
It's an awe-inspiring walk that prompts you to slow down and forget about work and those never-ending to-do lists. The experience lets you be present in the moment as you lose track of time and feel your shoulders relax.
The Bushrangers Bay walking track
The 2.5km clifftop walk (5km return) offers sweeping coastal views as you make your way from the Cape Schanck Lighthouse carpark to Bushrangers Bay. In one direction, the brooding headlands of Bushrangers Bay stand out. In the other direction, the Cape Schanck Lighthouse and Pulpit Rock can be seen. Soothing sounds of waves accompany you on the walk.
Aside from the breathtaking coastal views, you will also see the adjacent rolling hills and farmland. Keep a lookout for wildlife. We spotted kangaroos, a wedge-tailed eagle and a kestrel falcon – all looking for their breakfast.
The enclosing vegetation along the track simply adds to the pleasant environment. We did this walk during sunrise, so the birds seemed quite active and chirpy.
The sandy walking track feels cushiony under the feet and is comfortable for the most part. But there is a steep set of steps going down to the beach at the end of the trail, which obviously have to be climbed up on the way back.
Take your time with this walk, absorbing the sights and sounds as you wander along. There are some things that shouldn’t be rushed, and this walk is one of them!
Named after two escaped convicts, Bushrangers Bay is situated within the Mornington Peninsula National Park. It is notable for the basalt cliffs (ie made of volcanic rocks) that surround the bay, the rugged landscape and the pristine white sand.
The beautiful Main Creek flows out to the beach here, providing an additional element of contrast. It’s quite refreshing to take off your shoes after a hike and dip your feet in the creek (just watch out for those March flies in summer – they bite!).
Many people like to explore and swim in the rockpools at Bushrangers Bay during low tide. Care must be taken as the rocks are sharp, slippery and exposed to rough conditions.
Large waves and strong rips actually create hazardous conditions for swimming at the beach, even at low tide. There have been deaths and injuries sustained by visitors swimming or exploring the rock pools.
Bear in mind that it is an unpatrolled beach and there’s no mobile phone reception in the area, so help can’t be sought easily. This is one place where it pays to respect the might of Mother Nature.
Regardless of how adventurous you are, do take the time to simply admire the beauty of this place. Take note of the feelings it generates within you, and maybe even have a go at describing those feelings!