The Coastal Walk, 30km one way
Spoil yourself with magnificent views of surf, sand, tidal rock pools and dense coastal scrub on the 30-kilometre hike from Cape Schanck to London Bridge at Portsea.
Leave your car at the Cape Schanck car park and head a couple hundred metres back up Cape Schanck Road to the trailhead. The route follows mysterious sandy trails through tunnels of thick coastal ti-tree, offering frequent ocean views until it exits onto Gunnamatta Beach. Pass surfers carving up the waves along the beach until Rye Ocean Beach where you access a series of trails – including dramatic cliff-top singletrack through thick scrub and short beach sections – finishing at the London Bridge car park.
Alternatively, finish the whole Mornington Peninsula Walk by walking those last two kilometres to the start at the Point Nepean National Park entrance.
Suggested shorter options
There are two outstanding sections of trail recommended as excellent shorter itineraries.
Greens Bush to Cape Schanck, 14km one way
Requiring a car shuffle, this section takes you through eucalypt bush and delightful stands of banksias, with the final leg traversing high above the ocean through corridors of thick coastal ti-tree.
Rye to Portsea, 20km one way
Requiring a car shuffle (or use public transport), this section of the Coastal Trail between Rye and Portsea weaves through tight bushland and onto spectacular cliff lines with small sections of beach.
Suggested wheelchair accessible options
Point Nepean National Park is as rich with history as it is natural beauty. The 6-kilometre sealed path from the Information Centre passes the old Quarantine Station through Moonah bushland and by historic gun placements and fortifications to the wild tip of the point. A seasonal shuttle service that can accommodate standard wheelchair access is available.
Sections of the Bay Trail along the Rosebud Foreshore of the Mornington Peninsula also offer sealed paths and boardwalks.
Remember to be a responsible walker and be considerate of other people using the tracks, foreshore campsites and beaches. Ensure you keep to the tracks to protect native vegetation and reduce spread of disease.
Be mindful of the varying nature of the tracks, gradients and surfaces. Watch for cars when walking on shared vehicle tracks, and fallen tree limbs when walking through forested areas.
Enjoy the weird and wonderful wildlife that you'll encounter, but don't handle or feed them, and be aware of snakes, wasps, bees, ticks and ants.
When exploring rock platforms and beaches ensure you swim only on beaches patrolled by Surf Lifesavers to minimise the risks posed by ocean currents, rips and reefs. Check tides and beware of rogue waves.
Never light fires or create sparks and flames on days of Total Fire Ban, and observe local regulations in national and state parks. Always take your rubbish home with you.