COURSE DETAILS

LEARN ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY AROUND A STUNNING PART OF VICTORIA

A BRAND NEW COURSE FOR 2022

In 2022 our amazing teams will journey around the stunning Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. We have developed an iconic and unique course just for our challenge – this is not a pre-established trail. Our focus has been on providing diverse scenery, magnificent views and a chance to explore some of the hidden treasures of the region.

ELEVATION & SECTION DISTANCES

Section distances are rounded until the course has final permit approval. Teams will be sent specific section distances and details in their course guides before the Challenge date.

SECTION ONE

 Start LocationCape Schanck Lighthouse
420 Cape Schanck Rd, Cape Schanck
Section Distance10km
Cumulative Distance10km
Section HighlightsStunning coastal views
Bush walking with section entirely off road
Take NoteStairs (descending)
Low gradient climbs
Can change on course team members at the 5km mark
– Bushrangers Bay Car Park (1350 Boneo Rd, Cape Schanck)
GAH Section Rating2/5 (Easy)
End LocationLightwood Camping Area
NOT ACCESSIBLE TO SUPPORT CREW

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Begin your adventure as the sun rises over the historic Cape Schanck Lighthouse overlooking some of the most stunning Victorian coastal scenery. Watch the waves crash against the rocks as you wind along the cliff tops around Bushrangers Bay. Follow the bush track to the Boneo Rd Parking area, where there is an opportunity to swap team members before continuing.

After crossing Boneo Rd, continue into the Greens Bush section – the largest area of remnant vegetation on the Mornington Peninsula. Pass through the eucalypt forest that is mixed with pockets of tea-tree thicket, picturesque fern gullies, open grass lands and spectacular stands of grass trees – some thought to be over 200 years old.

The section ends at the Lightwood Camping Area. Due to its remote location, there is no access for support crew at this Wellness Stop. Plan to connect at the 5km point (Boneo Rd carpark) or 15km point (Greens Rd).

SECTION TWO

Start LocationLightwood Camping Area
Section Distance10km
Cumulative Distance20km
Section HighlightsCreek crossings
Bush walking
Farmland expanses
Take NoteUndulating hills
Medium gradient climbs, short steep ascent at end of section.
Footwash mats will be placed at the start & end of Stefanie Renwick Walk.
BEWARE – road walking along Hyslops Rd & Garden Rd. Please be respectful of local residents.
GAH Section Rating4/5 (Moderate)
End LocationBlue Range Estate Wines
155 Garden Road, Rosebud

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Leave Lightwood Creek Camping Area and continue along Two Bays Walking Track into Greens Bush. The peaceful surroundings and natural beauty of the bush setting will provide excellent coverage as the morning sun heats up. The short diversion around Baldry Circuit will take you deeper into the eucalypt forests, with Peppermint, Messmate and Manna Gum the dominant overstorey species. This area is also home into the largest species of Banksia in Victoria, contributing to the area’s vast biodiversity.

Keep an eye out for the abundance of wildlife – predominantly the variety of bird species (such as honeyeaters, parrots, wrens, wedge-tailed eagles and black-shouldered kites). If you are lucky, you may also spot a kangaroo feeding in the open grasslands.

At the Greens Rd (15km point) you can interchange team members on course.

Continue along Hyslops Rd before crossing Browns Rd and into Stefanie Rennick Walk. This 1.1km section follows what was a 20m wide unused road reserve, with the path traveling up and down some steeper sections, along a boardwalk over Drum Drum Alloc Creek and through some impressive stands of grasstrees. Make sure you use the shoe wash at either end to control the spread of Cinnamon Fungus.

You are now only a short stroll from Wellness Stop – Blue Range Estate Wines. Here you will have the opportunity to catch up with your support crew while viewing some of the most impressive views of Port Phillip Bay on the terrazzo deck.

SECTION THREE

 Start LocationBlue Range Estate Wines
155 Garden Rd, Rosebud
Section Distance9km
Cumulative Distance29km
Section HighlightsRide on Arthur Seat Eagle
Majestic views
Bush walking
Take NoteRoad and street walking at start of section
Steep gradient climbs
BEWARE of mountain bike tracks & riders
GAH Section Rating5/5 (Challenging)
End LocationArthurs Seat Picnic Ground
Cnr Purves Rd & Arthurs Seat Rd, Arthurs Seat

COURSE DESCRIPTION

We know how difficult it will be to leave the stunning Blue Range Estate Wines, but it’s time to keep exploring. Make sure your strongest walkers are nominated for this section – this is where you are glad you completed the leg strengthening as part of the training program!

The course winds around the quiet back streets of Rosebud and into Arthurs Seat State Park at Waterfall Gully Road. Pass by McLaren Dam and into your 115m climb over 1km. Well done – that’s the hardest part of the entire course completed (see, we’re really not that mean!)

The undulating bush track continues to wind through the stringybark woodlands. Please take a moment to appreciate the impressive views of Port Philip Bay over Rosebud and the southern peninsula. They are truly stunning.

