One of my favourite places to walk is the Cape Schanck National Park. Some days the coast is so rugged and wind blown you wish you were sitting in front of an open fire with a glass of red in your hand and other days you wish you had brought your bathers with you.
The walk from the lighthouse to Bushrangers Bay is varied. Along the cliff you have stunning views out to Bass Straight. Looking along the cliff you see the rugged cliffs dotted with caves that are unattainable.
It is breathtaking . As you walk along the trail you come to a section which I say is something out of Alice in Wonderland. It is a very mystical path covered with narly , interwoven Tea Tree branches crossing above your head as you walk through. I’m sure the white rabbit has been heard here muttering “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!”
Once again you come out onto the top of the cliff with views further down the coast and below Bushrangers Bay.
For those adventurous types (I’m in that category), the most exciting part of this walk is ‘Elephant Rock’, when ONLY on low tide can you walk to the front of it facing the ocean and then climb the perfectly formed rock steps to the top. Now, I can’t tell you how good the view from the top is as I have never made it!! My last attempt was getting caught (even on low tide) with a set of three freak waves. As I realised the third wave was taller than me, I very quickly scrambled higher up the rock. The waves crashed around my feet, I soon realised that today was not the day I was going to conquer Elephant Rock (maybe next time…)
Bushrangers Bay is where Convicts Henry Bradley & Patrick O’Connor landed after they persuaded (forcibly) the Captain of the Schooner Sophia leaving Van Diemans Land (Tasmania) to make way for Port Phillip. In 1853 they landed near Cape Schanck and forced two crewmen to row them to shore. They continued on their Bushrangers ways and on October 24th 1853 they were caught, sentenced and were hanged in Melbourne, only forty days after committing their first crimes together. After all their adventures being shipped as Convicts from England, for petty crimes, Surviving the prisons at Norfolk Island and Van Diemans land… I would have liked a happier ending for them both.
But it’s a wonderful story to contemplate as you walk along the sand on a wintery day with the wind blowing a gale, the waves crashing onto the rocks as you gaze out to the sea and its horizon at beautiful Bushrangers Bay .
Location: Cape Schanck National Park
Distance: 9km return
Accessibility: Easy, some stairs