Two Bays Walking Track – Mornington Peninsula Trails

The Mornington Peninsula is covered with acres and acres of bushland, and is criss-crossed with hiking trails just waiting to be explored. One of the longer trails is the Two Bays Walking Track. At 16 miles long, it connects Port Phillip Bay to the north with Bushrangers Bay and the Pacific Ocean to the South. During our time on the peninsula, we decided to take on the challenge of walking the entire Two Bays trail.

Hiking the Two Bays Walking Track

Two Bays Walking Track map with stops and parking suggestions marked. The sign at the North end of the track lists Seawinds Gardens at 2.1 km away, Waterfall Gully Rd at 5.7 km away, and Cape Schanck at 26.5 km away.

Start – Dromana, Victoria, Australia

End – Cape Schanck

Distance – 16 miles (one way)

Although it is absolutely possible to do the entire hike in a single day (a race of the entire track is held every year), I had no intention of doing so. Instead, I’ve broken it up into  more manageable pieces, with my thoughts on each section below. There are beautiful views, quiet picnic areas, and historic light houses along the Two Bays trail, with possible animal sightings including Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Koalas, and Echidnas! If you are backpacking Australia or just visiting the peninsula, this is a must-do hike.

The official map breaks the trail into four sections. I’ve broken it down a little further to limit my hikes to three-hour long, easily digestible, round-trip sections. The entire 16 mile journey took five trips:

The Places We Live - Arthurs Seat - Two Bay Walking Trail. View of Port Phillips Bay in Victoria, Australia from the top of Arthurs Seat

Arthurs Seat State Park

Start – Latrobe Parade Car Park [Map]

Turn Around – Seawinds Car Park at Arthurs Seat

Distance – 5 miles (round-trip)

Duration – 2.5 hours

Map of the Arthurs Seat section of the Two Bays Walking Track in Victoria, Australia. Start at Latrobe Parade Car Park and turn around at Seawinds Car Park.

The Latrobe Parade Car Park is a small dirt lot located right off of Bayview Rd in Dromana on the Mornington Peninsula. Across from the entrance and up the hill are signs for the Two Bays Walking Track. This section of the trail intersects with several other hikes. When we followed the Two Bays trail signs, it had us completely skip Arthurs Seat. It made the hike a little dull, so I strongly suggest taking the Seawinds Gardens hike, then catching back up with the Two Bays Walking Track from there.

Optional Adventure – Seawinds Gardens and Arthurs Seat

This optional side hike was the highlight of this section. From the top of Arthurs Seat, we had a view of the entire Mornington Peninsula. There were free public bathrooms, wildlife information, sculpture garden, and plenty of kangaroos. There is also a sculpture garden in the Seawinds Gardens park for those with a taste for art. 

If you don’t wish to hike up this hill, take the Arthur’s Seat Eagle Gondola instead. The rest of this hike will be much flatter by comparison. 

Read about where we lived for FREE on the Mornington Peninsula. ♥

The Places We Live - Rosebud South St - Two Bays Walking Track. Two Bays Walking Track sign with eastern grey kangaroos in the background

Rosebud South Street Section

Start – Seawinds Car Park at Arthurs Seat [MAP]

Turn Around – Browns Road 

Distance – 6 miles (round-trip)

Duration – 2.5 hours

Map of the Rosebud South Street section of the Two Bays Walking Track in Victoria, Australia on the Mornington Peninsula. Start at the Seawinds car park and turn around at the Browns Road intersection.

This was my least favorite section of the hike. We cheated a little bit and parked at the free lot at Seawinds Gardens on Arthurs Seat, then picked up our hike where we left off from there. There was an abundance of kangaroos and lorikeets while on the mountain, but the wildlife was lacking on the lower part of the hike, mostly because the track runs along a paved road through a suburb. While it was nice to see the neighborhood, this section wasn’t an ideal “nature hike”.

♥ Check out my bird watching sightings while in Victoria, Australia.  

The Places We Live - North Greens Bush - Two Bays Walking Trail. A narrow dirt trail runs between lush, green ferns. In the distance a boardwalk disappears into the trees.

Greens Bush North

Start – Browns Road [MAP]

Turn Around – Lightwood Creek Intersection

Distance – 7 miles (round trip)

Duration – 3 hours

Map of the northern portion of the Greens Bush section of the Two Bays Walking Track in Victoria, Australia on the Mornington Peninsula. Start at the Browns Road intersection and turn around at the Lightwood Creek Camping Area. Jen wa

The majority of the Greens Bush section of the Two Bays Walking Track lies within Mornington Peninsula National Park. The trails and surrounding area were well-kept and included several informational signs along the way.

