Point Nepean trail
Mornington Peninsula Walks
Back Beach Foreshore Track: Koonya Beach at Sorrento is the starting point for the Back Beach Foreshore Walk (3 km return) which was constructed in the 1890s as a lifesaving track after two bad shipwrecks. It heads west past the rock formation known as Dogs Head to St Paul s Lookout which offers views over the Bay of Islands. A side track leads down to St Paul s Beach. The main track continues on past Diamond Bay to join up with the Coppin Track at Jubilee Point.
Coppins Track: Coppins Track (3 km return) starts at Sorrento Ocean Beach carpark and meanders eastwards through a section of the Mornington Peninsula National Park, along the rugged coastal cliff line, past offshore rock stacks, an ancient Aboriginal midden, sand dunes, coastal vegetation, St Paul s Beach and Jubilee Point which offers views east to Cape Schanck and west to the Otways.
Coastal Walk: It is possible to continue west from Sorrento Ocean Beach to Portsea Back Beach and on to London Bridge via the Farnsworth Track. The entire section from London Bridge to Koonya Beach is part of the Coastal Walk (28 km) which connects London Bridge and Cape Schanck. The route is denoted by orange markers with blue signs to indicate departure points for circuit tracks to interesting sites. However, east of Rye Beach the landscape tends to be more rugged and the walks are not so well marked. Passage along the walking trail may be blocked at high tide so it is advisable to check tidal patterns before starting.
The walk will take most people at least two days to complete but, as there are about 30 access points to the coastal strip (largely from back roads which radiate out from Point Nepean Rd), it is possible to explore any given sub-section.
The journey takes in jagged cliffs, interesting rock formations, tidal rock pools, sand dunes, spectacular views, dense coastal scrub and some well-known, beautiful and rugged beaches such as Blairgowrie, Rye, St Andrews and Gunnamatta. Note, however, that these beaches can be very dangerous. Consequently, swimming and surfing are not encouraged, except at the surf life-saving clubs which operate at Portsea and Gunnamatta in summer. Ocean fishing can be pursued along the coast. If you bring a pair of binoculars you may see, out in Bass Strait, short-tailed shearwaters from September to May and, in winter, giant petrels and albatrosses.
Sorrento Back Beach
Two Bays Walking Track: A 30-km bush corridor that connects Port Phillip Bay (at Dromana) and Cape Schanck, passing through eucalypt forest, 200-year-old grasstrees, tea-tree thickets, fern gullies and open grasslands. The first section of the walk leads to the summit of Arthurs Seat (4.5 km one-way).
The track proper starts from the carpark at the intersection of La Trobe Parade and the Bunurong Track at the edge of Arthurs Seat State Park. Near the top of La Trobe Parade is Heronswood . From here, cross the highway over Matthew Flinders Bridge and you will soon come to the carpark. This section of Arthurs Seat Park is still rife with boneseed which was introduced from South Africa as an ornamental garden plant. The track ascends the hill, passing rocky outcrops, low grassy woodland, open forest and a superb lookout. The track then reaches a junction. A signposted branch track on the left leads to and through the Seawinds property (see subsequent entry) then out of the main gate to Purves Rd. Turn left onto Purves Rd and it is about 500 m to the summit of Arthurs Park.
Two Bays Walking Track: The Two Bays Walking Track continues on to Waterfall Gully Rd then on via Duells Rd and Hyslops Rd, across Limestone Rd, through Greens Bush, across Boneo Rd and on to Cape Schanck Lighthouse.
Kings Waterfall Circuit Walk: A signposted branch track on the Two Bays Walking Track leads off this main track to the Kings Waterfall Circuit Walk a pleasant one-hour loop track which leads through bushland and a fern gully and past the waterfall which is situated on the south-western slope of Arthurs Seat. Signage along the route explains the natural history of the area and Parks Victoria provide a detailed accompanying leaflet, tel: 131 963 (it is also available from the Dromana Information Centre).
For those who would like to do the Kings Falls Circuit Walk without walking all the way from Dromana, just follow Arthurs Seat Road to the summit of the hill then turn right into Purves Rd and right again into Waterfall Gully Rd. After one kilometre there is a small gravel carpark which provides access to the track.
Lookout Hill Circuit Walk: West of the Arthurs Seat summit, along Arthurs Seat Rd (before you reach the intersection with the Mornington-Flinders Rd), there is a turnoff on the left into Eatons Cutting Rd which leads to a carpark. This is the start of the Lookout Hill Circuit Walk (1 km) which passes through stringybark forest and open sheoak. It offers excellent views of the coast, the rural hinterland and Melbourne.
The gentle walks around Point Nepean offer the perfect way to explore the natural beauty of the park and its historical features. The tracks below include some that are shared with cyclists. Bicycles can be hired from the Information Centre. Maps and track notes are available from the Point Nepean the Information Centre.
Wilsons Folly Walk: This 1.7km walking track links London Bridge in the Mornington Peninsula National Park with Point Nepean. The track is an extension of the long coastal walk from Cape Schank and passes through pockets of Coastal Banksia Stands, Moonah woodland and native grasslands.
Coles Track (walking and cycling): This track links the Quarantine Station to Fort Nepean, and also allows access to Gunners Cottage. Views across Port Phillip and Ticonderoga Bay from the Observatory Point.
Walter Pisterman Walk: Links Coles Track to the Point Nepean Cemetery.
Range Area Walk: The 1.8km walk meanders through coastal scrub, a former Rifle Range and passes Monash Break and Light. Visitors can climb the Light Tower steps and take in sweeping views of the park, coastline and Melbourne City skyline. The Range Area was used to train cadets in the Army Officer Cadet School; training included firing rifles, grenades, and machine guns. The walk links theQuarantine Station and Cheviot Hill.
London Bridge, Sorrento Back Beach
Point Nepean fortifications
Kings Waterfall Circuit Walk