Victorian Lighthouses – Cape Liptrap

In 2015 and 2016 I embarked on a voyage of learning and adventure by following the Victorian Coast looking for both Lighthouses and shipwrecks and have written many a post. We have been from Wonthaggi all the way to the South Australian border (and beyond). Victoria’s coastline is often rugged and exceptionally beautiful, the fertile soil and hidden gems (gold and precious metals) made these journeys into such dangerous territory, high sea adventure in the extreme during the 1700, 1800 and 1900s. So many vessels and souls lost on that rocky coastline.

This year we picked up that trail again, this time on the South Eastern coastline, as we travelled to Inverloch. We visited the Cape Liptrap Lighthouse.


Cape Liptrap stands upon a rocky cliff top, on a solitary part of the South Gippsland coastline, warning ships of the rocks in treacherous Bass Strait.

LOCATION: Latitude 38° 54′ 5″ S, Longitude 145° 55′ 4″ E (Map)
OPERATOR: Australian Maritime Safety Authority
CHARACTER: Flashing 3 every 15 seconds
INTENSITY: 40,000 Candelas
ELEVATION: 93.6 Metres
RANGE: 18 Nautical Mile
HEIGHT: 9.75 Metres

~ Lighthouses of Victoria

The first Cape Liptrap lighthouse was established in 1913. It was a 2.1 metre steel tower with an acetylene light. As a keeper was never stationed at Cape Liptrap, it is really the first automatic Commonwealth funded light to be put into service. The current lighthouse was built in 1951 in cast concrete, and is octagonal in shape. It was converted to mains power in 1970.

True it is not the prettiest Lighthouse we have seen, but the area surrounding it is stunning and on a clear day you can see for miles. It is also one with a great view of just how rocky and dangerous the shores can be and that vessels coming too close at great risk.

We only have a few left lighthouses left to see along the Victorian Coastline, this time we need to be travelling up towards the NSW border, hopefully we can get them all done one day. Perhaps another week meandering the coast, like we did last time.

~ Julz

Weekly Photo Challenge – Heritage

I have visited many places of late that could be considered Heritage, many of them are Heritage listed. But I thought for this week WPC – Heritage, I would focus on Coal Creek Historical Village in Korumburra in Victoria, it is a whole village focusing on the Black Coal Rush Heritage of Victoria in the 1880s. The whole region was coal focused until the 1960’s.

I guess that’s part of my heritage as a Victorian, so I figured it would be great for this week’s challenge. It’s a great spot to spend a day, especially as a family.

~ Julz

An update on the Mahogany Ship

In December 2015 Moth and I drove The Great Ocean Road and did the Victorian Shipwreck Coast, I wrote numerous blog posts about all the stop; along with, all the lighthouses and shipwrecks. One such post I wrote was about the Mahogany Ship; which has been raised to near Urban Legend Status, with so many people claiming what it is or isn’t and where it may or may not be.

Just recently I have been contacted by a Mr. Rob Simpson, who believes that he and his associates may have actually found evidence of the existence of the ship and it’s remains. He first did a video on YouTube in his Quest for the Mahogany Ship. More recently they have been doing some more active searches in the area around Warrnambool and Tower Hill with scientific equipment to verify their findings. As yet nothing has been actually found, but early diagnosis seems positive, they have hopes of continuing their search when the weather improves. Going into Winter is not a pleasant time to be scouring this region.

Still it was very interesting to watch the video and read his latest achievements. You can read more about their latest endeavours here. I look forward to future explorations and perhaps finding what is under the hummocks of sand………is it in fact a shipwreck? Is it the long famed Mahogany Ship? I know sometimes a mystery is best left a mystery……..but when an opportunity offers hidden secrets it is fun to open them isn’t it? Just hope it’s not Pandora’s Box!

~ Julz

The year that was……..2016

2016 was a turbulent year, on a personal note I had many highs and some fabulous adventures, but globally there was so much sadness. 2016 was a terrible year for singers, writers and actors; Jon English, Prince, David Bowie, Glen Frey, we lost Alan Rickman and Gene Wilder and now George Michael and Carrie Fischer; just among the few. I won’t go into the horrendous acts of violence here, but there were far too many of them too.

We did a great many day trips and weekends away;

I was so lucky to get so many of my digital art pieces published, and hope to have many more in 2017.

I started my own Vimeo and YouTube channel…….please visit, like and share. I have created and printed two books and a range of greeting cards, and participated in many fun and exciting workshops, as well as ran many of my own.

It has been one hell of a ride…………I hope 2017 is just as full of amazing adventures, with less sadness and loss.

