About the Beleura Cliff Path
The Beleura Cliff Path leads from Caraar Creek Lane and Kalimna Drive to Mills Beach. The first section, near the top, was built in 1915, in time for an auction of blocks along the cliff top in January 1916. In 1922, some of the landowners on top of the cliff suggested to the Foreshore Committee of the Shire that the path could be extended to Mills Beach. They suggested the owners put in 45 pounds and the Foreshore Committee put in 35 pounds. In their letter to the Foreshore Committee, they made the point that the path would serve the general public as a scenic walk, as well as providing beach access for all. It was a win/win situation. Wages being what they were in the those days, the 80 pounds was enough to employ a team of men with shovels and ponies to cut the path on a gradient of roughly 1:13, just as it is now, but without safety rails and without any sort of hard surface. The path quickly became popular with the public. Children on the path recall pressing up against the cliff-side as people rode their horses down the path to swim them at the beach!
As the population of the area has grown, so has the use of the path by walkers, joggers, sporting clubs for training, dog-walkers, beach-goers, and tourists. Many people take visitors for a walk along the path, which is renowned for its beautiful views and serenity. Public use is still increasing despite the official “closure” of the path after a small landslip which people walk around. The “suburbanisation” of large areas near Mornington, along Bungower Road and Bentons Road for example, has increased the demand for this unique scenic walk.
The path is an excellent grade for serious joggers, but no section is too steep for elderly people if they take their time. It’s asphalt all the way, except for two boardwalk sections.
The path also goes by the names Caraar Creek Lane Walking Track and “The Goat Track”, but Beleura Cliff Path is the most usual.
Parts of the path are believed to follow much older footpaths used by the Bunurong people for thousands of years. They gathered shellfish along the rocky beaches you see from the path, and drank the fresh water of Caraar Creek, and Tanti Creek on Mills Beach.
In 1869 Eugene Von Guerard set up his easel at what is now the top end of the path for his famous painting “The Dandenongs from Beleura”, now owned by the National Gallery of Victoria. In the front left of the painting you can see what looks like a dirt track heading off in the direction of the cliff.
A great view of the pier, from the boardwalk bridge, middle of the path
A dolphin’s eye view of the bottom third of the path. Mills beach is just outside the frame, 50m to the right. Photo courtesy of the Dolphin Research Institute, Hastings
The Mills Beach end of the path
The cliff path was made in 1915 for a 1916 auction of blocks along the clifftop. These cut-outs are from the real estate flyer, courtesy of Beleura House
Great views of the rocky beaches straight down from the path
Mediterranean, eat your heart out
Dolphin Research Institute volunteers regularly observe and record dolphin activity from the lookout, situated 300m from the Caraar Creek Lane end of the path. Photo courtesy of the Dolphin Research Institute, Hastings
Near the top of the path, you can see all the way to Mr Eliza
A serious walker gets a good view of the Red Bluff
Good beach weather
In 2002 the path was an 87 year old sand and clay track
In 1869 Eugene Von Guerard set up his easel at the spot where the cliff path ends today, and started work. His large oil painting, “The Dandenongs from Beleura”, is now in the National Gallery of Victoria. At the bottom corner of the painting you can see a narrow dirt track leading off towards the cliff
How to find the Beleura Cliff Path
The path runs along the edge of the cliff, and then descends in a long moderate grade to the beach. It’s asphalt all the way except for two wooden boardwalks.