After arriving at Seawinds Gardens, you’ll continue along the Two Bays Walking Track to descend along the north side of the hillside. Follow the Bunurong Track to the Arthur Seat Eagle base station. Feeling tired? Don’t worry, we’ve got you – jump on board a gondola for a lift back to the summit and Wellness Stop 3.

SECTION FOUR

 Start LocationArthurs Seat Picnic Ground
Cnr Purves Rd & Arthurs Seat Rd, Arthurs Seat
Section Distance6km
Cumulative Distance35km
Section HighlightsMajestic views
Bush walking
Take NoteBEWARE of mountain bike tracks & riders.
Main roads nearby.
Watch your footing when walking along horse trails down Purves Rd.
Stay off the road at all times (unless at marked crossing locations).
GAH Section Rating1/5 (Easy)
End LocationThe Pig & Whistle, 365 Purves Rd, Main Ridge

COURSE DESCRIPTION

After refueling with lunch in the adjoining park, it’s time to explore Seawinds Garden. The deciduous trees are a delight through the Autumn days . They were actually planted in 1946 by Sir Thomas and Lady Travers who imported them from their property in Parkville. They also purchased the William Ricketts sculptures from William Ricketts himself. Take time to stop at each of the lookouts you pass. You worked hard to get these stunning views – don’t forget to enjoy them!

Return to the gorgeous bush setting with a diversion around TC McKellar Circuit. This gently sloping track begins with spaced Prickly Tea-Tree and Blackwood wattles, before turning into thickly vegetated forest woodland of larger Blackwood and Messmate Stringybarks. Also impressive are the swathes of wiry grasses that flow along the side of the sandy track. Keep any eye out for more native birds, especially Red Wattlebirds. It maybe a little early in the day to catch the Eastern Grey kangaroos, but you never know your luck.

SECTION FIVE

 Start LocationThe Pig & Whistle, 365 Purves Rd, Main Ridge
Section Distance8km
Cumulative Distance43km
Section HighlightsWinding through farms and wineries
Forest feels
Take NoteMain road crossings
Horse trails / uneven ground
Walking alongside main roads
Road walking on Roberts Rd
A number of private property driveway crossings – please be respectful
GAH Section Rating3/5 (Moderate)
End LocationOld Apple Shed
1208 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The last section of the day sees you meander along the horse trails next to Purves Rd. The diverse scenery changes as you step in and out of the trees, crossing private property and undulating open hills. We know you’re beginning to tire as the afternoon sets in, but don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate the magnificent countryside.

Walking along the pine tree lined roads of Main Ridge, the fallen pine needles under foot will provide cushioning after a long day. The final steps of the day will take you into the warmth and comfort of the Old Apple Shed, where you can sit and enjoy a cold beverage and a scrumptious home cooked meal.

SECTION SIX

 Start LocationRed Hill Rail Trail
155 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South
Section Distance12km
Cumulative Distance55km
Section HighlightsWatching the sunrise over the stunning rail trail
Local farm and winery views
Beach walking
Take NoteLow grade descents with a short, sharp ascent.
Main road crossings
Walking alongside main road
Residential street walking in Balnarring Beach
A number of private property driveway crossings – please be respectful
GAH Section Rating3/5 (Moderate)
End LocationCoolart Homestead
40 Lord Somers Rd, Somers

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Day 2 starts with the scintillating descent down the Red Hill Rail Trail, following the trainline of the pioneering days. Watch the sunrise on the horizon over the magnificent ocean views. The glimpses of the vineyards through the pine trees lining this beautiful trail bring a real sense of peace and harmony with the earth.

The trail ends as it gives way to the open grazing lands of Merricks. These seldom used thoroughfares give access to the open paddocks before winding into the beach side town of Balnarring Beach. Here you’ll get to wander along the sand and enjoy the sea breeze.

Why not take your shoes off and feel the sand beneath your toes? You are only metres from the next Wellness Stop so it’s the perfect time to clean up, change socks and prepare for the next section. Your beach walk ends at Coolart Homestead – one of the most stunning and picturesque historical homes that the Peninsula has to offer. The gorgeous gardens and outlying lawns are the perfect location to meet your support crew for morning tea.

SECTION SEVEN

 Start LocationCoolart Homestead
40 Lord Somers Rd, Somers
Section Distance15km
Cumulative Distance70km
Section HighlightsCoolart Homestead gardens
Wildlife in and around Coolart tracks
Take NoteResidential street walking around Crib Point
Crossing of active train line as entering Crib Point
A number of private property driveway crossings – please be respectful
GAH Section Rating3/5 (Moderate due to length)
End LocationCrib Point Community House
7 Park Road, Crib Point

COURSE DESCRIPTION

The Coolart Homestead precinct hosts some amazingly beautiful and diverse gardens and walking tracks, providing the starting point of the second section of the day. The last private owners of the Coolart estate, the Luxton family, wished the estate to be shared by the people of Victoria and, in 1977, sold Coolart to the Victorian State Government. It is now under the stewardship of Parks Victoria.