We parked in a grassy patch near the trail sign on the corner of Browns Road and Purves Road. From there, we hiked along a lightly trafficked dirt road through a farming community before reaching the national park. If I were to hike this section again, I would have chosen to drive this portion and park at the national park entrance instead. The walk to the entrance was lovely (especially at sunset) and included plenty of kangaroo sightings, but I would have preferred to spend that time exploring more of the park, instead.

Sunset over the fence of a farm on the Two Bays Walking Track in Victoria, Australia.

Once we reached the park entrance, this portion of the Two Bays Walking Track took us through bush land and overgrown valleys. Our turn-around point was the Lightwood Creek Camping Area intersection, which is a free campground that doesn’t require reservations and included a large, clean bathroom directly off the trail! This put us about half-way through the Mornington Peninsula National Park.

Read about our visits to the Mornington Peninsula breweries. ♥

The Places We Live - South Greens Bush - Two Bay Walking Trail. Trail bridge runs over trees and thick bush.

South Greens Bush

Start – Bushrangers Bay Car Park on Boneo Road [Map]

Turn Around-  Lightwood Creek Intersection

Distance – 5 miles (round trip)

Duration – 2 hours

Map of the Southern portion of the Greens Bush section of the Two Bays Walking Track on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. Start at the Boneo Road car park and turn around at the Lightwood Creek Camping Area.

We parked at the Bushrangers Bay car park on Boneo Road and started our walk back to the bathroom at the Lightwood Creek Camping Area intersection in the Mornington Peninsula National Park. This was, hands-down, our favorite section of the Two Bays Walking Track. It had the most varied landscape out of all of the trails and was where we had the most wildlife sightings.

The walk started with a small, winding trail between farms that was intersected by game trails at regular intervals. These were frequented by kangaroos of varying size, who were very active. At one point, I had been talking to Josh and therefore didn’t hear the typical thumping of a nearby roo. This four foot kangaroo and I nearly collided with each other as we both blindly crossed each other’s paths! Thankfully, it was just as startled as I was and hopped off without any confrontation.

Narrow, dirt trail runs between leaning trees and lush, green grass

Once through the farmland, we weaved through some hills as we followed a stream. This allowed for plenty of bird sightings and some fun bridge crossings. Despite the lack of rain that day, the area was wet and lush. It was also the least trafficked portion of our hike; we crossed paths with only three people on this section.

Love walking? Check out my self-guided walking tour in Guilin, China! ♥

The Places We Live. Bushranger Bay. Two Bay Walking Trail. Coastal view of Cape Schanck in Victoria, Australia.

Bushrangers Bay Section

Start – Cape Schank Lighthouse Reserve Car Park [MAP]

Turn Around – Bushrangers Bay Car Park on Boneo Road 

Distance – 6 miles (round trip)

Duration – 2.5 hours

Map of the Bushrangers Bay portion of the Two Bays Walking Track on the Mornington Peninsula of Victoria, Australia. Start at the Cape Schanck Lighthouse Reserve car park and turn around at the Bushrangers Bay car park on Boneo Road.

The Two Bays Walking Track begins/ends at the southeastern corner of the car park at Cape Schanck. There are a couple of side trails, but the main walk was easy to follow and well signed from the car park at Cape Schanck to the car park on Boneo Road.

Although the Two Bays trail runs along Bushranger Bay, there are very few ocean views. However, what few lookouts there are provide amazing views of the bay and cape. The main views from the trail are of the inland bush, as well as the stunning green rolling hills of the nearby Mornington Peninsula farms. We didn’t encounter much wildlife in this section of the walk, but the farmland views still made the Bushranger Bay Section a highlight of our Two Bays Walking Track adventure.

Optional Adventure: Cape Schanck

Technically, the Two Bays Waling Track ends at the car park, but I strongly suggest spending the extra time and effort to visit the cape. The walkway down is narrow and can be a little slippery, but is otherwise a beautiful walk with photo opportunities at every turn. 

Read more about our walk through Cape Schanck. ♥

The Places We Live presents Cape Schanck on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. It is a lovely walk part of the Two Bay Walking Trail. The hike to the cape includes a wooden staircase and boardwalk with amazing views of the cape and the Cape Schanck Lighthouse. - The Places We Live

Optional Adventure: Bushrangers Beach

A little over halfway through the hike, we made the steep climb down to Bushrangers Beach. It is a small cove with lovely views of the coastline, cape, and farmland. Despite the fact that it was the off season, and that it was not accessible by car, there were still quite a few people at the beach. It seemed odd to visit a beach that was so well hidden away and challenging to visit, just to be joined by a dozen other people.

