Four reasons to visit an operating lighthouse Cape Schanck Reserve and Lighthouse
Lighthouse buffs will not be disappointed and easy access makes this place easy for everyone.
The Cape Schanck Lighthouse has served shipping since 1859. It was built from dressed limestone and sandstone and is significant because the original mechanisms are still in place. For lighthouse buffs it is unusual as it is still operating and providing valuable guidance to vessels entering the harbour. The treacherous waters make for a spectacular display of nature’s raw power. And then, there is always the compulsory selfie moment for lighthouse fans to add to the collection.
It’s a lighthouse, that’s enough reason to visit Cape Schanck, a location perfect for sheer cliffs, stunning views and tumultuous oceans that swallow ships. The lighthouse is also historic, dressed in local lime and continues to operate after a hundred years with the lights on. The Cape Schanck Lightstation Reserve is a fully functional lighthouse. Tour tickets, which include the lightstation and museum, can be purchased from the small kiosk adjacent to the car park. Regardless of whether you purchased a ticket you can view the lighthouse rising above the treeline.
Cape Schanck boardwalk (does have steep steps) to get up close and personal with the coast and ocean. Low tide is the best time to explore beds of basalt rocks on the foreshore. While the lighthouse dominates the landscape the building is only one part of the Cape Schanck Coastal Reserve. Each track is well signposted, with distances. Information pamphlets can be collected from the Lighthouse kiosk in the car park. You need to be careful of sudden large waves in this area.
Stay in one of the award winning lightkeeper’s residences. There is a single room, multi room, and a motel style room available year round for couples and families. Check out details on the official website.
Minimal light pollution makes it a great location for Master the Night Sky! Astrophotography Workshop, highly practical five hour workshop introducing enthusiasts to photographing the night sky. The workshop takes place on a moonless night so it will be possible to photograph the Star Trails and the Milky Way. Lot’s of fun and the night becomes that much more interesting.
There are 4 main walks at Cape Schanck:
- The Cape Walk starts at the kiosk, is a loop trail to lookouts at the base of the lighthouse. There are several lookouts with views of Devils Desk and Pulpit Rock.
- Bushrangers Bay is a 2 hour walk with glorious coastal views. The track finishes in Bushrangers Bay.
- Fingal Picnic Area and Fingal Beach has a pretty picnic area approximately 2km from the Cape Schanck car park. There is an electric BBQ, toilets and picnic area provided.
- Cape Schanck Lightstation walk covers the light station grounds and is part of the admission ticket to the lighthouse interior.
For more details check out Mornington Peninsula National Park Guide…
Travel Pack Information
- There is parking at the end of Cape Schanck Road near the lightstation. Eating, the kiosk adjacent to the Lighthouse car park provides little more than cold drinks and ice creams. At the Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve car park there are two unshaded tables and toilets. There is a 400m walk down a boardwalk and staircase to the base of the cliffs. This area is quite barren of vegetation and there are views of the lighthouse. You can’t get close to the lighthouse without paying a fee.
The journey is worth it.