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The forests are important as they have tree hollows which provide nesting sites for a variety of birds and mammals. The Common Brushtail Possum, Ringtail Possum and Sugar Glider are nocturnal, resting during the day in tree hollows and emerging only at night to feed under the cover of darkness. The extensive heathlands near Walkerville are home to the Southern Emu-wren and a diverse range of honeyeaters. The park also echoes to the calls of the Eastern Whipbird, Crimson Rosella and Pied Currawong. Along the coast you may see Pacific Gulls, Silver Gulls, Sooty Oyster-catchers and Herons feeding on the beach and rock platforms of Cormorants and Australian Gannets diving for fish. The park is also home to the Common Wombat, Swamp Wallaby, Koala, Echidna and the rare Swamp Antechinus.
The Brataualung clan of the Kurnai (Gunai) people occupied the area of Waratah Bay and Cape Liptrap for over 6,000 years. Axes and other stone tools were made from quartzite and jasper gathered from Cape Liptrap, chipped to a sharp edge and ground with sandstone. Middens containing charcoal, stone flints and the remains of shellfish mark the location of camps along the coast. The Superb Fairy-wren was the totem of the Brataualung clan. The male birds were known as 'dedyung' and the females as 'neryung'. They are common throughout the park today. The small township and bustling port of Waratah (now Walkerville) operated from 1875 to 1926 to supply lime to the Melbourne building industry. Limestone mined from the cliffs was burnt with firewood in brick lined-kilns (resembling up-turned bottles) to produce quick lime. The lime was then bagged and hauled in tram carts along a 350m jetty, which once stretched out into the bay to waiting ships. Relics of the lime industry remain in the park including the ruins of the kilns in the cliffs at Walkerville South and the formation of tramways, which were once used for hauling firewood to the kilns. A lighthouse was established at Cape Liptrap in 1913 to improve the safety of coastal shipping. In 1951, the steel tower was dismantled and replaced with the current structure. The light is still in operation and has a range of 18 nautical miles (over 34km). Cape Liptrap Coastal Park was declared in 1997.
Looking After the Park
* All plants and animals in the park are protected. * Please keep to designated walking tracks. * When walking remember to wear a hat, shirt and sunscreen and take plenty of your own drinking water. * Bins are not provided within the park. * Please take your rubbish with you. * Camping is only permitted within the park at Bear Gully. * Fires may only be lit in fireplaces provided. * No fires may be lit on days of Total Fire Ban (Eastern District). * Collection of gemstones is permitted from the beaches within the park. * Vehicles including trail bikes may only be driven on formed roads open to the public and must be fully road registered. * All drivers and riders must hold a current licence.