~ Julz


Spring Outings – Mont de Lancey Homestead

Built in 1867 Mont de Lancey by Henry Sabire the estate had humble beginnings and was one of the early settlers in the are of Wandin in the Yarra Valley, about one hour from Melbourne. More history can be read here.

We visited on this occasion for the Draught Horse & Vintage Machinery Weekend 

A fun day with working displays including:

  • Draught Horses ploughing the fields
  • Vintage Machinery running up a huge head of steam
  • Blacksmiths firing up the forges to make horse shoes
  • Woodturners making a range of beautiful timber objects
  • Working dogs rounding up sheep
  • Creative chainsaw carving
  • PLUS much more

A great destination for a day trip, just an hour’s drive from Melbourne.

It was a cloudy morning, which then cleared into quite a warm afternoon, but such a glorious day up in the Yarra Valley.  We watched the Cattle dogs herd sheep, watched whips being made and used.

Watched woodturners and blacksmiths, draught horses ploughing, hay baling, vintage and classic cars, wood carving and vintage machinery. We explored the grounds and the homestead, the church and schoolyard, the roses gardens and the museum. We met some great characters and talked to many people, I adore to watch these Master Craftsmen (and Women) do what they do best. Sometimes the old ways are the best ways…..true modern machinery makes things cheaper and quicker, but not as well. It was such a wonderful day out.

~ Julz


Weekend Wanderings – Guilfoyle’s Volcano

On a recent trip to the Melbourne Royal Botanic Gardens we stopped at Guilfoyle’s Volcano and spent quite a bit of time there,

Guilfoyle’s Volcano was built in 1876 and was used to store water for the botanic gardens. After lying idle for 60 years, it was restored as part of a significant landscape development project called Working Wetlands. 

This spectacular and historic water reservoir has commanding views of the city, and its striking landscape design showcases low water use plants. Boardwalks and viewing platforms give visitors the opportunity to explore this long-hidden but remarkable feature of Melbourne Gardens.

Guilfoyle’s Volcano is in the south-east corner of the gardens and is easily accessible via C Gate (enter via Anderson Street) and D Gate (enter via Birdwood Avenue).

It has a stunning array of Cacti and Succulents surrounding the reservoir and the reservoir itself has moving islands or tussocks for of water plants……very pretty and serene; and so many, many photos 🙂

I hope I did bore you too much, til next time happy snapping…

~ Julz


WPC – Admiration

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is Admiration, and must admit after spending one weekend in Victoria’s Alpine Region I have a lot of admiration for the hardy men and women who forged this land. The Cattlemen (and Women) of the Victorian High Country led such rugged, harsh and lonely lives. True the grandeur of the area is undeniable, but I was there with clear skies and cold nights; no snow, no rain or storms and certainly no bush fires, which are known to ravage these lands.

Craigs Hut

This is Craig’s Hut, it is a replica built for the movie The Man From Snowy River, it is still fairly accurate in it’s construction (This is the fourth rebuild,  mostly lost to bush fires).

And this is Fry’s Hut built in the 1930’s and is the only remaining original bush hut in the high country.

Til next time, safe travels and happy snapping…



Victorian Lighthouses – Whalers Bluff, Portland

Overlooking the large Port of Portland is the Lighthouse Reserve, also known as Whalers Bluff. Here amongst seaside cottages is a functioning Lighthouse.



The Whalers Bluff Lighthouse was originally erected with keeper’s quarters on Battery Point in 1859 and was known as the Portland Bay Lighthouse. It was first lit in that same year. The lantern was made in England. The lighthouse was then relocated, stone by stone, to it’s current position on North Bluff (Whaler’s Bluff) in 1889 to make way for gun emplacements on Battery Point. Another reason given for the relocation was that it was less vulnerable to attack on Whaler’s Bluff.

LOCATION: Latitude 38°20’4″ S, Longitude 141°36’6″ E 
OPERATOR: Victoria Channels Authority
EXHIBITED: 1859 Battery Point. 1889 Whalers Bluff
CONSTRUCTION: Dressed stone
CHARACTER: Group Flashing White and Red every 10 seconds
ELEVATION: 41 metres
RANGE: 15 nautical miles
HEIGHT: 12 metres
CUSTODIAN: Victoria Channels Authority

This site was situate a mere 5 minutes from where our hotel was located, and we visited a few times in our short stay. We went late one evening and thought it must be a brilliant sport for sunrise. So up early again we were, but that damn sea mist and low cloud were back and sunrise……….it was a no show again. I did get some good shots of the lighthouse and port though.


