Venus Bay

Venus Bay is notable for the superb surf beaches and ti-tree covered sand dunes in the region. This popular coastal village is located on Victoria’s longest sand spit on the 22km coastline of Venus Bay, overlooking the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park and Anderson Inlet.

Location: 165 km from Melbourne; 27 km south west of Leongatha on the Bass Highway.

Natural features: Point Smythe; Cape Liptrap Coastal Park; Cape Paterson; Anderson Inlet; Nolans Bluff; Tutegong Swamp; Fishers Lake; Grass Tree Hill


Origin of name: Venus Bay was named Baie de La Venus by Baudin on the Geographe on 29th March 1802, after the evening star. Andersons Inlet was named after the explorer Samuel Anderson, who settled in this area in 1837. Tarwin River is named from its Aboriginal name, Darwhin.

Walking paths give access to the shoreline, or you can take in the rugged beauty of remote sections of the coast, most of which is accessible only by foot.

Popular walks include:

Point Smythe Walk (6 km circuit, 2 hours): This circuit walk takes you through thick coastal vegetation and onto the beach at Point Smythe. The track is particularly sheltered on windy days.

Anderson Inlet Walk (2 km, 40 minutes one way): This track follows the southern edge of Anderson Inlet east to the carpark at Doyles Road. The track takes you along the intertidal mudflats where you can see a great variety of marine plants and animals including mangroves rich with bird life.

Lime Burners Walk (750 metres, 15 minutes one way); This track links the north and south settlements of Walkerville through stands of Drooping She-oak, past cliffs and the ruins of lime kilns. A short side track leads to the historic Walkerville Cemetery.

Overlook Walk (1.2 km, 45 minutes one way): This track links the caravan park at Walkerville North with the Prom View Estate. The track leads through coastal woodlands with a diverse understorey. A side track (700 metres) leads to a viewing platform overlooking Waratah Bay with the peaks of Wilsons Promontory as a backdrop.

Other walks: A variety of coastal walks exist along the shoreline between Venus Bay and Waratah Bay. The coast between Venus Bay and Walkerville is very rocky and access is very dependant on the tides. Do not start a walk in this area any earlier than two hours before a low tide and aim to finish a walk no later than two hours after low tide. Tide times are the same as for Port Phillip Heads. Fire access tracks can be used to explore extensive heathlands and woodlands of the sheltered gullies and hills behind Walkerville and Waratah Bay.



Cape Liptrap is a narrow peninsula offering spectacular views of the South Gippsland coast, Cape Liptrap is the southernmost spine of the Hoddle Ranges, running out into Bass Strait. It consists of steep cliffs of folded marine sediments, flanked by rock pinnacles and wave-cut platforms. Cape Liptrap was sighted by Lieutenant James Grant on 9 December 1800 from the survey brig HMS Lady Nelson and named after John Liptrap.


Cape Liptrap lighthouse (1913): stands upon the rocky cliff top of Cape Liptrap peninsula, on a solitary part of the South Gippsland coastline. The current lighthouse was built in 1951 in cast concrete and is devised in a square shape with flattened edges. The lighthouse was converted to electrical power in 1970. The light is still in operation and has a range of 18 nautical miles (over 34 kilometres).

Horse riding is permitted within Cape Liptrap Coastal Park on the intertidal area of beach below the high water mark between the ocean outfall pipeline and Arch Rock. Access to the beach is via the Five Mile Track. A permit is required and is available from the Foster Office by calling 13 1963.

Brief history: the Bratauolong Aboriginal peoples once lived in what we now call South Gippsland. Their territory stretched along the southern Strzelecki Ranges and the coastal plain from the Tarwin River and Cape Liptrap in the west to Merriman’s Creek in the east, about 5000 square kilometres. The area was settled by Europeans, mainly fishermen, in the early 20th century. In recent years the residents of Venus Bay and nearby Tarwin Lower (5km closer to Melbourne) have fought off developers seeking to drain the environmental wetlands and set up marina and resort developments.

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