The George Bass Coastal walk is a great 8km each way day walk (16km round trip) or you could do one half; the Kilcunda to Punchbowl Beach is 4.6km one-way, and great for spotting Spring wildflowers!
This clifftop trail from Kilcunda to San Remo's outskirts follows George Bass's voyage of discovery along the southern edge of the Anderson Peninsula, over 200 years ago.
The walk is about eight kilometres long (two-three hours) ONE WAY, or 16km if you do the whole walk there and back. The walk offers spectacular views of the coastline.
Break it up?
You may prefer to do one half of the walk ie: Starting from Kilcunda and going to Punchbowl Beach - see point 16 on the map. This half of the walk would be 4.5km each way (9km total) from Kilcunda to Punchbowl beach and back.
Or start from the San Remo (Punchbowl Road - point 19 on map ) end and walk to Punchbowl Beach (point 16) and back. Find the track at the southern end of Punchbowl Road, which comes off the busy Phillip Island Road.
Parts of the George Bass Coastal Walk take you down to the beach, so check tide conditions before setting out.
If you don't have a car, you can get to this walk by taking a bus to Kilcunda and starting the walk from that end. A bonus of this approach is that Kilcunda is a lovely little surf town and also a drawcard for foodies - as the pub and general store both pride themselves on their gourmet offerings.
There are NO food options at the Punchbowl Road end, or toilets!
The walks around Kilcunda are wonderfully refreshing as this side of the coast is completely exposed. Expect rough, wild seas and hang on to your hats! The best thing to do once you're on your walk (apart from admiring the scenery) is to listen. You'll hear the birds twittering, the rustle of wild grasses and the splash of waves as they crash onto the rocks below.
Note: More information on the whole George Bass Coastal Walk at this link.
We're told that local groups have worked hard to re-vegetate the areas at the Kilcunda end. Thanks to their efforts, bird populations have flourished, making the walks extra special.
The locations of the wildflowers are approximate only. The east section from Kilcunda to Punchbowl Beach took us about 1.5 hours each way as the route has a few hills and there were plenty of reasons to stop and admire. Please check the Parks Victoria map listed above ('Find Out More') for more information. This map is readily available in Kilcunda itself (at the general store or at the motel).
You could expect the whole walk to take at least three hours each way.
DOGS: Dogs are allowed on the George Bass Coastal Walk, however they must be kept on-lead at all times. There is an off-leash dog beach at the Kilcunda end of the walk (photo #3) but otherwise please keep your friend on a leash!
The store has gourmet breakfast and lunch, fine produce, handmade craft and a few everyday supplies. It doubles as a post office. The pub next door opens for dinner, offering fine tucker and wine.
Be extra careful crossing the road to the shops as huge trucks, trailers and cars tend to tear down the highway in excess of the speed limit.
This is Kilcunda's dog off-leash area (the rest of the walk is on-lead).
Start along the dirt track (also a rail trail). You'll spot a sign to the left soon afterwards. Contains useful historical info as well as details about the flora and fauna here.
As you begin the walk, you'll notice the variety of plants growing on each side.
These are near an impressive cliff face. Don't step too far out or it's a long way (and bumpy way) down to the rocks.
Somewhere around this area is a historical remnant from the area's coal mining past. Peek behind the sign to see what it looks like.
These are Dianellas. I have them in my front yard. The purple flowers are great. Plus, they're a very hardy plant that will grow in the toughest environment.
Walk down to Sandy's blowhole for a shower! The rocks here are rather strange and interesting. The waves can be quite sudden and powerful so be careful, especially if the tide is high.
Are these daisies? They look like daisies. There are yellow and white ones along the path too.
The sound of rustling grass can be quite soothing. When the wind blew (which was often where we were here), it made the field of tall grasses look like a sea of green waves.
These are tiny flowers we found along the path. They are very dainty and easily missed, or trampled on! They were the size of a fingernail.
Trusty tea trees. The smell of tea tree is refreshing.
We found these on our way to the beach.
If you're heading towards Kilcunda you'll find the path up from the beach back up to the trail here.
This beach marks an approximate halfway point to either finish your walk and turn back to start point, or continue another 5km. Please note this beach is unpatrolled so swim at own risk.
If you like there is a track here down to this beach - although it looks very rugged down there!
Don't say we didn't warn you!
Please keep your dog on a leash as this walk includes sensitive coastal dune landscape, native fauna (and sheer cliff drops!) We urge you to respect rangers' wishes.
You may wish to start your walk from this end. You will need a car as there are no public transport (or food purchasing, or toilet options) at this end of the George Bass Coastal Walk. Enjoy.