Bushranger Beach.png

And that concludes our Two Bays Walking Track adventure in Victoria, Australia! All in all it was a great way to spend our time on the Mornington Peninsula. The views of the ocean and bushland were incredible, and we got to see a ton of the local wildlife. There are many other trails on the peninsula as well, but if you only have the time to do one, choose the Two Bays Walking Track; you won’t be disappointed!

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Two Bays Walking Track on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria Australia - 16 miles of beautiful bush walking and hiking  Two Bay Walking Track on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. 16 miles of beautiful bush walking and hiking.  Two Bays Walking Track on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria Australia. Discover the 16 miles walking trail that connects the Pacific Ocean with Port Phillips Bay

Seven Star Park

Today’s adventure was to Seven Star Park. I didn’t find a lot of information about it except that the park also hosted a zoo, cave, and theme park for an additional charge. So, I thought that it was a park. We could head over there, grab some lunch to go, and eat in the grass. As per usual in China, I was wrong.

Today’s adventure was to Seven Star Park. I didn’t find a lot of information about it except that the park also hosted a zoo, cave, and theme park for an additional charge. So, I thought that it was just a regular ol’ park. We could head over there, grab a picnic, and eat in the grass. As per usual in China, I was wrong.

The walk from our hotel to the park was a little under 30 minutes.

Seven Star Park is a large area filled with small things to do. Most of those small things cost money… as does getting into the park. At the gate, we were given the option of a park ticket for ¥70, cave ticket for ¥55, or a combined ticket for ¥115 ($17.50). The price would have usually made us turn away, as the price of one combined ticket was nearly our entire daily budget. But we had already walked a long way to get there, so we each purchased a combined ticket, and went in.

The park hosts many mini hikes and adventures. Our first stop was the Square of China’s Glory. It is a little bit more like what I was picturing when I had envisioned the park. It had a big, open lawn with people picnicking, kids running around, that sort of thing. There was also a big art installation at the far end of the square, a mural painted onto a big semi-circular wall. We didn’t bring any food with us, and the stalls that were selling food were too expensive for our taste, so we didn’t end up getting our picnic after, but instead moved on and kept exploring.

Throughout the park, there are statues and paintings of animals, so when I came across a couple statues of monkeys, I didn’t think anything of it. Then a little farther in, I saw another statue… and it moved! Apparently, there are wild monkeys living in the park. We walked over to a park bench were several people were feeding them grapes. There were signs everywhere warning of getting bitten, complete with pictures of people’s bleeding wounds. We sat down on the benches and watched them for a while. They were peaceful and curious, hopping around in the trees and coming down when someone offered them food. Some of the people were quite aggressive toward the monkeys, which Josh did not like, but no one got bit, even though they kind of deserved it.

Dear Moms, I promise we did not feed nor touch the monkeys.

It took us a little while to realize that the smaller side paths were also for us to use. Once we figured that out, we set off up one of the hills within the park. Putuo Hill is one of the hill series that makes up the cave, and at the top is an area called Star Pavillion. It was a long and hot hike to the top, but definitely worth the view, as you could see most of the city from up there.


We hiked down the opposite side of the hill and headed for the cave entrance. We had hoped there would be food there (we still hadn’t eaten lunch) and that we could walk right in. Again, wrong on both counts. We walked up to the booth and confidently handed the guy our tickets, only to be told that we’d have to wait half an hour for the next tour. So, at 2pm, we joined the crowd for a Chinese language guided tour of the Seven Star Cave.


We did our best to look like we understood what the tour guide was saying, but only really caught a few words here and there. The cave is huge! Maybe it was the hunger talking, but it felt like we walked for miles through lighted caverns and formations.

A formation reflected onto the pool of water below it.

The tour was 45 minutes long and, for the most part, was informational (I can only guess from the amount of talking the guide did and the amount of oohing and awing the crowd did). However, China is China, so we were treated to several stops within the cave where we could purchase pictures or visit the gift shops.

The gift shop… literally in the middle of the massive cave.

We didn’t see everything in the park, but by the time our 45 minute tour of the cave was over, we were near-starving. So, we booked it out of the park and over towards our side of town for an amazing snack of Hong Kong Waffles (which is as delicious as it looks).

Egg waffle filled with vanilla gelatto and topped with cookie crumbles.

