Hiking Review: Cape Woolamai Trail

Yesterday I had a day off work and Melbourne was having an unusually smoggy day (for what is usually a very clean city). So I decided I needed to head somewhere a little more remote for some fresh air, views and exercise. A quick google search led me to the Cape Woolamai Trail on Phillip Island. I’ve been to the island a few times but hadn’t ventured out to the cape at the eastern end. Two hours later and I was looking out over a world-famous surf beach ready to begin my hike.


Long Story Short:

Location: Phillip Island Nature Park, Cape Woolamai, Victoria

Hiking Track: Pinnacles Walk, Cape Woolamai Trail

Time: 5-6 hours: 1¾ hour drive from Melbourne, 2 hour hike (return), 1¾ hour return drive to Melbourne

Getting there: You will need a car, there’s no public transport there

When to go: Anytime but for the best weather go between October and March.


99
Woolamai Beach, Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

The Cape Woolamai Trail begins at the car park at Woolamai Beach. From there you walk along the beach to the steps at the other side and follow the trail. It’s all the one trail but there are a few different options depending on if you want to turn back or walk the entire circuit around the cape:

  • Pinnacles Walk  4.5 km return (2.7 miles)
  • Beacon Walk 8 km return (5 miles) (circuit walk) – continue past the pinnacles
  • Old Granite Quarry Walk 5.5km return (3.4 miles) (circuit walk) – take the left track at the first fork. Does not go past the pinnacles

Check out the map at the end of this post to see the different walks

2
The Pinnacles, Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

I decided to do the Pinnacles Walk but once I got there I ended up continuing a little onto the Beacon Walk simply because I was mesmerised by the views. I turned back around about halfway between the pinnacles and the beacon. The hike took me just under 2 hours but I stopped to take photos… constantly. I honestly think it would be easy to do the hike in one hour or less if you’re not stopping for frequent photo ops.

33
Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

You can see the pinnacles as soon as you step out onto the beach and the view just gets more impressive the closer you go.

22
Woolamai Beach, Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

Surfers are everywhere along the beach. Woolamai is a pretty important beach for surfing so no matter what time of year it is you won’t be alone there.

222
Woolamai Beach, Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

Sadly, there are tonnes of dead birds along the beach. I was surprised by how many there were but I haven’t been able to find out why. I did a little research which turned up a variety of answers from a shortage of fish for them to eat, to ingesting too much plastic and dying en masse. I don’t know what the answer is but its hard to ignore the issue when you’re there.

1
Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

You don’t stay on the beach for too long as the trail takes you along the edge of the cliffs where you follow the coast until you’re standing above the Pinnacles looking down on the incredible structures.

66
Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

I’d just started walking along the grassy trail when I passed a jogger. She told me to be careful because she’d nearly just stood on a copperhead snake a minute ago. So, watch out for snakes!

4
Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

After a pleasant walk, the track has barely any inclines, I made it to the Pinnacles.The Pinnacles are formations of pink granite and according to the sign were formed 360 million years ago. I thought that was interesting but really they are extraordinary.

11
The Pinnacles, Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

I recommend continuing past the Pinnacles around the Cape just a little further because the coastline is truly impressive further on.

55
Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
3
Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

I started walking at around midday and on my way there I only passed that one jogger. On my return journey however I past a dozen or so other hikers so I think it gets busier as the day goes on.

333
Cape Woolamai Trail, Cape Woolamai, Victoria, AUSTRALIA

You can easily do the trail in an afternoon but if it’s your first visit to the island I recommend you stick around and explore a bit further. Phillip Island is a diverse place. There’s great beaches, good for both swimming and surfing and there’s a lot of wildlife. It’s not unusual to see koalas on the island but the it’s really famous for its Little Penguins. Thousands of them call the island home and watching them return to the beach at sunset is something you should do at least once.

Woolamai map


Looking for more hikes close to Melbourne? Try this one at the Cathedral Ranges State Park


4 thoughts on “Hiking Review: Cape Woolamai Trail

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s