Make sure to pack your walking shoes when you visit Barwon Heads. There are several invigorating and magnificent walking trails to choose from all within walking distance of the village township. Be swept away by the coastal beauty and amazing wildlife on each different walking experience. This is truly the way to discover the magical effect a coastal holiday can have when you venture outdoors to journey along any one of these incredible walking tracks.
Barwon Heads Bluff Walk
It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or cloudy, grab a coffee from the Jetty Road Kiosk and be mesmerised by one of the most impressive coastline views in Victoria. This easy 3.9 km walking trail is suitable for energetic runners, meandering families or couples wanting a romantic stroll. This hidden gem is full of impressive views and takes around 50 minutes to go out and walk back again.
Start at the Barwon Heads bridge and wander along the river towards the bluff, passing the iconic At The Heads restaurant. Take the stairs around the restaurant to the promenade, from there follow the track to the headland and see the amazing views of the ocean and estuary, or walk under the cliffs at low tide to the dozens of rock pools.
The walking track is well maintained and was often used as a backdrop for the ABC TV drama “Sea Change” which was filmed in Barwon Heads. If you’re keen for a longer walk once you reach the bluff, and its breathtaking view of the rocks and beach below, keep going towards Thirteenth Beach Road. This path opens out to more expansive views back across the river to Ocean Grove. The views are definitely worth the extra steps.
Barwon Heads River Walk
Not many seaside towns also have a serene river flowing through it, out towards the ocean. At the end of Sheepwash Road find the flood gauge protruding from the river and begin to stroll along the majestic Barwon River. Here you’ll encounter fishermen casting off from the boardwalk or the several jetties jutting out along the river and locals out for their daily amble along this idyllic spot. Enjoy this tranquil slice of bliss the Barwon River evokes while watching the kayaks floating past, the vast array of birdlife from spoonbills, pelicans, and orange-bellied parrots to red-necked stints nesting along the river, or spy on the busy mud crabs crawling alongside the riverbank. If you’re really lucky you might even glimpse a seal.
This peaceful 5.6 km out and back walk is easy for most and takes around 1.5 hours to complete. Walk, run or cycle along the winding path dotted with ancient gnarled trees, flowering shrubs and mysterious-looking mangroves where local wildlife forages for food or a nesting place. For those wanting to relax, even more, there are bench seats along the river to people-watch or simply savour the meditative atmosphere of the river floating by.
Moonah Park Walk
Tucked away along the southern bank of the Barwon River, this magical parkland is home to the protected Moonah trees and several rambling walking tracks. From behind the Pirate Park playground, there are gates to enter the park and the various walking trails. The tracks are easy, flat, well-maintained and suitable for all ages, including joggers and dog-walkers. Because the park is in a delicate state of regeneration there are fences to keep anyone from venturing off any tracks into the bushland. Keep in mind how important it is to remain on the tracks at all times to prevent any trampling of the protected vegetation. So this beautiful parkland can flourish for generations to come.
The various walking tracks branching out from the park are framed by ancient archways of twisted trees. Some even have awesome views of Lake Connewarre. To further relax and enjoy the ambience, take a seat on one of the bench seats or have a snack at the picnic table. Keep an eye out for the wildlife, including the Long-nosed Bandicoot, Southern Forest Bat, Black Wallaby and Southern Grass Skink and the many birds and insects who call Moonah Park home.
13th Beach Foreshore Reserve Walk
Meander along this walking trail and take in this stunning coastal reserve with exceptional scenery. The Barwon Heads 13th Beach is a rugged and sandy surf beach with a coastal reserve walking track. The 3.7 km loop is ideal for cycling, walking, running or hiking. It’s considered an easy walk, taking around 45 minutes to complete.
Explore this amazing coastline along the dunes while swells and breaking waves crash in the distance. The salty fresh air and crisp native scents will energise every walker along this track. It is generally not too busy and a refreshing and tranquil way to walk along an amazing stretch of Victoria’s coastline.
Lake Connewarre Wildlife Reserve Walk
Connecting the Barwon River and the sea is one of Victoria’s largest estuaries, Lake Connewarre. This impressive shallow lagoon has significant wetlands and estuarine fauna not found elsewhere along the Victorian coast. Most notably there are native species specially adapted to saltwater and freshwater conditions, while the diverse range of wetlands and vegetation include mangrove and saltmarsh communities all linked to the sea by the mangrove-fringed channel of the Lower Barwon River.
There are grasslands, seagrass meadows, swamps, marshes, lakes and river areas that provide habitat to a wide range of fauna. It is also the largest area of native vegetation on the Bellarine Peninsula. On your walk look out for flocks of Caspian Terns, Eurasian Coot, Orange-bellied Parrot, Straw-necked Ibis, Yellow-billed Spoonbills, Three species of cormorant, Common Greenshank, Pacific Golden Plover, Curlew Sandpiper and Red-necked Stint.
For the best vantage point turn left into Stacey’s Road and follow the track to the end. There are other entry areas to the lake with walking paths connected to some of them. The main path is 5.6km and takes about an hour and a half to complete.
Get outdoors and see Barwon Heads on foot. Nothing beats a walk along Australia’s iconic coastlines, rivers and lakes. Enjoy the vastness of the views, the splendid native fauna, and the wildlife this amazing area has to offer.