George Bass Coast Walk
Saturday 15th November 2014
Leader: Robyn A
This walk starts at Punchbowl Rd near Anderson and goes along the cliff tops to Kilcunda. After reading signs about falling off cliff tops we rounded a corner and there before us are beautiful green rolling hills with a massive, angular, pale, flesh coloured pink house sitting on the cliff top. I thought it was a different colour last time I did this walk but on looking back at photos it was the same pink. Amazing! It is a structure that seems to purposely defy its breathtaking surrounds. We move on shaking our heads at the “wisdom” of town planners.
This walk is named after the hardy maritime explorer, George Bass, a man hardly known for walking. However he did his bit by sailing across/through Bass Strait in his small boat and proving that the mainland was separated from Tasmania.
The walk climbs out of stretches of scrub and into wide, rolling fields of grass. Bass Strait licks at inaccessible craggy bays below. Headlands stand defiant, their features etched by thousands of years of ocean brutality and windswept surgery.
A short walk along the beach leads us to some perfect rock sitting spots for a scroggin break and then it’s back up the hill and along the cliff tops. Sometimes we are quite sheltered by scrub so much so that the sounds of the sea are all but blocked out.
The occasional steep section inevitably raises the sweat but just as the joy risks being nudged aside by effort, there’s a stretch of flat and easy. At the Kilcunda end of the trail the track becomes quite flat as the coastline stretches before us all the way east to Cape Paterson
At the weather-beaten hamlet of Kilcunda we had lunch. After lunch some continued on to the trestle bridge to have a look under and around it and then back to the rotunda ready to head back to the start but without the beach section. We were then able to enjoy the ocean view from a different perspective.
There was much discussion about the history of the bridge but without any signage there was much guessing. From that well know font of information on the internet I have found the following:
“The 91 m long Kilcunda Bridge was built over the Bourne Creek. It is protected by the National Trust. This trestle bridge was constructed for the Victorian Railways to carry coal from what was then known as the Powlett Coal Fields. It is a particularly significant monument because most of the steam-locomotive fuel that serviced the Victorian Railways network, from 1911 until 1978, crossed over this bridge. Now disused, the bridge is a tourist attraction and a part of the Bass Coast Rail Trail.”
Fifteen walkers, including some visitors to the club, enjoyed a lovely day and thanks to Robyn for keeping everyone together- a difficult job!