Most of us around Australia would recognise images of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, but what about some of the other coastal areas outside of Melbourne?
Located about half an hour past the turn off to Philip Island lie towns such as Kilcunda, Wonthaggi, Cape Paterson and Inverlock. If you’ve never heard of them and/or haven’t had the chance to visit, you really are missing out. The coastline of this region is absolutely breathtaking with the likes of Bunurong Marine National Park making for a sensational view. There’s also the rock formations and beaches there, which are a little slice of heaven.
I was fortunate enough to live in this coastal paradise for a couple of years and I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. Everything was right at our door step and the lifestyle was unforgettable. Plus, the flora and fauna is abundant, while kangaroos, echidnas, koalas and wombats inhabit the area and are pretty easy to spot.
For some families, this area is well known – it’s where they enjoy their annual summer holidays. And when the weather warms the population in these towns seems to explode overnight. The usually sleepy towns of the Bass Coast come alive as they gear up for tourist season. However, it’s in the colder months that tourists can get a feel for the lifestyle the locals enjoy.
It isn’t that far from Melbourne, so it’s close enough for a weekend stay. If you can spend a week however, I’d thoroughly recommend it. Sound enticing? Wait until you see some the images I’ve sourced.
As you drive over the hill into Kilcunda, the scene in front of you is astounding. It’s not unusual to see cars parked along the side of the road as people try to capture the incredible view. No matter how many photos I took, it never did the reality justice. It’s one of those sights you need to see yourself to fully appreciate its beauty.
The view from the foreshore heading back toward Philip Island is simply remarkable.
If you like to walk along the beach there are plenty of opportunities.
Wonthaggi is the largest town on the Bass Coast and is growing exponentially. It’s a major shopping hub complete with specialty shops and a relatively new mall. It has excellent medical facilities, including a hospital, and this is where locals generally source everything they need.
The giant whale bone at the front of this hotel is an iconic piece of Wonthaggi. Directly across the road a loud horn sounds at 12pm each day recollecting a tradition of the old mining town.
This tiny little place lies directly on the coast, 7km outside of Wonthaggi. In summer, the holiday homes are filled with families enjoying the sun, sand and surf. At one end of the beach the surf is usually pounding and is a popular place to throw in a board. At the other end, rock pools have been created for children to swim in serene waters. This area is so popular that two caravan parks are positioned with direct access to the beach.
Cape Paterson is a prime place for surfing, swimming, water sports, fishing, kite flying and kicking back to relax.
The rock pool is a perfect place for children to swim safely.
Bunurong Marine National Park
Along a windy stretch of road between Cape Paterson and Inverlock, ancient rock formations are dotted along the coastline. It’s been proclaimed a national marine park to preserve its magnificence. Fishing is banned in this area, as is taking anything from this nautical museum. So, if you wander along the shore you might be lucky to find star fish, crabs, small fish and even shells the size of your hand!
One of the most visited formations is Eagle Nest, pictured below. However, there are several places to turn off, have a walk and soak up the view. If you like to tinker with photography both above and below the water, this place is spectacular.
Taken at Bunurong Marine National Park.
Last but not least is Inverloch, situated directly on the coast. It’s a very popular tourist destination in summer because the beaches are to die for. It’s the perfect place for fishing and all types of water sports, with jet skiing being a favorite due to the calm waters. There are far more shops here than in Cape Paterson and Kilcunda, so this little place has everything you need for an awesome getaway.
Inverloch has a host of outdoor activities including water sports and stunning walking trails.
The Inverloch jetty is a popular fishing spot for locals and tourists.
If you’d like to visit The Bass Coast, head to their website for more information.
Images via Various Sources