Yuulong is the gateway to Melanesia Beach and Moonlight Head, two of the most spectacular beaches on the coastline of the Great Ocean Walk. It has magnificent homes that have stunning views of the Great Southern Ocean and the rugged coastline that the area is best known for. Fishing, diving, snorkelling and rock pool rambling are all possible. There is every chance if you find a beach you will have it to yourself! It is generally considered to be the most spectacular part of the Great Ocean walk. There are some stunningly beautiful seascapes to behold that are rarely seen awaiting anyone willing to spend some time exploring the coast. The tantalisingly named Knowledge, Pride, Milaneesia tracks, Hilders Access and the Old Coach Road (which leads to Johanna Beach) give access to these visual gems.

Milanesia Beach is located in an open, 2 km wide bay between 100 metre high Lion Headland and Bowker Point. The beach is 1.8 km long, and for the most part is fronted by patchy reef. The beach is backed by steep, forested slopes rising to 200 m that are cut by two valleys. One is called Nettle Pass and drains Melanesia and Running Creeks. The creek sometimes forms a small lagoon behind the beach, while the deeper water off the creek mouth provides the only area clear of rocks and reef. The foot track is accessible from the end of Hornes Road.

The reefs provide some protection for the beach and there are some quieter tidal pools and holes, particularly at low tide. However, the beach is remote and isolated, and off the beach are reefs and strong rips, so take care. Surfers will enjoy the breaks over the reefs, which are best at high tide in a low swell. There are permanent rip holes against the reefs that can be fished from the beach, or rocks at low tide.

Wreck Beach

Wreck Beach is named after the wreck of the ship Marie Gabrielle in 1869 and sometimes also goes by that name. It is located below the 80 m high Moonlight Head car park and immediately west of Cat Reef. Wreck Beach consists of a 1.2 km long continuous strip of sand arranged in six semi-circular bays, with rock platforms forming the boundary of each bay and reefs offshore. Moonlight Beach continues on past a small headland for another 400 metres. The waves average over 1.5 m and combine with the reefs and sand to produce four large, permanent rips along Wreck Beach, and one off Moonlight Beach. All the rips flow out through gaps in the reefs.

These are two hazardous beaches with a rip and reef dominated surf so swim here with great caution. There are some quieter rock pools exposed at low tide, which are the safest places to swim. Be very careful of the deep, calm channels between the reefs, as these contain rip currents. For surfers there are breaks over the reefs at high tide, with the rip channels giving easy access to the outer breaks. There are several good, deep, permanent rip holes along the beach for fishing, plus the reef off the beach.

Oliver Hill is a 130 metre high bluff just west of Moonlight Beach. At the base of the bluffs is a narrow, 100 metre long, south-west facing beach, with sheer bluffs behind and on the sides, and reefs to eit her side. Around its western head is a similar beach below 60 m high bluffs, with Pebble Point forming its western boundary. A walking track from Moonlight Head runs along the back of the bluffs, however there is no access to the beaches.Both beaches are exposed to waves averaging over 1.5 m which are, however, lowered by the reefs and points. The result is two steep, narrow beaches, with reefs to either end and a deep, reef controlled rip channel running out the centre. These beaches are only for the adventurous surfers or fishers. The rip channels provide permanent, deep fishing holes right off the beaches.

Wreck beach rock pool