Waratah Bay

You can walk practically the entire Gippsland Coast from Phillip Island to NSW. After you have walked along Venus Bay Beach, (there is a path inland) past the Arch Rocks and rounded Cape Liptrap, if you have managed to make your way down to Maitland Beach, you will soon come to Bear Gully (or you might have walked along the very pleasant quiet road from the lighthouse to Bear Gully) where you will have seen numerous wallabies and kangaroos and perhaps some koalas in the roadside trees – keep an eye out.

Obviously there is water at Venus Bay No 1 Beach – the township is less than 1 km inland from the beach. There are various shops. There are also shops at Tarwin Lower about 5 km away. A walking track joins the two towns.

There is usually permanent water at the Ten Mile Creek before you get to the Arch Rocks. It is often possible to camp amongst the sand dunes inland from the beach. There is plenty of driftwood for a camp fire – though camping may not be ‘permitted’ so far from any authority.

As I mentioned the very small stream at the Five Mile is likely to be dry in the summer, though you might walk up it and dig for water where there is a patch of cumbungi (rushes) about 100 meres upstream (if you are desperate). There is likely to be water at Morgans Creek between the Arch Rocks and Cape Liptrap. If you are walking along Maitland Beach there might be water in 1-2 very small streams you cross, but there will be water at Bear Gully, where you have to book with Parks Vic for (vehicle) camping. After that there is water at Walkerville, Waratah Bay Sandy Point, in streams near Hourigans camp & etc.

Bear Gully is a beautiful but popular camping area. If you are walking you will find somewhere to put up your tent at the west end before you get to the vehicle camps. You may want to filter your water along the Gippsland Coast as there are livestock upstream. This is Bear Gully looking back towards Liptrap the way you will have come.

And this is the view onwards towards Walkerville South.

Looking across Waratah Bay to Wilsons Promontory.

I have walked back to Cape Liptrap in the past. There is some rock scrambling but quite a lot of easy going on Maitland Beach. You sometimes see tiny beautiful  Hog Deer like this miniature stag in velvet particularly at dusk and dawn and if you are quiet. Hunting in the Marine Park is not permitted even in season (April).

By the same token the Government used to poison thousands of them every year, probably still does. Astonishing that such can be deemed less cruel and more socially acceptable than harvesting one occasionally for the family table. They are delicious, much like lamb.

Going around Cape Liptrap is a low tide only option and mainly for the young.

You can walk along a quiet path inland at Bear Gully, through the tea trees.

Past a yellow robin sunning himself.

The Banksias (named after Sir Joseph Banks, Captain Cook’s botanist) are just about always in bloom and alive with a myriad of different honey-eaters. 

Like this wattle bird.

You can continue along the coast from Bear Gully to Walkerville South. There are some pretty little isolated beaches and a little easy rock scrambling – and as you can see some interesting islands. There are oysters aplenty, rock lobsters and fish to be caught.

This is the view looking back towards Bear Gully from Walkerville South.

This is the sort of rock hopping I am talking about. The two dogs, Spot and Honey (if you came in late) are enjoying it. Tiny would have too, She had many similar adventures during her eighteen years.

View of the Bird Rock from the Bear Gully side.

Honey is taking the lead. Bitches often become better hunters – perhaps because of the need to feed puppies. We shall see in this case.

There is a set of steps and a path which takes you back to Walkerville South.

The Bird Rock from above.

And with Wilsons Prom in the background.There is a path down to it.

Look at the colour of that seaweed!

We saw wrens and swallows as well as seabirds.

From the Bird rock looking towards Walkerville.

Walkeville South beach looking towards Bear Gully.  The Bird Rock on the point.

Looking (800 metres) towards Walkerville North.

From Walkerville North looking towards Walkerville South.

And towards Walkerville and Waratah Bay (caravan parks/kiosks)

Across the skerries towards the Prom.

A shag on a rock.

And Honey practicing her leaping.

At Waratah Bay looking back towards Walkerville.

And onwards to the Prom. You can walk right along this beach to the Darby River (once you get across Shallow Inlet) and then on to Tongue Point – and the lighthouse. A pack raft such as this might be a good idea for this trip.

This gull is ‘puddling’ up some tucker.

Honey is getting really good at stairs.

This is the boat launching spot on Shallow Inlet looking West. You can drive along the shore here. At low tide it is only a paddle of about 100 metres across to Hourigans camp on the other side. From there you walk all the way to Darby River. There are some streams with fresh water as I mentioned here.

Looking across to Hourigans Camp. If you can’t paddle across, you can walk around the road.

Some pelicans enjoying the afternoon sun.

Looking across the Shallow Inlet towards the Darby River and Wilsons Prom.

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