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Long Walks on the Beach // Mahogany Walk (VIC)

The Mahogany Walk which stretches between Warrnambool and Port Fairy in Victoria is the adventurous way of ‘taking long walks on the beach.’

Highlights

  • Towering sand dunes
  • Wild oceans
  • Mysterious sea mists
  • Isolated beaches
  • Lava reefs

The Mahogany Trail is 22kms of golden beachfront stretching between Warrnambool and Port Fairy. As you meander the curves of the coastline you’ll meet wild seas and gentle bays, towering sand dunes and lava reefs, and bird life thick as confetti.

The walk weaves through different sections, each with different thrills. From Thunder Point in Warrnambool, majestic cliffs arc over the sea, and gradually morph into towering sand dunes. There is little road access between Warrnambool and Killarney, making for a particularly isolated and wild frontier, devoid of humans and filled to the brim with myriad sea birds. Here you will find yourself hemmed in by wild dunes and bushland on one side, and rolling oceans on the other.

Killarney beach falls halfway along the trail, and harbours the curious Mills reef. Long ago the Tower Hill volcano herded great streams of lava toward the ocean. Like a science experiment on a monumental scale it steamed and bubbled into porous black mounds. These ancient rocks now form a generous playground, sprinkled with strange formations to clamber over and gentle coves of calm water, perfect for a swim and picnic.

Signs of human life begin to reappear from Killarney to Port Fairy, dogs and their walkers grace the sand, and the waves glisten with surfers. The canopy of Norfolk Pines that shade Port Fairy will guide you home, their silhouettes sharpening with each bend in the beach. Before long houses start to appear on the dunes, signalling the final transition from frontier to civilisation, and the sweet promise of fish and chips.

Encrusted in the morning light is the true magic of this trail, filtering softly through the wild ocean spray it glows for miles with the deepest of mysteries, awing even those with the snooziest of heads.

Essential Gear

  • Three litres of water (no fresh water is available on the track)
  • Snacks and lunch
  • Opt for bare feet or high toped boots
  • Warm clothes and wind breaker (weather conditions can change abruptly)
  • Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
  • Mobile (coverage available across the whole trail)

How To Get There

Warrnambool and Port Fairy are around a 3/3.5 hour drive from Melbourne toward Victorias South West. If you like detours you can take the Great Ocean Road for an extra adventure! Vline also offers a train and bus service to both towns.

You can access the full trail from either East Beach in Port Fairy, or Thunder Point in Warrnambool. There are also various access points along the way you can use to tailor the trail’s length. A car shuffle is the easiest way to get on and off the trail, and there is also a Vline bus service running between Port Fairy and Warrnambool. It’s best to time your walk with low tide to avoid making the cheery choice of wading through the swell or the dunes.

Thunder Point Warrnambool

East Beach Port Fairy

Killarney Beach

Activities

  • walking
  • swimming
  • fishing
  • photography
  • bird watching

Skill Level

Beginner

Distance Covered / Elevation

22kms (with options for shorter walks) / flat walking trail. Allow 5-8 hours, and keep in mind walking on sand is more taxing on the legs than your average trail!


Want more adventures from Melbs and wider VIC? Check this out.