I enjoyed our day at the park, but I don’t think I would recommend it to visitors of Guilin. It is overpriced and a little underwhelming. There are plenty of other sights in the area that are cheaper, less crowded, and more interesting (like Fubo Mountain). I would, however, recommend the Hong Kong Waffles. Those things are to die for!

Fubo Mountain

I practically ran home. I couldn’t wait to tell him about my adventure. It was the most awe inspiring thing I have seen since Saint Peter’s Basilica.

The sun finally came out the other day, for the first time since we’d arrived in Guilin. It was such a beautiful, warm day, I knew I had to go for a hike and explore the city. There are quite a few hikes within walking distance of our hotel, but you have to pay to get in to each one, some more than others. I decided to start with the cheapest and closest one, Fubo Mountain 伏波山. Really, Fubo Bump is more like it, as it’s just a single hill jutting nearly straight up out of the flat landscape. But it was the cheapest hike and the closest, so I grabbed my gear and headed out.

fubu map.jpg
I apologize for the Chinglish map. Chinese Bing is not an optimal image search engine.

I started with a walk along the river; you can see my path in red on the map above. It was a nice walk with plenty to look at. There are little concrete walkways down by the water’s edge that I decided to explore. I enjoyed great views of the surrounding city and a few bird sightings. Every so often, I would head back up to the main sidewalk and was often greeted by groups of dancers or exercisers. They were not at all shy about goggling at me as I walked by, but weren’t too keen on being on camera.


I admit that I did dawdle a little bit to really soak up the much needed sunshine and the beautiful scenery, but, in the end, the walk to Fubo took me only about 10 minutes. The front gate was all in Chinese, so I wasn’t entirely sure I was in the right place. I went up to the ticket counter, pointed to my map, and said in Chinese, “walk top of mountain.” She charged me ¥28, and I was in.

That’s Fubo “mountain” behind me

I was the only person in the park, probably because I planned the walk around lunch and nap time (the Chinese siesta after lunch). I went to the first set of stairs I saw and started the climb up, which took me straight to the bathroom. Confused, I went back down and took off on the next set of stairs, which went… down. The base of the mountain is a hollow cave filled with over 200 Buddhas carved into the stone. Some of these carvings date back to the Tang Dynasty. I’d tell you how long ago that was, but since I don’t have Google, you’ll have to look it up yourself :p


After exploring the cave and the temple inside, I went and found another set of stairs and hoped it was the way up. It was. The hike was not difficult at all. The mountain is only about 670 feet tall and the path is a stone stairway. Halfway up there is a pagoda and a view of the Western side of the city. The view took my breath away. The karst mountains seem to be from a different world.

Halfway-point pagoda, with Guilin stretching out below

After spending way too much time just trying not to cry at the awe of it all, I kept climbing. The second half of the climb was a little steeper, but took less than five minutes. From the top, I got a 360 degree view of the entire city. Again, I was shocked by the views. To the East, the hills are layered for miles and nearly each one is dotted with a pagoda on top.


I was in shock. It was the most awe inspiring thing I have seen since Saint Peter’s Basilica. When my alarm went off (I told Josh I would be home at a specific time so he wouldn’t worry), I practically ran home. I couldn’t wait to tell him about my adventure. I am so excited to take him on a hike now and to keep exploring the beautiful countryside of Guilin.

If it is working, this is the travel video I made for Fubo Mountain. It is just me and my GoPro, so please excuse the poor quality. I am hoping for a gimbal for my birthday to reduce some of the bounciness. Enjoy!

Donut Falls Hike

We have a million and one things to do before we move out of our apartment this week, so why not take a half-day break to go on an adventure?

Today, we drove about 20 minutes out of town up Big Cottonwood Canyon to the Donut Falls Trailhead. We had done this hike before, but were very disappointed that it didn’t look anything like the pictures we had seen. Turns out we didn’t actually get to the end of the “trail” last time. We did some further research and gave it another go.

The trail is usually pretty heavily trafficked, but we went early in the afternoon and in the off season. We had the place to ourselves on the way up and the ground was frozen and patched with snow. On the way down, we had plenty of company and the ground was super muddy and wet.

The hike is pretty basic and nothing to write home about. The star of the show is the waterfall tucked away at the end of the hike. There is a sign at the end of the trail warning hikers not to climb on the rocks, but we are rebels (In reality, I spent the whole time chanting “stay safe, no insurance”).

Not only was it just a nice reprieve from our daily chores, it was our first chance to try out the GoPro. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be like Samantha Brown. Well girl, here I come.