Cape Liptrap Coastal Park

Cape Liptrap Coastal Park is situated 160km south east of Melbourne. It is reached from the South Gippsland Hwy at Leongatha or the Bass Highway from Inverloch.

Stretching along the coast from the sand barrier of Point Smythe to the sheltered waters of Waratah Bay, the Cape Liptrap Coastal Park has strikingly beautiful scenery. The coastal park transforms from being a peaceful coastal area to wild, windy and awe inspiring in stormy weather. Whatever the season, Cape Liptrap is worth exploring.


Cape Liptrap History: The Brataualung clan of Kurnai(Gunai) people have used the area to Waratah Bay and Cape Liptrap for over 6,000 years. Axes and other stone tools were made from quartzile and jasper gathered from Cape Liptrap, chipped to a sharp edge and ground with sandstone. Middens containing charcoal, stone flints and the remains of shellfish mark the location of camps along the coast. The small township and bustling port of Waratah (now Walkerville) operated from 1875 to 1926 to supply lime to the Melbourne building industry. Limestone mined from the cliffs was burnt with firewood in brick lined-kilns (resembling upturned bottles) to produce quick lime. The lime was then bagged and hauled in tram carts along a 350 metre jetty which once stretched out into the bay to waiting ships. Relics of the lime industry remain in the park including the ruins of the kilns in the cliffs at Walkerville South and the formation of tramways which were once used for hauling limestone and firewood to the kilns.
Cape Liptrap Lighthouse: A lighthouse was established at Cape Liptrap in 1913 to improve the safety of coastal shipping. In 1951 the steel tower was dismantled and replaced with the current structure. The light is still in operation and has a range of 18 nautical miles (over 34km). Cape Liptrap Coastal Park was declared in 1997.
Bear Gully Campground: Bear Gully Campground is the only campsite in the Coastal Park and is located on the shore of Waratah Bay. It is suitable for tents and some sites are suitable for camper trailers and caravans. Campers should be self-sufficient and bring their own firewood and water. There are toilet facilities. There is easy access to the adjacent beach, but it is unpatrolled and not recommended for swimming. Bookings are essential, contact Parks Victoria on 13 19 63.