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

Autumn Wanderings – Clifton Springs Jetty

We had our first taste of Autumn over the weekend, after being hot and humid all week, we had a temperature drop of over 15C, it was grey, drab, cold, windy and lots of rain. Melbourne at it’s worst.I would happily have taken a dark threatening moody sky, but no we just got grey! So this is the weather we faced when we met with some Photographer friends at an old jetty in Clifton Springs………quite a distance from where we live, so it meant an early start, and lots of coffee. Our mission for the day was ND (Neutral Density) Long exposures. I had just recently purchased brand new Formatt Hitech ND10 and ND16 filters and we were very keen to try them out.See what I mean about drab and grey?


ISO 100, F/9, 32mm 90 Seconds ND 16

My other issue I had (apart from colourless skies) is the light leak, there is a light band across the middle of the image, in colour this is bright red, there is another green band across the bottom. It’s not on every photo, but most, making my images useless, unless they are B&W and heavily edited. Apparently the Nikon D7100 has a ridiculously sensitive Toshiba sensor which is easily affected by light leaks. It really has not been much of a problem until recently. I purchased some cheap Cokin filters and had this bizarre colour cast (I assumed it was the cheap filters), I cover my viewfinder with a hat, apparently my hat does not always completely block out the light coming through the viewfinder or bouncing back off reflective surfaces, like water and sand. I need something else. Sure the camera came with a little cover, but it is pretty small, useless and very quickly lost.Did I mention it only happens on long exposures? I am thinking something similar to a shower cap design made from heavy material.

So we finished up at the jetty and a few of us decided that S.S. Ozone wreck was not far away, so we went and shot there as well.

Then because St. Leonards was not much further we went and shot there too, finally starting to get some colour in the sky by then (and of course the water).


Then as it was getting quite late we decided to head into Queenscliffe, a little further down the road. We had a lovely (albeit late) lunch at a cafe and then wandered the streets. Queenscliffe is a beach town, it hosts a port for the ferry to Mornington Peninsula and various other vessels. There is no shortage of cafes, bakeries, arts and crafts, surf shops and more; so we did a little retail therapy (bought several goodies) and took pictures of the old buildings. There is also a White and Black Lighthouse here, which I have posted about previously. So I visited the Black again for new pics (I really find the white one quite ugly).

I really wanted to go to Point Lonsdale again as well, but we spent so much time at Queenscliffe and had to catch the last ferry back to Portsea. The ferry is a lovely way to travel, no traffic and you can grab a coffee and chat, or sleep. We had dolphins with us for some of the trip across the bay, sadly no photos; they were very quick. Once docked we did the now very familiar drive from Mornington Peninsula back home.

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.


Victorian Lighthouses and Shipwrecks -Cape Nelson

DSC_1059Drawing to the very tale end of our trip along the Victorian Coast, just before Christmas (and to be honest past the end of The Great Ocean Road even) we got to Portland. I was actually quite excited to be back in Portland, as I had spent time there as a kid. There were several places I wanted to visit, alas the sea mist followed us from Port Fairy and we could see very little; additional bushfires were not helping the cause either. First cab of the rank when we arrived was Cape Nelson (not to be confused with Nelson on the S.A. border).

Built in 1884 and still standing on these rugged bluffs along with the Lighthouses Keepers Cottages (which you can actually stay in, perhaps one day, it would be a wonderful spot for sunrise). A remarkable feature of the lighthouse reserve is a rubble wall 1.75 metres high, 0.4 metres wide and 435 metres (1450 ft) long surrounding the keepers quarters and extending out to the light to protect the keepers from the harsh winds. In 1977, a major overhaul of the lantern room was undertaken and the cupola (dome) was replaced. In 1987, the light was connected mains power.

We were still battling the sea mist, which had started to blow off, but made visibility extremely limited. It honestly doesn’t look too bad in these photos, but it did make for limited viewing from the bluffs.


Because of the number of tragic shipwrecks in the vicinity; the Victorian Government had the lighthouse constructed at Cape Nelson.


Marie 1851 (not found) The barque Marie, on a voyage from Antwerp to Sydney via Adelaide, was wrecked off Cape Bridgewater in September 1851. All on board, including the Belgian Consul, were drowned.

Jane 1863 (not found) Poor visibility caused the schooner Jane to be wrecked at Cape Bridgewater in June 1863. A local resident, Waldy Hedditch, was drowned during the rescue attempt.

S.S. Barwon 1863-1871 The steamship S.S. Barwon sank in Bridgewater Bay after striking a reef off Cape Bridgewater during foggy weather. The remains of the vessel can still be seen from the cliffs overlooking the bay. (We could not see anything due to the mist).

Isabella 1826 – 1837 When Captain Hart of the Isabella mistook Lady Julie Percy Island for Cape Nelson in 1837 he plotted a course that took the barque into the cliffs of the Cape. All on board were saved.

Captain Cook 1847 – 1850 (not found) The Australian-built schooner Captain Cook was wrecked at the top of Cape Nelson Bay during a sudden southeasterly gale.

(Info from Shipwreck Trail from Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village)


Another tourist attraction of the area (which I may not have mentioned previously – due to the fact it is way to strenuous for me) is the 250 km long Great South-West Walk along the coast between Portland and Nelson. I’m sure it provides an excellent way to see a variety of scenery and wildlife in south-western Victoria.