Over 125 species of birds visit Coolart or are residents, from swamp hens, white ibis, hoary-headed grebes and cormorants, to home-grown kookaburras and magpies and many species of ducks. As you wind around the wetlands and lagoon keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife that call the different landscapes the property offers home. On warm days you may see blue tongue lizards and long-necked tortoises. The mammals at Coolart are mostly nocturnal and usually only become active at night, however if you look carefully you may be lucky enough to spot a koala, swamp rat, echidna or even a ringtail possum.

After leaving Coolart, follow the Western Port Bay Trail to Crib Point. This section is the longest section of the entire course. However, it is a relatively flat section so a great way to challenge yourself and your team. Catch up with your support crew for lunch at the Crib Point Community House.

SECTION EIGHT

Start LocationCrib Point Community House
7 Park Road, Crib Point
Section Distance10km
Cumulative Distance80km
Section HighlightsTrails alongside water
Boardwalks
Take NoteCrossing of active trainline and main road
Boardwalks may be slippery if wet
Footwash mats in place again – please take as many steps along as possible
BEWARE road walking – stick to the side where possible
GAH Section Rating1/5 (Easy)
End LocationTed Harris Reserve
Cnr Hendersons Rd & Kinfauns Lane, Bittern
NO ACCESS WITHOUT SUPPORT CREW CAR PASS

COURSE DESCRIPTION

A short street section begins this section before stepping into the mangrove trails of Western Port Bay. Walking under the foliage of the small trees, the ocean breeze will immediately provide cooling relief. This quiet stretch of coastal track weaves through Woolley’s Beach Reserve and past one of the most undeveloped parts of the Bay. The foreshore area is one of the last remaining examples of the original type of habitat of Western Port. The view looks out over the water towards French Island. The route takes you past the large container ships and the Otama Submarine Museum until reaching Jacks Beach and stepping onto the boardwalk through Warringine Park.

Once leaving the stunning boardwalk we step back into the protective cover of the trees and cross both the active trainline and Frankston Flinders Rd. Head towards the serene beauty of the protected paths that form the Ted Harris Walk through Hastings. This well maintained walking trail exhibits some local art and finishes with a gorgeous bush stop under the trees on Hendersons Rd.

SECTION NINE

 Start LocationTed Harris Walk
Cnr of Hendersons Rd & Kinfauns Lane, Hastings
Section Distance11km
Cumulative Distance91km
Section HighlightsOne of the best kept secrets of the Peninsula – Turners Lane
Take NoteRoad walking makes up at least half this section. Please stay to the LEFT at all times behind the witches hat barrier line and be very very conscious of vehicles sharing the road.
GAH Section Rating2/5 (Easy)
End LocationBittern Reservoir (inside Devilbend Natural Features Reserve)
Hodgins Road, Tuerong

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Section 9 is an open book, it looks very straight forward but allows your mind to wander as the serenity of the tree lined dirt roads and trails takes you to places that you may never have visited before. The journey along Hunts Rd captures the beauty and essence of what the low land areas of the Peninsula have to offer via the expansive neighbouring properties of farms, horse paddocks and vineyards.

Extra special is the walk along Turners Road, one of the most gorgeous hidden treasures of the Peninsula. You’re now back on Parks Victoria land and the Devilbend Reservoir precinct. Keep your eyes peeled to spot the wild deer and kangaroos near Bittern Reservoir, the birds playing through the trees and circling overhead or the albino deer that was spotted by GAH crew while walking the course.

The last wellness stop for the day will be perched on the shore of the reservoir, with an open air feel and the dam wall beauty. Not long until the finish line now – have a rest before one final push to the end.

SECTION TEN

 Start LocationBittern Reservoir
Hodgins Road, Tuerong
Section Distance9km
Cumulative Distance100km
Section HighlightsCanals
Pine Forest
Reservoir Views
Finish line and celebration party!
Take NoteBe careful around vehicles as you leave the Bittern Reservoir Wellness Stop
GAH Section Rating1/5 (Easy)
End LocationDevilbend Natural Features Reserve
159 Graydens Rd, Moorooduc

COURSE DESCRIPTION

You’re nearly there!

The flat walking track winds you through the natural trails of the Devilbend Reservoir – the perfect end for your amazing journey. Walk alongside the open canals as the path twists and turns until you arrive at the pine groves and magical forts that are built there. Don’t forget to say hi to the cows as you pass by – no doubt they will be offering their support!

It won’t be long and you’ll be hearing the finish line music echoing off the water. That final push is all you need to arrive at the love and support of your family and friends with your teammates. Make sure your support crew find the secret path that will allow them to meet up and walk the final metres together as a collective. You have all stepped up to the challenge and achieved the most amazing goal and we are so very, very proud of you.

Welcome home GAH22 Heroes.