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George Bass Coastal Walk

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

Approximately 2 hours from Melbourne, the George Bass Coastal Walk is located in Gippsland, near Phillip Island. Beginning/ending at Punchbowl Rd in San Remo it stretches 7km along the pristine coastline until it reaches the Bass Highway in Kilkunda. Primarily on clifftops, prepare to be exposed to the elements - it is windy here even on a calm day.

It takes most people 2 hours to complete one-way and is a level 3 walk. This means that it is suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bush-walking experience is recommended. Tracks may have short steep sections, a rough surface and steps and the walk is less than 20km in total. You can access the Parks Victoria visitor guide here.

For the history buffs and nature lovers, be sure to keep an eye out for the signage that signals the start & end of the walk. Here you'll find all the stories behind the walk and get a tip on what wildlife you can expect to see. If you're visiting between May-November keep an eye on the ocean and you may be lucky enough to spot whales.

After a spontaneous mid-week trip to Phillip Island we decided to tackle this walk before we headed home. With only one car and limited public transport options we decided to walk it end-to-end and back again for a total of 14km, starting at Punchbowl Rd in San Remo. If you decide to go for a 14km option, keep in mind that there are no toilets, shops or water at the San Remo end. In Kilkunda you will find all of these within 200m of the end of the trail. Breaking for a pub lunch before heading back makes for a very nice day of hiking!

The terrain was really pleasant. Lots of wide grassy trails and well maintained gravel. There were some muddier slippery sections at the San Remo end and these would definitely be there for autumn and winter months as they were mostly in denser, forested inland sections. Don't be like some tourists I saw and wear pristine white runners - they will be covered in mud after twenty minutes.

The dreaded hill.

There is one absolute monster of a hill involved and you better believe you get to walk fully up & fully down the other side! No getting around it other than to put one foot in front of the other and keep going. I kept thinking I was nearing the top and looked up only to be presented with even more hill! It was a great hill for working on that mental resilience and keeping your thoughts positive. Every time I allowed a 'this hurts' to enter my head I consciously shut it down and told myself that I could. Hills are so much easier when you are thinking positive thoughts.

The only thing I would do differently if I were to do this hike again is to allow more time. Being winter, daylight hours are short and we still had to make a long drive home afterwards so we couldn't linger, let alone dawdle. The views and beaches are GORGEOUS. You will want to hang around, take off the boots and get your feet wet. The water is too rough for swimming but sun-baking with a picnic lunch would be perfect.

For a great day out and a super manageable distance I cannot recommend the George Bass Walk highly enough. It's a great one to introduce non-hikers to hiking as it delivers in spades on the views and breathtaking moments without being too strenuous or difficult underfoot. Enjoy!


Want to hear more? Hiking adventures continue on my blog:

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