Well that brings me to the end of this stretch of Victorian Coastline, perhaps another time we will head out East and cover that area, through South Gippsland and Wilson’s Prom. This is another wild and rugged area of Victoria’s coastline heading towards the NSW Border. Til next time folks, happy snappy and safe travels……


Victorian Shipwrecks – Portland to Nelson

I thought I might split this last spot into two post; one for the Lighthouse and one for the Shipwrecks – there are a lot.

Nelson (SA Border)

I freely admit we did not go looking for these three, they are listed as not found and we had already visited so many spots, where nothing was found and there is nothing to see, but it would be remiss of me to not mention them, as they are the final three along this bit of the coast. The fact is that there is not alot of ANYTHING at Nelson, but the Cafe did make good coffee.

S.S. Perseverance 1890 – 1898 (not found) The S.S. Perseverance was wrecked on the sandbar at the mouth of the Glenelg River whilst attempting a voyage from Nelson to the river Murray in South Australia.

The Triumph 1840 – 1863 (not found) The Western Australian-built schooner The Triumph disappeared whilst on a voyage from Port MacDonnell to Port Adelaide. The remains of the vessel were later found cast ashore at Discovery Bay. There were no survivors.

John Ormerod 1826 – 1861 (not found) The English-built schooner John Ormerod came ashore east of the Glenelg River mouth, after having been blown over on to its side whilst off Cape Bridgewater. Only three of the crew survived.


Portland is one of the few natural deep water ports in Australia. Bass Strait sealers are thought to have used it as a base well before the 1820s when it became an established whaling station. Since then, with the growth of a prosperous hinterland and fishing industries, the arrival of goldseekers, immigration and, more recently, manufacturing developments, Portland has become a thriving city. Before the construction of the breakwaters and deepwater moorings, Portland Bay was a trap for vessels at anchor. Strong south-easterly gales often caught them unprepared and drove them ashore. There are 17 shipwrecks in Portland Bay. These vessels carried immigrants and all manner of cargoes, including timber, whaling products, potatoes, clothing, alcohol and pianos. Most have never been located.

Henry 1827 – 1834 (not found) The small schooner Henry became the first recorded shipwreck in Portland Bay when it was forced ashore while loading whale oil in August 1834.

New Zealander 1852 – 1853 The immigrant ship New Zealander had discharged its 465 passengers and was undergoing repairs when it caught fire. The remains of the wreck can still be seen in the water below the Lighthouse Reserve.

Lady Robilliard 1845 – 1867 (not found) The Lady Robilliard was on a voyage from Port Adelaide to Portland when a south-easterly gale drove it ashore near Whalers Bluff.

Argo 1867 – 1883 (not found) The 17-ton wooden cutter Argo, built in Port Fairy, was wrecked on Portland beach during a south-easterly gale on 31 December 1883.

Margaret and Agnes 1850 – 1852 (not found) The Victorian-built schooner Margaret and Agnes had just arrived at Portland Bay from Port Fairy with a cargo of potatoes, flour and bran, when it was blown ashore.

Mary Jane 1846 – 1852 (not found) Following the wreck of the Canadian-built brigantine, Mary Jane and the stranding of the schooner Brothers in May 1852, the Portland Guardian criticized the vessels’ captains for anchoring too close to shore, and called on the Colonial Government to appoint a harbour master at Portland.

Tui 1868 – 1883 (not found) The 18-ton cutter Tui, built at Port Fairy in 1868, was reported wrecked at Portland following a south-easterly gale in 1883.

Nestor 1840-1854 (not found) The immigrant ship Nestor was lost due to foul play. After the wreck, divers discovered three holes bored in the hull. The master was later arrested and charged with scuttling his ship, but charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Australasia 1847 – 1855 (not found) Australasia and Constant were both driven ashore during a severe gale in March 1855. The Australasia was sold to the Henty brothers, who made a small fortune by salvaging the cargo of wool.

Constant 1843 – 1855 (not found) The Constant had just discharged its 229 immigrants before being blown ashore during a storm, possibly because of poor anchors.

Regia 1835 – 1860 The remains of the Indian-built barque Regia, grounded during a severe gale, can still be seen lying in two metres of water next to the reclaimed land on the Portland foreshore.

Tamora 1853-1860 (not found) The wooden barque Temora blew ashore in a gale while unloading cargo. Portland police charged some people with theft from the vessel, including the master of the schooner Eva, which was wrecked in the same gale.

Elizabeth 1837 – 1844 (not found) The Tasmanian-built schooner Elizabeth and another schooner, Sally Ann, were driven ashore during a south-easterly gale in Portland Bay in mid-November 1844.

