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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

George Bass Coastal Walk - Kilcunda Section

The George Bass Coastal Walk offers enthusiasts the chance to follow the route of George Bass’ journey of some 200 years ago along the coastline between San Remo and Kilcunda in the Bass Coast region.

Nearly 30 years after George Bass discovered this area by boat, another explorer, William Hovell, set to explore it by foot, of which he depicted in his diary, “…the land here is high, soil light but not good, very thick of low stunted trees with low bush…the land ends abruptly towards the bay and the opposite side of the entrance, facing Cape Woolamai and in many parts ends in perpendicular bluffs.”

This was a good portrayal of the landscape that still remains today. Although a lot of the vegetation has been destroyed by grazing, many native plants including White Correa, Sea Box and Tea Tree still cling to the windswept cliff tops.

This two hour coastal walk, mainly along the cliff tops, of 7 km, is situated on the original land of the Bunurong indigenous people. The walk stretches from the outskirts of San Remo at Punchbowl Road (turn off from the Phillip Island Tourist Road), to the Bass Highway (just opposite the hall at Peppermint Road) in Kilcunda. It is about 120 km south of Melbourne.

Along the track there are also excellent opportunities for bird watching and throughout winter Southern Right Wales on their migration trail can be spotted from the cliff tops.

The walk offers spectacular views of the coastline. An average level of fitness is required for the walk, as it includes using stiles over farm fences - there are some steep and rock sections - seats are placed along the walk.

I did about 6km (return) of the eastern section of this magnificent walk on March 24, 2009, starting at the Shelly Beach end at Kilcunda, and reaching a point overlooking the marvellous secluded Half Moon Bay beach.

I had completed the western section a few weeks ago, from Punchbowl.

The Pictures show the scenery, the cliffs, the track, Half Moon Bay Beach, The Arch rock formation, Shelly Beach, an old Steam Engine Coalmining Winch, other walkers, and the Trestle Bridge at Kilcunda East.

The Walk now links to the Bass Coast Rail Trail at Kilcunda, which follows the alignment of the disused railway line for 16 km between Anderson and Wonthaggi. It is possible to walk from the Punch Bowl in San Remo all the way to the centre of Wonthaggi.

The historical trestle bridge is part of the Rail Trail, at the Bourne Creek estuary, Kilcunda East.

See the Photos of my trip, which include an image taken in 1929 of the Victorian National Resources Development Train - Gippsland - passing Kilcunda East Surf Beach.

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