We came to Cape Schanck Light Station having read others' reviews. We were prepared - we came with the right attitude and a torch.
The buildings are old - dating back to the 1850s - and are immaculately presented around a lawn on a clifftop with the lighthouse on site. You have to walk to the lighthouse (only a few yards) to see the sea but the cottages are set in shelter. You can still hear the winds, though.
We stayed in the Inspector's Room, which was a basic bedroom with oldish furnishings, a newish bathroom and a small area with a microwave, kettle, plates, etc. There was a small TV and a radio. There was no wifi or mobile reception - it is a remote site. There was a radiator but the room was still a bit chilly, but the bed was warm and there were extra blankets.
Other reviews have mentioned the gate. To drive your car into the site, you need to unlock the padlock on the chain of a big sliding gate. This is easier with two people, one to do the padlock and one to drive. It isn't well lit and I found my head torch very useful. The gate is a hassle, but the upside is that you have exclusive access to the site after hours. It feels pretty special.
The lighthouse keeper (Prue) was very helpful and friendly. The kiosk where you get your key has heaps of brochures for things to do - but be aware that because Cape Schanck is isolated, it is a 15km drive to the nearest town. But once you get there, you are in winery central!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Set on 20 acres of grounds, the Cape Schanck Lighthouse was built in 1859. The lighthouse beam sits 100 metres above sea level, and took the Lighthouse keeper and his 2 assistants 72 turns of the clockwork mechanism to wind it up every 12 hours. The special crystal lens that is still in use was made in France in 1858, and was transported over the vast oceans via sailing ship. It is now valued at more than $5million. 59 circular steps lead up inside the 21 metre high lighthouse which gives spectacular views across the cliffs and ocean to Port Philip Heads in one direction and past Phillip Island to Cape Paterson in the other.Four Cottages occupied by former lightkeepers can now be your base while you explore the Mornington Peninsula. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Cape Schanck Light Station Mornington Peninsula