LORNE TO CAPE OTWAY

Day 4  So here we are ready to move on, but not before having another quick look around.  Of course my love of trees came out again as we took a last walk along the esplanade where the trees form an arbour over the road.  This road connects the Erskine River mouth to the main Lorne foreshore area.  While I was taking photos a misty shower came over, but the trees sheltered us considerably.  We were close to the Swing Bridge again so I couldn’t resist another photo.

 

 

We bid a fond farewell to Lorne and wound our way towards  Apollo Bay.  I don’t know how many times I can say that the coastline was spectacular, but that’s just what it is and there is no other way to describe it.  We found that this section of the Great Ocean Road certainly was more windy than what we have already traversed, so required a considerable amount of concentration on the part of the driver who made good use of the ‘slow vehicle turn outs’ allowing others pass when possible.  Considering the state of the road these turnouts are essential to allow free movement of the traffic.

 

 

We passed thru many little places on our way the first of which was Cumberland River.  The scenery looking over the ocean is spectacular, but looking on the other side of the road also is magnificent.  It beggars description how those returned soldiers cut their way through the mountains using only pick & shovel manpower to make the road in the first place.

There are many pretty little bays we saw, along with a few rivers that enter the sea close to the road.  Here’s Separation Creek, Wye River, Kennett River,  Grey River, Sugarloaf Creek, Smythe’s Creek, Skenes Creek,

 

 

 

 

We loved the many B & B’s and accommodation places along the coast.  You could be miles from anywhere in the lap of luxury – one day I’m going to stay in these B & B’s on the Great Ocean Road.

 

I had commented to Rob that I wondered how they managed to do road-works on The Great Ocean Road.  Well we discovered as we were stopped on a section of road between Wongarra and Skenes Creek!

Coming closer to Apollo Bay we noticed the country changed and there was more farming with sheep and cattle on the hill sides.

We had decided to stop in Apollo Bay for lunch, and have a look around.  After visiting the Tourist Information Centre we walked around the foreshore park and down on to the beach.

While we were having our coffee one of the local shop owners threw their crumbs out for the seagulls.

Along the foreshore park are dotted a number of sculptures, and these are a few we liked.

The anchor is from the Speculant which was wrecked off Cape Patten in 1911 and had been restored by the Underwater Explorers Club of Victoria in 1970.

We were intrigued by all the clothing the shops had out on the footpath as we don’t think shops would be able to that on the Sunshine Coast.

 

It would have been nice to spend a night here but we were committed to staying at Cape Otway, so we continued on our way.  As we drove out of Apollo Bay before we left the water behind we were blessed with a rainbow.

Not far out of Apollo Bay the scenery changed as we climbed up the range into the Great Otway National Park.  We had been driving in and out of the Great Otway National Park since we left Anglesea, but this part of the park seemed to be different as we were heading away from the Ocean.

We noticed that the air had become decidedly cooler as we climbed higher and we were now in misty rain.

It wasn’t long until we turned off the Great Ocean Road and on to the Cape Otway Lighthouse Road and into Bimbi Park (Caravan & Camping Park) where we were greeted by the very friendly resident dog!

Since there was hardly anyone else in the park we occupied 2 sites right next to the amenities block.  During our stay here we had some rain, however we managed to do some walking around the camp ground.  Bimbi Park is quite large and caters for all types of campers as well as larger groups.  I’m not altogether convinced I would want to be there when the place is full – lol.

We were glad to be settled although there was no reception on our phone or internet – this was the worst spot on our Great Ocean Road Adventure for phone reception and when I tried to use the “public” phone (read Telstra) it was not working.  Thankfully the Bimbi Park office allowed me to use their phone to call home.

 

 

 

 

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LORNE

Well we’ve had 3 nights in Lorne and enjoyed this little township.  We’ve walked everywhere, and managed to avoid the showers which arrived each day.

Day 1 we had a sleep in and listened to the Kookaburras in the trees outside.  The town’s Tourist Information Centre was just at the entrance to the Park, so we paid them a visit and received great information from the helpful staff there.

Heading off up the main road we checked out the Cenotaph, which was close to the foreshore, and the quaint shops.  I was also on the look out for some of my prescription medication, so we called into the pharmacy but unfortunately they were unable to fill my script.  The old Lorne Theatre building caught my eye.


Crossing the road we headed down to the waterfront and discovered that Lorne has a sea water baths and there is an amazing playground.

Driving into Lorne we noticed the “bathing beauties” outside an accommodation house, so we took Cruizer out to have a look.  So here he is checking them out!

 

At the Tourist Information Centre we were told of the the Erskine River Boardwalk which would take us over the swing bridge across the Erskine River near the river mouth and back to the caravan park, so after a trip to the “Foodworks” store we decided to take that route home.

