Happiness is... a walk on the beach

A wooden trestle bridge on the Bass Coast Rail Trail

Lucy Cleeve

Posted March 18, 2019

Four of Victoria’s best coastal walking trails.

From the deep-blue horizon to the roar of crashing waves and the salt spray on your skin, a beach walk awakens all of your senses. Cleanse your mind and refresh your body with fresh sea air on one of Victoria’s best coastal walks.

Four of the best coastal walks in Victoria 

Surf Coast Trek

  • From: Point Impossible Beach, five kilometres from Torquay.
  • To: Fairhaven Surf Lifesaving Club.
  • Distance: 44 kilometres.
  • Time taken: Usually two days.
  • Bring: A snorkel to explore the rich rockpool life.

Starting at Point Impossible, a ‘clothes optional’ beach just north of Torquay, this well-signed trail leads you southwest through breathtaking coastal and native bush scenery and tranquil beach towns. Watch diehard surfers hang 10 at the iconic Bells Beach, spot echidna and kangaroos and look out for migrating whales off the coast.

Take your time and wander inland to explore the fragrant eucalypt forests lining the trail, or challenge yourself to complete the trek in one go. Fast or slow, don’t miss the chance to refuel just before the trek’s end at the Aireys Pub – we love the beer tasting paddle at the onsite Salt Brewing Co.

Bushrangers Bay Trail

  • From: Cape Schanck Lighthouse carpark.
  • To: Boneo Road carpark.
  • Distance: 13-kilometre return trip.
  • Time taken: Around four hours.
  • Bring: A picnic to enjoy at the trail’s rest areas.

Named after two Tasmanian convicts who escaped a ship in 1952, this magnificent coastline walk will have you marvelling at the insignificance of we mere humans. Start by exploring the historic 19th-century lighthouse and its fabulous onsite museum. Then follow the scenic trail overlooking Bass Strait and watch as wild, powerful waves crash onto the jagged rocky shoreline.

Enjoy wandering through cool, shaded banksia groves and the sweet symphony of native birdcalls. It’s a well-worn path, especially on the weekends when families flock to the area. Keep an eye out for the numbered markers supplying walkers with interesting tidbits about the area’s significance.

Bells Beach coastline

Bells Beach

Bass Coast Rail Trail

  • From: Anderson.
  • To: Wonthaggi.
  • Distance: 17 kilometres.
  • Time taken: Six hours.
  • Bring: Fishing gear to try your luck catching bream at popular angling spot Powlett River.

Take a fascinating stroll through history on this former coastal branch line, open to trains from 1910 to 1978. Discover a forgotten and captivating part of Victoria’s past, dotted with abandoned black coalmines, long-deserted railway stations and timber trestle bridges.

Walkers along the line enjoy spectacular ocean views across to Cape Woolamai and Phillip Island, and inland to vast, sun-drenched Gippsland farmlands. Stop for a breather and a counter meal with a view at The Kilcunda Ocean View Hotel – The Killy to locals. And once you reach Wonthaggi, history buffs shouldn’t miss a visit to the mining museum at the old State Coal Mine site.

Bayside Coastal Trail

  • From: Brighton.
  • To: Beaumaris.
  • Distance: Around 15 kilometres.
  • Time taken: Three or four hours.
  • Bring: Your dog for a run around at the off-leash area near the Royal Brighton Yacht Club.

There’s no need to travel out of Melbourne to experience a breezy beach walk. Pass by Brighton’s iconic bathing boxes and drink in glorious bay views as you head through the southern suburbs of Sandringham, Hampton and Black Rock.

Take a coffee break in Half Moon Bay at Cerberus Beach House overlooking the shipwreck of HMVS Cerberus, a local presence since 1926. Along the length of the trail, discover Bayside’s rich Indigenous history through stories and sculptures created by local Boon Wurrung elder and keeper of history, Carolyn Briggs.