We really enjoyed our time at Port Campbell, even though the town turned out to be much smaller than I thought it would be.
After our rather action packed arrival at the caravan park (you can read about it here) our first day was spent doing some much needed washing and exploring the town.
First we went to the Visitor Information Centre where we were able to learn a fair bit about the shipwrecks along the coast – the most notable being the Loch Ard.
Loch Ard Anchor
The event which sentenced this anchor to a 24 metre deep grave for almost 100 years was a dramatic one. It’s resurrection was equally so. A few weeks before Easter 1978, it rocketed up from the depths, shooting almost 2 metres out of the water. The surfacing wasn’t spontaneous. A team of divers from the Scuba Divers Federation of Victoria made good use of suitable weather to break free the encrusted anchor using an inflated rubber lifting bag.
This particular anchor is a Kedge, a secondary anchor used in shallow water. It’s believed that the Loch Ard carried 4 such Kedges apart from her two main 3.6 metre long anchors. Re-adjusting to an out-of-water existence after such a long submersion has been a lengthy process.
Curators from Warrnambool’s Flagstaff Hill Maratime Museum kept the anchor in an observation bath for over 18 months. To halt corrosion, brought on by the sudden change of environment, they regularly changed the caustic soda ‘bathwater’ which leeches out salts in the metal.
If not treated, the anchor would quickly deteriorate, as salt absorbs water from the atmosphere, triggering off corrosion.
Relics from the shipwrecks along the coastline
The Visitor Information Centre had a wealth of ideas of places to see and things to do.
Gibson Steps to Port Campbell
Port Campbell to Newfield Bay
The weather in Port Campbell – 13° with showers/rain. Sunrise 7.47am – Sunset 5.17pm
After a good look around in there, we trotted down the main street of Port Campbell where we met the team from South West Victorian Dogs. These dogs and their handlers had just completed the Working Dog Walk from Port Campbell to Canberra to highlight the important contribution working dogs make to Australian society. Their self-funded, not-for-profit expedition covered 1000kms over 65 days, and culminated with an announcement by the Federal Coalition that they plan to create a search dog framework, to better co-ordinate the roles of dogs in search and rescue operation.
Rob meeting the Dogs and their handlers
This photo of the dogs and their handlers chatting with Rob was taken outside the multi purpose shop in Port Campbell. Port Campbell Shopping is, the Post Office, General Store, Newsagent and Bottle Shop and we bought a few supplies but of course they were more expensive than in larger towns and cities.
Multi-purpose Shop at Port Campbell
Port Campbell Shopping
For lunch we bought fish and chips and sat near the beach eating them. This sign in the take-away shop window made us laugh.
Sign in Take Away Shop window
Port Campbell Foreshore with SLSC house
Port Campbell Foreshore
I’m really not convinced I would be in any type of boat coming in thru the heads to the jetty at Port Campbell. Just looking at the rips and currents and the overall roughness of the ocean is enough to put me off completely. It even took me a while to get right out on the jetty!
Port Campbell Jetty
Port Campbell Jetty
The Port Campbell beach front
Main Street Port Campbell
Happy Hour saw us sharing with our new friends Tim & Sue in the camp kitchen. A great time of ‘getting to know’ each other. And we discovered that Tim was recovering from an accident he had while driving a wheat truck, and was really lucky to be alive!
Have you met any interesting characters in your travels? Please share in the comments below.