Weekend Wanderings at Cape Schanck for Sunrise

Cape Schanck is one of those places I’ve been to many times, but never at sunrise, however it is always a good place for weekend wanderings. A few years ago I spent the weekend in Sorrento with my friend Chris and on the first morning we were there we got up very early and headed to Cape Schanck. As I said, it isn’t a new place for me, but it is the only time I’ve done, or attempted, sunrise there.

Weekend Wanderings at Cape Schanck for Sunrise

It is never easy getting up before the sun, let along travelling to a place to take photos. When the place is close to home it isn’t too bad, but when it is an hour or two away it can be hard. Winter is the idea time as the sunrise is always later. Here it is around 7am. You do have to remember to get there at least half an hour before the sun rises. That is when all the colours are.


Staying in Sorrento meant that we didn’t have far to travel to see the sunrise at Cape Schanck, but we did miss it.

The sky was bright red as we were racing down all the steps to get near Pulpit Rock, but by the time we got there it really was too late. A lot of the colour had gone, it was a big lesson, and the next morning when we went out we made sure we got there an hour earlier.

The other problem was that the cliffs hide much of the sunrise, so you have to wait awhile for the sun to come up. Still it wasn’t all bad. The water was good and Pulpit Rock is always a treat.


It would have been nice to have more colour behind it, but you get what you get. The rock was still in the dark, but it does create a mood. I have some other photos of it with different light as the sun came up over the cliffs. You do have to to stick around for a while to see what else you can do. Thankfully the tide was out and we didn’t need to worry about getting wet, but it was coming in. Sometimes you can go down there and you can’t move much because the tide is all the way in. When it is out and you have room to move around it is really good.

You should always check what the tides are doing before you go.


Black Basalt Rock

One of the interesting features down that part of the coast is the black basalt rock. The blackness is a great contrast against the white wash of the water. The soft sunlight coming up reflected in the wet rocks is wonderful. I often look back on photos like this and wish I had done more like this, or changed my focus a little. It is something that all do and it is a process that we have to learn.

While we did missed the sunrise we did get some colour, and we know that if we go again we need to go earlier. If you want to go there be aware it is a long way down. There are a lot of steps. You also need to remember that you have to get back up them. The view down the bottom is worth it, but don’t stop to look around as you are walking down, leave that for when you are ascending the stairs. It is a lesson that I learned.

The Lighthouse

Cape Schanck is also known for the lighthouse that is there. Until recently you had to pay to go into it, but they have now taken that away. You can just wander in, so after you have been down to Pulpit Rock go and take a look at it as well. There are some great views from the platform near it as well. Be aware that if you are there on the weekend and wandering around you will have lots of other people there as well.

The Gallery

I have the above photos for you and a few more that I am going to put into a gallery. After the gallery there will links to a couple of other posts, so take a look.

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Further reading

A post with a long exposure of Cape Schanck, click here.

Flinder is a small town a bit further down the road and has a great pier, click here to view the post.

8 Responses

  1. Pulpit Rock is stunning! You took some great shots even though you missed the intense colors. I am with you. It’s hard to get up that early!! There’s always sunset. 🙂

    • Thank you Patti, it is always a great place to go and take photos. I like getting up early, but when it is 3 or 4 in the morning that can be really hard.

  2. Makes it worth getting up early…

  3. Such a dramatic light. Magnificent, Leanne.

  4. Beautiful place. Wouldn’t mind walking up that rock if I ever finally manage to make a trip that far away.

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