Elizabeth 1838 – 1846 (not found) The Canadian-built brig Elizabeth was totally wrecked on the beach directly below the Portland town site during a south-easterly gale in November 1846.

Henry 1853 (not found) According to some sources, the two-masted schooner Henry, built specifically to trade between Melbourne and Portland, went ashore during a gale at Portland in September 1853 and became a total wreck.

Sally Ann 1826 – 1844 (not found) The Bermudan-built schooner Sally Ann, owned by Stephen Henty, was a regular visitor to Portland. She was driven ashore in a south-easterly gale in mid November 1844, along with the schooner Elizabeth.

Merope’s boat 1839 (not found) One of the earliest recorded wrecks in Portland Bay was that of a small boat from the barque Merope. It struck a reef while the crew was hunting whales off Lawrence Rocks in May 1839. Furthermore the actual vessel Merope came to grief not far away in 1853, after striking a reef east of the Fitzroy River mouth. The Indian-built sailing ship Merope had also survived a stranding in Western Australia. Oops not a good safety record on this one.


This last image was taken late evening on the edge of Whaler’s Bluff overlooking the Port of Portland. Which is where I will finish off my Posts of Lighthouses along the Victorian coast.


Summer Outings – Pentridge Prison Ghost Tours

This is not your normal Summer Family Outing and it’s been a little while since we did one, but we love a good Ghost Tour, in fact I don’t think I have ever written a post about one. We did one of Melbourne CDB, which was mostly a walking history tour of the early days with some dismemberment thrown in, the whole Underbelly and Squizzy Taylor Days.We also did another of Beechworth Gaol and Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum (I am doing it again in September too). That was in a derelict mansion with screeching possums.Lots of fun.Anyway, with a group of friends (6 in total) we recently did a tour of the now closed HM Pentridge Prison, Coburg, Victoria.


wp-1456666654700.jpgHM Prison Pentridge was a prison built in 1850 in Coburg, Victoria. The first prisoners arrived in 1851. The original structure was made from wood, yep, that will keep criminals nicely locked away. Apparently fire, or even simply kicking down the door had not occurred to those in authority at the time. So a large Bluestone building was built.According to our Lantern Ghost Tour Guide, Ross, the first prisoners were women and they were all in one large dormitory style accommodation, apparently they thought THAT would be a GOOD IDEA at the time too………didn’t last long, and ended in a Coronial Inquiry into Gross Sexual Deviancy!

Pentridge Prison was often known by the nickname “The Bluestone College”, “Coburg College” or the “College of Knowledge”, as young criminals came out better prepared for a more profitable criminal career, than when they came in, learning from those on the inside what NOT to do to get caught.

The prison was split into many divisions, named using letters of the alphabet.

  • A – Short and long-term prisoners of good behaviour but during the late 1980s till its closure it became a scene of many monthly bashings, stabbings and bludgeonings.
  • B – Long-term prisoners with behaviour problems
  • C – Vagabonds and short term prisoners, where Ned Kelly was imprisoned (Demolished early 1970s)
  • D – Remand prisoners
  • E – A dormitory division housing short term prisoners
  • F – Remand and short-term
  • G – Psychiatric problems
  • H – High security, discipline and protection
  • J – Young Offenders Group- Later for long-term with record of good behaviour
  • Jika Jika – maximum security risk and for protection, later renamed K Division

We went into D Division, where the last prisoners executed in Australia (man and woman), were housed.Ronald Ryan was the last man executed at Pentridge Prison and in Australia. Ryan was hanged in “D” Division at 8.00 on 3 February 1967 after being convicted of the shooting death of a prison officer during a botched escape from the same prison. Later that day, Ryan’s body was buried in an unmarked grave within the “D” Division prison facility. The last person, a woman to be hanged was 16 years prior to this.D Division saw the likes of Peter Dupas, Mark ‘Chopper’ Reid, Squizzy Taylor, Julian Knight, and Christopher Dale Flannery amongst many, many others.

The prison officially closed on 1 May 1997. Since decommissioning, the prison has been partly demolished to make way for a housing development. We heard many stories of murder, intrigue and strange sightings, from within the prison walls, it was eerily dark and we were kept to a fairly confined area. Once the tour completed we were free to roam the halls of D Division for 20 minutes for photos etc.It was all really spooky and a lot of fun………..sadly no ghosts or strange goings on. Oh and the Pentagram on the cell floor? Apparently an inmate or two was into the dark arts, Eddie Leonski.

Anyway if you have never done a Lantern Ghost tour, check them out, I am sure someone will be doing one near you!