Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve

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Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve

What is now known as Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve is located within the traditional land of the Bunurong People. Contemporary Bunurong People are proud of their ancestry, and maintain a very strong spiritual and physical connection to their traditional land and waters. In addition to their inherent rights, they have cultural obligations to ensure that their ancestral land, waters and culture are managed appropriately. Parks Victoria acknowledges and respects the deep and continuing connection that Bunurong people have to these lands and waters.

Perched atop dramatic cliffs, the Cape Schanck Lighthouse has ensured the safe passage of ships since 1859. Join a guided tour and hear the fascinating stories of the light keepers. Book a tour with a local operator and climb the Lighthouse sandstone steps up to the still functioning lamp room for spectacular views over the Southern Peninsula and Bass Strait.

Cape Schanck offers stunning landscapes, the mystery of dramatic volcanic features, unspoilt and wild beaches and scenic walking tracks with spectacular ocean views. It is also a site of rich European history, identified by the heritage listed Cape Shank Lighthouse precinct.

Follow the walking track from the carpark towards the Cape. This short circuit walk takes visitors to the start of the wooden staircase and boardwalk which descends to the beach and rock platform. Several lookouts have spectacular views over the geological formations, such as Pulpit Rock and the Devils Desk, both formed through volcanic and geological movement over millions of years. Please take care and remain vigilant on the rock platform, large unexpected waves may wash across the rocks.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse precinct includes the heritage listed lighthouse, museum and former lighthouse keeper's residence. The buildings were constructed from 1859 and are an excellent example of the architecture of the day.

The 2.6km Bushrangers Bay Track departs east from the carpark, providing some of the best coastal scenery within a day's drive from Melbourne.

Cape Schanck Day Visitor Area provides a number of scenic viewing platforms, picnic tables and toilet facilities. No drinking water is available at this location.

Things To Do

 
A couple walking along a path away from the Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Bushrangers Bay

Follow the 2.6km track east from the carpark to see some of the best coastal scenery near Melbourne.
A young family eating at a picnic table at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse

Fingal Picnic Area

Explore Fingal beach on low tides, 2kms north of Cape Schanck.
A man in a red wetsuit and a women with the top half of her wetsuit undone follow two men in to the surf on the Morning Peninsula.

Gunnamatta Ocean Beach

Gunnamatta Ocean Beach is the most popular surf beach in Mornington Peninsula National Park, with consistently high swells and rocky reefs.

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve

Tread lightly, to spot the beautiful native orchids that pop up along the trails in spring. Several lookouts provide views of Pulpit Rock and the Devil's Desk, created by volcanic activity over millions of years.

Cape Schanck is a popular whale watching spot as they migrate through Bass Strait, where numerous lookout points provide spectacular views. This area is well known for its wildlife. Keep an eye out for:

Dolphins
Little Penguins
Antechinus
Seals
Wedge-tailed eagles
Kangaroos
Wallabies
Echidnas
Crimson Rosella

Tours in the area

Bushwalking, four-wheel driving, horse riding, kayaking, rock climbing and mountain biking are just some of the many activities you can experience in Victoria's parks.


If you want to try something new or meet some like-minded people on your next visit to a park, contact a licensed tour operator.


Parks Victoria licenses tour operators who are experts in these activities and more. They will help you get the most out of your visit.

View all local tours

How to get there

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve

The Mornington Peninsula National Park is 90 kilometres south east of Melbourne. The eastern part of the park, including Cape Schanck, can be reached from Boneo (Rosebud-Flinders) Road.

When to go

Beat the heat and the crowds, by exploring Cape Schanck on a beautiful summer mornings. The birdlife and wildlife are often found to be at their most activity during this time of day.

Need to know

Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve

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