Coastal Landscapes

Fieldwork Report on McCrae beach and Cape Shanck

On Thursday 14th of November we visited both Cape Shanck Foreshore and McCrae Beach

On a cold and wet thursday morning all the year 8's set out on an adventurous expedition to discover new information on different coasts along the Mornington Peninsula. This field trip was very educational and exciting, below is all that we came across on this excursion.

Shaping McCrae Beach and Cape Shanck Foreshore

Processes that shape McCrae Beach and Cape Shanck Foreshore are:

- Weathering

Wind, Sun and Water break down or build up the coast line by eroding materials off the coast or depositing them to cause the coast to grow. McCrea beach is a perfect example of longshore drift. Groynes are places along the beach to stop the sand from drifting to one area and to keep it evenly placed. Cape Shanck has been severely weathered as it is not protected like a bay would be. This has crucially effected the coast as there are steeps cliffs with plenty of hips and notches along the cliff.

- Destructive Waves

Destructive waves can create a large amount of erosion in a small amount of time. Destructive waves create a higher tide mark then usual tides. They can erode large amounts higher up the beach or even push sand together to form sand dunes. There is evidence of storm waves at McCrae Beach because there are high sand dunes and sand built up on the groynes along the beach. Along Cape Shanck foreshore at the waters edge there are some small areas of beach that are covered in large pebbles. These pebbles go in order of size, from large at the waters edge to small further up the beach. This is because the heavier the rock the less distance it can be carried by the wave. When destructive waves occur at Cape Shanck they can mix up the rocks and some larger rocks can be carried up the beach and cause rocks to bash against rocks or into the cliff face.

Management Techniques at both locations

At both of these beaches there are many management techniques to maintain the beach and to keep people safe and comfortable when they visit the beach. Techniques to keep the beaches as beautiful as they always have been are: groynes (at Mc Crae) and signs. Techniques to make visits to the beach comfortable and safe for people are: car parks, trails, boardwalks, shelters, toilet blocks, fences, bridges and handrails. Below pictured is a sign used to manage dogs at McCrae Beach.

Big image

Indigenous and introduced plants of the two regions

At both McCrae Beach and Cape Shanck there is a lot of vegetation. In Cape Shanck there is quite a lot more but at McCrae. The vegetation seems to be more spread out because there is more dirt and sand whereas at Cape Shanck there are mainly cliffs and rocks. The vegetation in both areas consists of native and introduced plants. There are native plants such as: Coastal Banksia, Ti-Tree, Malaluka, Paperbark, Coastal wattle and Sheoak. But then there are also introduced species such as weeds e.g: Wandering Jew, Rambling Rose and Ivy. These introduced species can take over the habitats of the plants that were already there and they can kill off the wildlife. Th roots of weeds can easily choke the roots of other plants causing them to die.

Human uses of these two regions past and present

Human uses of these two Regions Past and Present

McCrae Beach and Light House


· McCrae Beach and lighthouse use to be used as a turning point for ships coming in to Melbourne from Port Phillip heads. The lighthouse was the point where ships turned for Melbourne.

· McCrae was probably, often used by the aboriginal people of this area for simple things such as washing.


· McCrae lighthouse is no longer an operational lighthouse; it is now a historical site.

· The McCrae beach and coast is now home to a large yacht club used by locals of many different ages.

· Restaurants near by are also away of attracting people to the beautiful McCrae beach

· Facilities such as BBQs, playgrounds and picnic benches encourage families to come to McCrae beach.

Cape Shank


· The board walk at McCrae beach never use to be there the dirt track which would have been unsafe. If the track is unsafe less people would want to visit Cape Shank. Cape Shank has a beautiful view of the long extending ocean.

· The Cape Shank light house use to help navigate the ships at sea.


· Cape shank now has a long and easy board walk which safely leads to the edge of the beach. This is nice for the public to go for a casual stroll.

· A lighthouse is still at Cape Shank although it is no longer a working lighthouse. It is now a museum recognizing the history of the lighthouse and The Cape Shank coastline.

Hazards and How they are Managed

Cape shank-Hazards

At Cape shank the high, steep cliff creates many hazards such as falling and slipping down the ridged cliff. When wet the board walks becomes very slippery which also is a big hazard. When we were walking along the board walks at Cape Shank some railing was missing making it easier especially when there is large amount of wind to fall off the boardwalk.

How they are managed

The Boardwalk makes walking down to the bottom of Cape Shank a lot easier and so much safer. To prevent people slipping and finding it extremely difficult to walk on the boardwalk when wet, the board walk has small wooden ridges. The missing railing was replaced with wire of which the council would have managed.

McCrae Hazards and how They're Managed

There are minamal hazards at McCrae beach. Hazards involve deep waters like any beach, high tides and stormy seeds that can occur here. McCrae has small wooden pillars blocking cars from coming down the beach track so that the people and dogs are safe.