George Bass coastal Walk

George Bass Coastal Walk

Want a mildly challenging hike with spectacular coastal scenery, varied terrain, Australian native wildlife and plants?

Well, get those shoes on and let’s go walking on this amazing hike, just under 2 hours from Melbourne. Make it a day trip or take it easy and complete the walk over a weekend in regional Victoria.

George Bass coastal Walk vegetation and ocean views
Hmm can’t think why they call it a coastal walk?

What is there to see and Do on the George Bass Coastal Walk

George Bass coastal Walk vegetation and ocean views
This is National Geographic worthy scenery isn’t it? The George Bass coastal walk is full of native vegetation.

There are spectacular views of the ocean and countryside on the George Bass coastal walk. There’s beach, hills, gravel paths, swathes of grassland and classic Australian “bush” foliage. Spring (September to November in Australia , Melbourne region) is a fabulous time to go and see the coast beard heath in flower. The blue tongue lizard and over 300 bird species are just some of the creatures you’ll see on your walk. 

George Bass coastal Walk Australian native wildlife blue tongue lizard
Look out for tiliqua scincoides, otherwise known as the Eastern blue tongue lizard. They’re not venomous, but, can deliver a nasty bite, if frightened.

All of the walk is open and exposed to the elements. You’ll get sand in your shoes, stumble over rocks and walk on compacted gravel. In some parts you’ll feel like you’re walking through a scene of the film Gladiator. You know the part where Russell Crowe drags his hand along the grass!

George Bass coastal Walk
Look, all we’re trying to say is that the George Bass coastal walk is like being on a film set of Gladiator. The waist tall grass is well, like waist tall grass!

Where is the George Bass coastal walk?

The George Bass coastal walk is a mere 1.5 hours drive (in good traffic) from the city of Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, Australia. It is about 120 kilometres from Flinders Street Station in the city centre. So you can do this walk on a day trip! 

George Bass coastal Walk location from Melbourne Victoria Australia
The George Bass coastal walk is about an hour and a half from the Melbourne CBD. The one way walk starting in San Remo can be completed in 2 hours if you’re super fit. Do the return trip and it’s an easy day trip!

How long will the George Bass coastal walk take?

This depends on your fitness levels and how much you like taking photographs. Average times say about 2 hours. We’re good walkers and we took 2 hours 50 minutes because we were faffing with cameras and someone called J along the route! If you’re doing this as part of your fitness routine, you’ll definitely do this in about 2 hours. If you’re not fit, then allow up to 4 hours each way. Let us know in the comments section, how long it takes you!

Top Tips for the George Bass coastal walk

When to go: As long as it’s dry, any season is good to go. Being a coastal walk it is almost always windy. Don’t bring your favourite floppy hat unless it’s really tight fitting. If you’re prepared to hold onto it constantly, by all means bring it. They do look good on all those photos we have to admit!

Difficulty of hiking trail: Mostly easy to moderate. It’s 7 – 8kms one way. The hiking trails offer something for everyone. Even young children can do most of the walk. There is meadow land, compacted gravel and sand on this walk. There are some short steep hills and it is close to cliff edges. Make sure you keep your children or dog away from the edges, especially on a very windy day. 

mostly grassy paths on the George Bass coastal walk
A lot of the George Bass coastal walk is well trodden grassy path, gently undulating across the coast line. This makes the walk good for most people and even children.

Car Parks: You walk from one car park in Punchbowl Road, San Remo to the other one in Kilcunda. Or vice versa. There’s no charge to park in either car park. To access the one in Punchbowl Road you just turn on to the compacted gravel road. Be careful it is a two way road and narrow. The car park at Kilcunda is just off the fore shore.

George Bass coastal walk map showing car parks, road and paths
You can leave your car either in the car park in San Remo or in Kilcunda.

Dog friendly: Keep your canine on a lead. The park allows dogs but to protect the sensitive native fauna and flora, they ask you to make sure your dog is kept under control.

Provisions: We recommend that you take half a litre of water per person, per hour, that you intend to walk, on a hot day.You might want some fruit and muesli bars for a walking lunch. There’s no cafe along the way for a half way break! There are also no bins so take your rubbish with you. Don’t bother with an umbrella, it will get broken. If there’s a chance of inclement weather, you’re better of wearing a waterproof jacket with a hood.

Sun protection: There’s hardly any shade on this walk. Don’t get caught out with the harsh Australian sun. Wear sunscreen and a hat. You might not feel like you’re getting burned, but sun burn is never a good look!

George Bass coastal walk sun protection
Oops, we are not practising what we’re preaching! Forgot the hats for sun protection. Surely there’s an app for blurring out skin damage? In our defence we are wearing sunscreen and sunglasses.