 

We happened across this old mile post – Melbourne 86miles – which surely is a blast from the past!

 

 

Can you see the lighthouse?  This photo is looking to the east near the Erskine River mouth. These fisherman were being optimistic I think as it was so cold and showery.

 

 

This photo is looking to the west from the River mouth.  Do you see the pier?

 

 

Day 2  We dodged the showers and discovered the cockatoos, galahs and ducks making a feast on the front lawns of the Mantra Resort.

 

After lunch Rob & I decided to walk around to the Lorne Pier.  Taking our umbrellas and rugged up in our big coats we headed off.  Thankfully we didn’t really need the umbrellas and we had an amazing walk around the foreshore and up the bluff around to the pier.  We had found that the designated walks are well maintained and provide a great way of seeing this incredible coastline.

 

 

 

There are many ship wreck stories along this coast however this is a different story  about the clipper “Paul Jones” which was destroyed by fire a few miles off shore.

 

 

The Lorne Pier has quite a history.  The foreshore here supported the local Aboriginal people for thousands of years before white man came.  By the early 1840’s the coast began to be settled by pioneering timber cutters and farmers.

In the decades before the pier was built, settlers loaded cargo onto boats beached on the falling tide and refloated on the rising tide.  Beaching boats to load timber was a risky business.  Several boats were wrecked in sudden storms, including the ‘Osprey’ in 1854, the ‘Rebel’ in 1855 and the ‘Henry’ in 1878.

 

 

 

Planning for a pier at Lorne commenced in the mid 1870’s.  It was around this time that thousands of well-to-do holidaymakers would flock to Lorne for “the season”.

Lorne residents were eager to compete with other holiday towns like Sorrento and Queenscliff.  They hoped that a pier would allow passengers and cargo to be conveniently transported by sea, to and from Lorne.  At the time, holidaymakers were faced with a long, rough coach trip from Winchelsea.

The original Lorne Pier was built in 1879, using local blue gum piles.

From the start the pier suffered from it’s exposure to Bass Strait, Wild winds and high seas buffeted the pier and any ships berthed at it.

 

Despite several extensions and rebuilds over its lifetime, the pier never offered enough protection to succeed as a passenger terminal.

Situated near the Grand Pacific Hotel, which also opened in 1879, the new pier became a place for promenading and enjoying the sea air.  The pier brought holidaymakers “face to face with a wild, uncultured nature”.

 

The pier was also a renowned fishing spot.  The Australasian of 30th January 1897 reported that “the best fishing is off the pier at night, when the silver bream is the sport…… Scarcely a day passes but a shark is caught from the pier, and these vary from 3 foot to 6 foot in length.  Sometimes half a dozen are landed at night”.

In the 1930’s diving exhibitions by expert divers like Olympic swimming medallist Lillian Beaurepaire attracted hundreds of spectators.  The exhibitions marked a newfound sense of freedom in the sea.

The pier is still a focus for open water swimming as the starting point for the annual Lorne Pier to Pub swimming race.

The new pier is still a great fishing hotspot and is also part of a global effort to monitor changing sea levels.

After 127 years of modifications and partial rebuilds, the Lorne Pier was replaced by a new pier at a cost of $5 million.  The new pier was opened in April 2007.

The new pier was built alongside the old one, which was removed.  Part of the original pier was saved and many of the old piles now grace the Lorne adventure playground.

Lorne Pier plays a role in one of the world’s leading sea level monitoring projects.  The Australian Baseline Sea Level Monitoring Project uses 16 stations around our coastline to monitor sea levels.  The stations pick up changes relating to weather, storm surges and tsunami as well as long term changes in sea levels.  The data is fed into a global observation system.

Global sea level rise is one major effect of climate change.  The dominant cause of sea level rise is the expansion of oceans as they warm.  Melting land ice also contributes.

Higher average sea levels will profoundly affect our coasts, as will higher peak sea levels during storms, high tides and tsunami.

The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee is working with other agencies to predict, monitor and prepare for the local effects of climate change.

 


We spent a fair bit of time on the pier and surroundings.  There was a playful seal in the water near the end of the pier, but he was very elusive to get a photo.  The fishermen were complaining that the seal has been around for about a year and a half and chasing the fish!  Although this fisherman had managed to  bag a few good size catches.

 

 

Hitting the track for home, we had a great view of the Lorne beach and foreshore area.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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TORQUAY DAY 4 & ON TO LORNE

Memorial Arch Eastern View

Since we are simply Cruizin’ we decided to stay another day at Torquay as we were wanting to meet with a friend from Qld who now lives in Geelong and this was the only day we could do it.

