The George Bass Coastal Walk along the coast from San Remo to Kilcunda is an excellent destination for a day trip from Melbourne. It can also be included as part of a day trip to Phillip Island. The impressive cliffs covered by grass are a sight I wasn’t used to anymore. They are not the usual views of Australia. Read on to learn more about George Bass and the coastal walk he gave his name to.
What to expect when hiking the George Bass Coastal Walk
If you’re organised, the George Bass Coastal Walk can be a short and easy walk.
Approximately 7 km long, it takes about 2 hours to do the George Bass Coastal Walk, one way. You can find a map of the walk here. We were lucky to have someone in our group who volunteered to do only half of the trail. He went back to the car halfway so he could pick us up at the end of the walk. The other option to avoid going back the same way and turning the pleasant walk into a long hike is to bring two cars so you can leave on at the end of the walk.
The walk wasn’t particularly difficult but it included a few steep parts when going down from the top of the cliff to the beach.
Do your homework to stay safe while hiking the George Bass Coastal Walk.
Hiking the cliff tops offers spectacular coastline views that are different from the long white sandy beaches you usually expect from Australia. Surprisingly, the landscape was very similar to the region where I am from in France (Brittany)! But the strength of the sun reminded me I was in Australia. If you do the George Bass Coastal Walk in summer, make sure you cover your head and bring enough water. There was almost no shade on the track.
The best part of the walk is to be able to reach secluded beaches for lovely breaks near the water. Every time, despite visiting during the peak season, the beach was quiet. Unfortunately, this coast is not suitable for swimming because of the strong currents and waves.
Wildlife you can spot on the George Bass Coastal Walk:
If you’re patient, you will get to meet local wildlife on the way, including many birds and a few kangaroos. And if you’re lucky, you may spot whales in winter and even a seal on one of the beaches. But our group was probably too noisy for that as we didn’t see any wildlife while hiking the George Bass Coastal Walk.
Who was George Bass and why did he give his name to the George Bass Coastal Walk?
Surprisingly, I had never heard of George Bass before going on that walk.
George Bass was a British naval surgeon who explored the south of Australia to Tasmania in the late 1700s on the small boat Reliance, with the famous Matthew Flinders. He gave his name to the Bass Strait between Tasmania and the south coast of Australia. Bass was on an open whaleboat without Flinders when he discovered the southern edge of the Anderson Peninsula. And the George Bass Coast Walk retraces part of the coast he was the first European to explore.
Where is the George Bass Coastal Walk?
The George Bass Coastal Walk is linking San Remo to Kilcunda. It takes around 1.5-hour drive to drive there from Melbourne (120 km). It is on the other side of the famous Mornington Peninsula, on the way to Phillip Island.
You can start the walk at the southern end of Punchbowl Road (San Remo) or from the Bass Highway (Kilcunda).