Shoes: Hiking shoes are not necessary. You will get sand in your shoes, so if you choose to wear sandals, plan in advance. There are parts that you need to go steeply downhill, so shoes with grip are recommended. However, you can get by with running shoes like we did. We don’t recommend flip flops or thongs.

Mobile phone reception is patchy on the George Bass coastal walk. Sometimes you get a signal, sometimes you don’t!

Flooding: There are some areas close to the beach walk section which can become waterlogged and ‘pools’ may be deeper than they seem.

water pools after flooding on the George Bass walk Victoria Australia
These pretty looking water pools can be deep after flooding or heavy rain. Proceed with caution. Sandy Water hole beach.

Let’s get started along the stunning George Bass coastal walk! We started from the Punchbowl Road car park, in San Remo.

George Bass coastal Walk
C can’t resist trying to imitate that scene from the film Gladiator. You know the part where Russell Crowe runs his hand through the tall grass!

So, we leave the car in the Punchbowl Road car park. If we walk quickly enough we can be back in 5 hours! Doesn’t sound too hard!

We’re in high spirits as we trek along, with the beautiful blue ocean to our right and lush greenery on the left. The sweeping views are starting already and the blood is flowing.

George Bass coastal Walk
Wait for us! The stunning start to the George Bass coastal walk from the Punchbowl Road car park in San Remo. Keep going it’s 7 kilometres to the next car park on foot!
George Bass coastal Walk vegetation and ocean views
Start from the Punchbowl Road car park and you have sweeping ocean views on your right.

You’re 45 minutes into the walk and you see signs for Half Moon Bay. So far the walking has been pretty easy on gently sloping grass paths.

George Bass coastal walk sign for Half Moon Bay
45 minutes into the walk you get notification that the terrain is about to change.

In order to get down to the bay, there’s going to be a moderately steep descent. At the 1 hour 15 minutes point, the terrain changes to sand.

Half Moon Bay as seen from the cliff top headings towards Kilcunda only1invillage
It’s going to get sandy as you head down to Half Moon Bay. You’ll reach this point about 45 minutes into your walk. This is view looking in the direction towards Kilcunda.

You have to back track the same way you came to leave Half Moon Bay. You cannot continue to skirt along the coast line. Keep walking and your next sandy beach awaits.

sandy parts on the George Bass coastal walk
Time for sand in your shoes as you head down to beaches and bays on the George Bass coastal walk. This section is after Half Moon Bay heading into Sandy Waterhole Beach.

At times, after Half Moon Bay the route can get confusing. But continue to read and “she’ll be right”, see our Australian slang guide to understand what we mean! Our best advice is to keep the shore line in sight.

Along this part of the George Bass coastal walk there are some really cool ‘water holes’ or mini swimming pools. So as not to confuse things, Australians have named this part of the walk, you guessed it, Sandy Waterhole.

Sandy Waterhole section of the George Bass coastal walk
It’s sandy and that looks like a water hole. I know, let’s name this place Sandy Waterhole. Genius.

Remember, it’s not safe to swim in the ocean here. The rip tides are very dangerous and there are no life savers patrolling any part of this area.

Keep calm and carry on! The aptly named beach walk section is coming up next. After all the greenery of the rolling hills and dramatic cliff faces, comes the light yellow sand.

George Bass coastal Walk sand vegetation and ocean views
Beach Walk section of the walk. To get here is about 1 hour and 40 minutes if you’re starting from San Remo.
From green to yellow. The changing scenery colours along the George Bass coastal walk. Now you're at the beach walk section, nearer to Kilcunda and the end of this amazing hike.
Leave nothing but footprints as the old saying goes! On the aptly named Beach Walk section of the George Bass coastal walk.


George Bass coastal walk beach walk section.
Time to take the shoes off and get the sand between your toes. On the sand dunes of Beach Walk section near Kilcunda.

After the Beach Walk section, there’s more grassy path which leads you to a sign of colonial human impact on the landscape.

Steam driven winch from a coal mine in Kilcunda
A sign of the past. The remains of a steam driven winch. Coal mining stopped in Kilcunda in 1953.

If you’re interested in reading more about the mine sites of Victoria, click here.

Just when you think the walk hasn’t been varied enough you see this on the approach to the Kilcunda foreshore and the end of the George Bass coastal walk. There’s this sight to behold. Crashing waves!

crashing waves near Kilcunda section of the George Bass coastal walk
What a way to end the walk. Or start the walk, depending on which end you start the George Bass coastal walk.

At Kilcunda, we congratulate ourselves and wonder do we have the energy to walk the return journey?

Looking back over the view, we give it some serious consideration.

View towards Kilcunda George Bass coastal walk
Do we want to see this stunning scenery all over again on the way back to San Remo from Kilcunda?

But we decide against it. That’s for the next time!

Don’t forget if you have done this walk, we would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment in the section below.

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