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
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.