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Monday, May 04, 2009

Spectacular coastal views from Coppin's Track, Sorrento

Coppins Track, Sorrento, 4 km return, commemorating the "Father of Sorrento", opened to the public in 1890 in celebration of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.

George Coppin, who put much energy (and money) into developing Sorrento and promoting it as a holiday destination, established a steamship service connecting Sorrento and Queenscliff and he set up a tramway (drawn by horse and locomotive) from Sorrento to the ocean beach where he built a rotunda and the walking track.

The Track starts at Sorrento Ocean Beach carpark and meanders eastwards through a section of the Mornington Peninsula National Park, along the rugged coastal cliff line, past offshore rock stacks, an ancient Aboriginal midden, sand dunes, coastal vegetation, St Paul's Beach and Jubilee Point to Diamond Bay.

The Track is part of the Great Coastal Walk (28 km) which connects London Bridge and Cape Schanck. The route is denoted by orange markers with blue signs to indicate departure points for circuit tracks to interesting sites. However, east of Rye Beach the landscape tends to be more rugged and the walks are not so well marked. Passage along the walking trail may be blocked at high tide so it is advisable to check tidal patterns before starting.

In all the walk would take most people at least two days to complete but, as there are about 30 access points to the coastal strip (largely from back roads which radiate out from Point Nepean Rd), it is possible to explore any given sub-section.

The journey takes in jagged cliffs, interesting rock formations, tidal rock pools, sand dunes, spectacular views, dense coastal scrub and some well-known, beautiful and rugged beaches such as Blairgowrie, Rye, St Andrews and Gunnamatta. Note, however, that these beaches can be very dangerous. Consequently, swimming and surfing are not encouraged, except at the surf life-saving clubs which operate at Portsea and Gunnamatta in summer. Ocean fishing can be pursued along the coast. If you bring a pair of binoculars you may see, out in Bass Strait, short-tailed shearwaters from September to May and, in winter, giant petrels and albatrosses.

My journey along Coppin's Track was on May 3, 2009, which took in the Rotunda Lookout, St Paul's Beach, and Jubilee Point.

The views were absolutely spectacular!

I have now completed about 90% of the Great Coastal Walk, 52 km return, in several sections, which I started in 2007.

See my full set of
Photos (slide show/static) of this spectacular walk!

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