She was very kind to us and drove down to meet us in Torquay which saved us getting into the traffic of Geelong, although it would have been another good test for our Navman.

We met at Growlers on the Esplanade at Torquay and had a great view over the ocean.  Unfortunately the day we were there it was overcast and raining (and cold) so we had to sit inside.  Never mind the coffee was great and we were cosy and warm.  It was a great catch up and we really enjoyed meeting our friend.

After we had bid farewell we headed into the shopping centre to replenish supplies for the Great Ocean Road.   Amongst our purchases was this rather large sourdough loaf – I’ve never seen one quite like it before.  It weighed in a 1.3kg.   I’m expecting it will last us for quite a while!

It was also going to be our youngest daughters birthday so we purchased a card and posted it on a Thursday.  Thanks to Australia Post it finally arrived on the Sunshine Coast in Qld 3 working days later (Tuesday)!  Her birthday was on the Saturday.  Oh, well, better late than not at all.

I managed to do a couple of loads of washing before tea and got them all dried as well.  Then all that was left to do was to pack up in preparation for departure on the Great Ocean Road Adventure in the morning.

We managed to get away in good time and passed by the places I have written about before like, Bells Beach, Point Addis and Anglesea.  Before too long we were heading into countryside we had not seen before.  Our first port of call was at Spit Point Lighthouse, and Loutit Bay.

We were unable to take our caravan up to the lighthouse as the parking area is not very big, so we opted to stop near the park and walk up the hill to the lighthouse.  We have since heard that some of our new friends we met at Port Campbell did take their van up to the lighthouse and almost got stuck trying to turn around to come back down.

This lighthouse was built in 1891 as a manned station but was taken over in 1919 by the Commonwealth Government and converted to automatic operation.

 

After spending a bit of time here walking the track around the bluff and seeing the sights, we were off on the Great Ocean Road Adventure again!

Of course a couple of the most photographed houses on the Great Ocean Road are on the stretch called Fairhaven Beach.

These really are individual homes, with magnificent views.

Not far from here at Eastern View is the home of the Memorial Arch.

There was much I didn’t realize about the Great Ocean Road – and not the least was the fact that the road had been built by returned soldiers and sailors of the first World War.

 

Approximately 3000 such men laboured on the road.  They had endured much during the war, and on return to Australia it was critical for their rehabilitation back to civilian life.  Many returned to their pre-war jobs, others took up Soldier settlement farms subsidised by the Government.  The Great Ocean Road Project offered them a chance to work in the open, enjoy the comradeship of others and contribute to the young nation of Australia.

The arch at Eastern View commemorates the construction of the road, and symbolises the sacrifice made by so many in the First World War.  It stands astride the largest enduring War Memorial in the world, “The Great Ocean Road”, a living memorial to our forefathers.

In 1917 the Great Ocean Road Trust, a citizen initiative, was established to build the road and to provide employment for returned servicemen.  From 1919 work proceeded in stages, according to the availability of men and money.  A total of three thousand ex-servicemen worked with pick and shovel, using the stone and natural materials of the area.  They stayed in well-organised camps complete with vegetable plots, cooks and pianos.

Here, at Eastern View, travellers paid a toll to use the Great Ocean Road from 1922 to 1936 when the government took over the road and its maintenance.

The Great Ocean Road fulfilled a dream to link up the seaside settlements, open up the coast for development and provide the motoring public with ‘one of the most beautiful ocean drives in the world.’

Today the Great Ocean Road stretches from Torquay to Nelson.  It combines wonderful landscapes and seascapes with the bush of national parks and conservation reserves.  Each year 1.2 million vehicles pass under the archway and millions of visitors enjoy vistas and activities along the Great Ocean Road.  Refer: greatoceanroad.org.au

This is the third arch over the Great Ocean Road.  The first arch was built near the current site by the Great Ocean Road Trust in 1939.  The two plaques attached to the original arch were retained when the old arch was replaced by the country roads board in 1973.  The third and current arch was rebuilt following the destruction of the second arch by fire on Ash Wednesday 1983.


I was pretty excited to arrive at the arch and to learn so much about the history of this great road.


Cruizer himself even got out of the car to commemorate this momentous occasion.  He was particularly taken by the medals on the jacket  of one of the ex-servicemen who was immortalised in bronze as part of the statue at the memorial arch.  Then he thought he might as well go for a ride in the wheel barrow!

 

Leaving Eastern View, the road climbed around the side of the mountain and we stopped at Cinema Point to have a look back over the beach.

Again we were amazed at the scenery.

After many twists and turns we found ourselves in Lorne.

We had decided this would be our stopping point for the time, and we booked into the Lorne Foreshore Caravan Parks – Top Bank for 3 nights.

 

 

 

 

 

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