Mornington Peninsula Walks with kids
Visiting the Bushrangers Bay Rockpools
Bushrangers Bay is one of our absolute favourite walks. Ross and I both remember doing this walk countless times as kids and now our kids get to enjoy this paradise also.
Located 1.5 hours away from Melbourne CBD, Bushrangers Bay is a secluded bay along the coast of the Mornington Peninsula.
Walk – Bushrangers Bay
Length – Approx 2.5km each way
Need to know – Visit at low tide to explore rockpools/take snacks and water/non patrolled beach/small car park
Named after two escaped convicts, the area comprises of a long sandy beach surrounded by cliffs. The Bushrangers Bay rockpools are located at the Eastern end of the beach amongst the volcanic black coastline.
There are actually two ways to access Bushrangers Bay. There is a car park at Cape Schanck and this trail leads you across tracks with rocky bay views.
We normally park at the Boneo Road carpark. For the number of people who visit Bushrangers Bay this car park is tiny. You will often see cars parked along the side of the road for a kilometre or more. This is really dangerous as cars fly along this stretch of road (we noticed on our latest visit, Nov 2020, that the speed has been reduced to 60).
If you park on Boneo Road, you will walk along the Two Bays walking track which is approx. 2.5km down to the beach. It passes along Main Creek and provides spectacular views of the local farmland. We absolutely love where we live but when we come down here I get a little pang of ‘what if’. What would life be like if we lived down here on a property?
This is a relatively flat path (not suitable for prams), the path is sandy with tree roots etc. It takes approximately 30-40 minutes to reach the staircase which leads down to Bushrangers Bay. Our kids have been walking this 2.5km stretch for the past few years.
Once on the beach, you can decide where you want to set up based on where the crowds are. On the right hand side of the beach there is usually a flowing creek which is shallow enough for a paddle and play, plus some rocks to scramble around.
Over on the left-hand side of the beach, you can’t miss the huge rock. Try and time your visit with low tide as you will be able to access the back of the rock where the absolutely amazing rock pools are. This is a really special place. It’s just gorgeous, but now it is getting really popular. Ross, who has been visiting these Bushrangers Bay rockpools for 40 years has never seem so many people.
It can be a little bit of a challenge to scramble around the base of the rocks to the rock pools. If you have some sort of shoes on it makes it much easier.
You are also able to climb/scramble to the top of the rock. There are no signs asking you not to climb and plenty of people do so. This is entirely at your risk. Ned and Olive made it to the top but some sections were a little hairy. There were plenty of swimmers attempting this in bare feet. Needless to say, they didn’t make it very far.
The top offers magnificent views of Bushrangers Bay. It completely drops away though. Definitely need to hold kids hands!
Swimming is not recommended as this is an unpatrolled beach. We did see people swimming though. This is entirely at your own risk. There are dangerous rips and waves. I wouldn’t let the kids swim but did feel comfortable in the shallow rock pools and also playing and paddling in the creek.
If you are wanting to explore and experience the Bushrangers Bay rockpools and the big rock, this must be done at low tide, with enough time to make it back safely. At high tide and when it’s windy there can be some huge waves which crash over the rocks and rockpools. A quick google search and you’ll be able to find the tide conditions and times for Bushrangers Bay. You can check the tide times on this site here.
You don’t need to climb the rock or even attempt to go around the back of the rock though. Just exploring the rocks at base of the big rock; and at the end of the beach at the other end offers plenty of enjoyment.
Don’t be put off by visiting in the colder months also. No, you won’t want to soak in a Bushrangers Bay rockpool but you might just have the beach to yourself!
This is a very special place for us. Having been visiting for many, many years. Please take plenty of snacks and drinking water and be safe. There are plenty of signs at the start of the walk and when you arrive on the beach warning of the unpredictable conditions.
Have you visited Bushrangers Bay before? What did you think? Did you explore or swim in the Bushrangers Bay rockpools? Have you visited any other great Victoria walks with kids? We recently checked out Newport Lakes as it’s nice and close to home.
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