To The Otways/Great Ocean Rd (Part Two)


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It was Saturday morning and we had just spent the night at the Cape Otway Lighthouse Precinct, staying in the Lighthouse Lodge. I was up early (to light the fire for Jen) and to take advantage of any photo opportunities that may present itself. One of the benefits of staying there was that you are able to witness the start and end of each day to take advantage of the “Golden Hour” which is best for taking most photos in, (early morning and late afternoon). Access to the precinct for the general public (riff raff) is not till after 9.00 am so it was just me that morning capturing these next scenes.

The sunrise from our Lodge and then a shot taken from the base of the Lighthouse.

There were some lovely colours and cloud formations that morning that had me in seventh heaven as I took in the magnificent spectacle in total peace and quiet.

Our lodge was roughly 200 metres from the lighthouse and between them was the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage which in the early morning light took on a whole new appearance from what you normally see.

In this next pic you can see our Lodge on the right, the centre building is the old workshop/first Assistant Keepers Quarters (built in 1850) and then on the far left the main Lighthouse Keepers Cottage.

We had breakfast that morning in the cafe located in the (new) Assistant Keepers Quarters which was constructed in 1858, the meal was superb and the view to the lighthouse quite unique.

It was hard leaving the lovely open fire right beside our table but there were more things to see. Tucked a few hundred metres off to the side of the main Lighthouse complex is an Aboriginal Cultural Centre called the Talking Hut.

On our way there this Swamp Wallaby was observed, chomping his way through his or her breakfast, and then the track that wound it’s way though dense Tea Tree to the centre.

Along the track we came across this piece of art/sculpture created by young indigenous people as part of their expression of connection to country, how magnificent and unusual.

And then a bit further on, the centre itself.

Brad a proud Aboriginal elder from the Gunditjmara Tribe or clan, was in attendance and gave both Jen and I a personalised tour of the centre, talking about it’s significance, how it came about and a whole lot more.

The original people of this part of Victoria were wiped out by European colonisation with most coastal tribes taking the full brunt from the first waves of contact. Brads people were from the area directly north of here so in time became it’s new custodians.

Brad and then Jen inside the centre.

The artefacts on display gave you a first hand insight into the skills of those so called primitive peoples. The skills of their makers and methods of survival were absolutely amazing, the stories Brad told were educational and inspirational.

There was also on display skills that hadn’t been lost, one of the female elders had passed down to her basket weaving skills. She now teaches young indigenous people those skills so they will be passed on to the next generation.

Just outside the centre was a large fish trap which had been made to show how they used to trap fish and eels in southern and western Vic.

This to us was one of if not the hi light of our stay, it was moving, thought provoking, it was absolutely terrific.


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The Lighthouses small (remote) cemetery tells a story of hardship and sorrow, reading the headstones was a reminder that living here all those years ago was a tough, at times sad and lonely existence.

This headstone (also hard to read) is of three seaman who drowned in 1896 when their boat capsized whilst trying to land the Lighthouses supplies during stormy weather. They would arrive once every 6 to12 months, it was the only way vital food and oil for the lighthouses lights could be delivered. If it was dangerous weather they still had to try and land them, it was certainly tough going in the old days.

The Lighthouse and then Assistant Keepers Cottage/Cafe

On our way to Apollo Bay late that day we stopped at the Mait’s Rest Rainforest Walk in the Great Otway National Park. It was named after Maitland Bryan a forestry officer who lived in the area in the early 1900s, he used to rest his horse near here whilst on his patrols. Today an 800 metre walk takes the you through one of the most beautiful rainforest areas in the state.

There were lichens and fungi everywhere of all different shapes colours and sizes.

The track and boardwalk wound it’s way through lush fern gullies.

A couple of different varieties of fungi.



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Overlooking Apollo Bay late that day.

We had dinner at the Apollo Bay Hotel, I thought the use of cray pots as light fittings out the front was a lovely connection to the towns fishing history.

A couple of night shots of the Lighthouse before we settled back in front of a lovely warm fire for the evening.

And that is Saturday done and dusted, what we saw and did on Sunday will be seen in the third and final report from our weekend away.

Col and Jen.


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More great Fungi , Mait's Rest is very similar to the beautiful walks at Mt Worth and around the Ada Tree area :)
Amazing Photo's Col, was down that way over the Christmas New-Year break didn't actually get to the lighthouse but did the old-coach rd, a lot of fun. My visit was more reconnaissance planning a full trip with the family another time. A LOT of tracks my map showed were MVO only now.