Bay of Islands Coastal Park


Bay of Islands Coastal Park

The wild Southern Ocean has carved a stunning collection of rock stacks and sheltered bays with clifftop walks, scenic lookouts and small beach coves near Peterborough along the Great Ocean Road.

Perhaps overshadowed by the Port Campbell and the Twelve Apostles down the road, the Bay of Islands Coastal Park offers just equally spectacular experience without the crowds.

Peterborough is a secret summer destination for many Victorian visitors escaping the busier sections of the Great Ocean Road to the east. The extra distance from Melbourne as well as more remote access means there are far fewer tourists than the nearby Port Campbell National Park.

Bay of Islands beach on Boat Bay Road is one the best spots along the coastline to easily launch a sea kayak and explore the park.

Dogs are welcome on lead at Sandy Cove near Murnanes Bay, but need to kept well away from the area between the high tide marks and edge of the dunes that are home to Hooded Plovers's nests.

The park’s small beaches are not patrolled. Parks Victoria does not recommend them for swimming.

As beaches and coasts are natural environments, you may encounter hazards. Follow our water safety advice to make sure your day out at Bay of Islands Coastal Park is a safe and enjoyable one.

Things To Do

The beaches and dunes through out the Bay of Islands Coastal Park is home to the much loved yet threatened Hooded Plover. Rufous Bristlebirds are also endemic to the coastal heath and shrublands above the famous cliffs, and you're likely to see wallabies as well.

Between May and October Southern Right Whales are often observed offshore at Peterborough.

Two friends fish off the back a boat on a misty morning on Lake Eildon.


In quiet lakes and gently flowing rivers, in the pounding surf or in the depths beneath your boat – the waters of Victoria’s parks and reserves offer some prize catches.
Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.
A couple walk along the beach at Gibson Steps.

Port Campbell National Park

The wild Southern Ocean has carved the Port Campbell National Park coastline into formations that are famous the world over - and earned it the nickname of the Shipwreck Coast.
A couple looks on at a Wombat on Wilsons Promontory National Park,

Wildlife viewing

Get up close and personal with some of Australia's shy native wildlife or look up to spot tree-dwelling mammals and flocks of colourful birds,
Clifftop view from Peterborough in the Bay of Islands Coastal Park

Peterborough Walk

A wonderful cliff top trail from Peterborough Golf Course through to Halladale Point.


Tours and adventure experiences in parks

One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.

There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.

Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more. 

Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.

Find a Licensed Tour Operator

How to get there

Bay of Islands Coastal Park

The park continues on from the Port Campbell National Park at Peterborough and extends through to Warrnambool. The visitor areas for the park occur in the Peterborough area. The Bay of Islands Coastal Park is around 400km from Melbourne on the Great Ocean Road and about 670km from Adelaide.

When to go

Have a picnic and enjoy a safe swim at the Peterborough estuary. There are plenty of birdwatching opportunities with countless shorebirds at any of the coves.

Need to know

Bay of Islands Coastal Park

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Childers Cove Area - Murnanes Bay - Toilets Closed

    The public toilets at Murnanes Bay - Childers Cove Area, in Bay of Islands Coastal Park, are currently closed due to plumbing issues.

    Parks Victoria are working to resolve the problem. 

    The nearest public toilets are located at: Nullaware - Henrys Sawmill Road, Nullawarre (10 minutes Drive) 

By using our site you accept that we use and share cookies and similar technologies with certain approved third parties. These tools enable us to improve your website experience and to provide content and ads tailored to your interests. By continuing to use our site you consent to this. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.