Well that’s about it from me, til next time, happy snapping………..



Victorian Lighthouses and Shipwrecks – Griffiths Island

Griffiths Island, often incorrectly spelled as Griffith Island, sits at the mouth of the Moyne River  within the boundary of Port Fairy itself. Griffiths has no permanent (human) inhabitants, and is connected to the mainland by a causeway and is only accessible by foot. It forms part of the Port Fairy and Belfast Coastline Protection Reserve and, as well as being a tourist attraction, is an important site in the context of the history of European settlement of western Victoria.

When we were in Port Fairy the sea mist (which we have not really seen before) was surrounding us, we could barely see a few feet in front of us. It made sightseeing difficult, although did make for some moody photos! It was hot and humid and quite eerie walking along the causeway from the mainland to the island, there are shallows full of swans, ducks and various birds, ghosting along silently on calm water. I put a post on Instagram about how it reminded me of the horror movie The Fog…….which strangely was liked by the Port Fairy Tourist Centre!

We walked the 1.5km walk on the short, easy side (no sand dunes) it is all bitumen and gravel paths on that side. Lots of lovely trees surrounded by mist and we spotted a wallaby as well………..not very shy, so we got lots of photos. The path takes you directly to the lighthouse which eventually appeared out of the mist, it is also located at the end of a short causeway surrounded by lots of rocks and a little sand. Part of the fence and gate is all that remains of the Gatekeeper’s Residence.


Griffiths Island was named after John Griffiths, an entrepreneur and merchant from Tasmania, who figured prominently in the early history of the area. From the mid 1830s until 1843 the island served as a base for a bay whaling station for Southern Right Whales, until the supply of whales was exhausted and the industry went into terminal decline.

Griffiths Island Lighthouse was built in 1859, from local bluestone. The stairway was constructed with each step being inserted in the next course of stone in the outer wall. The lighthouse was initially manned by two keepers, the last keeper to live on the island was there from 1929 to 1954, when the light was automated; the two stone keepers’ cottages were subsequently demolished in about 1956. The island is about 1.5 km long and 0.8 km wide at its widest point, with an area of about 31 ha.

Griffiths Island Lighthouse
Coordinates 38°23′06″S 142°15′04″E
Year first lit 1859
Construction bluestone tower
Tower shape cylindrical
Markings / pattern white tower with red trim and lantern
Height 11 m
Focal height 12.5 m
Original lens catadioptric lantern
Range 22 km
Characteristic group flashing white, twice every 10 seconds
Admiralty number K2146
NGA number 8028
ARLHS number AUS-086


Some 80 plus bird species have been recorded on the island, especially seabirds and waders. There is a large breeding colony of short-tailed shearwaters, locally known as ‘muttonbirds’, with an estimated 100,000 burrows.  The shearwater colony is a tourist attraction in spring and summer, there is a viewing area to watch the birds as they return in a swarm to their burrows at sunset. There are other animals residents on the island include swamp wallabies, short-beaked echidnas, blue-tongued lizards and tiger snakes; we only saw the wallabies.


Port Fairy sits at the mouth of the Moyne River, and is one of Victoria’s earliest settlements, it began as a whaling station. Twenty ships were lost at Port Fairy when driven ashore by southerly gales between 1836 and 1876. During this period, Port Fairy grew from a sealing and whaling base to a thriving rural port. Here are just a few, we never saw any evidence of the wreckage.

Socrates 1821 – 1843 The British built whaler was wrecked with its cargo of cattle, sheep and oil from Tasmania when its cable parted during an easterly gale.

Lydia 1825 – 1843 The Liverpool-built South American trader was sailing from Sydney to London in ballast when lost after running ashore.

Thistle 1825 – 2837 The Indian-built schooner owned by the Hentys was wrecked when its crew was collecting wattle bark during the off-season from whaling.

Essington 1826 – 1852 Government-built in Sydney as a troop and convict transport, it was privately owned when wrecked in a gale while carrying general cargo from Sydney


Victorian Lighthouses and Shipwrecks – Warrnambool

Most of my posts up until now have been one of the other, but in Warrnambool I get to cover both, and not just one but two lighthouses; plus fifteen shipwrecks.

Lady Bay Lighthouses

The Lady Bay Lighthouses were originally built in 1858-9 of basalt quarried on the Maribyrnong River, Melbourne. The upper tower, chartroom, cottage and privy were originally located on Middle Island, and the lower light was located on a timber tower on the beach. In 1871 the lights were moved to Flagstaff Hill as leading lights for the entry to the treacherous and shallow Warrnambool Harbour. The lower light was placed on a blue stone obelisk that had been erected there as a navigation marker in 1854. A flagstaff had been erected on the hill as early as 1853. The battery of two 80 pounder rifled, muzzle loading guns was added in 1887 as part of a general upgrade to the defences of Victoria which saw Port Phillip Bay transformed into a fortress and the nearby ports of Belfast (Port Fairy) and Portland receive a similar armament to Warrnambool. The fortifications and guns were in a derelict condition until they were restored after the complex was integrated into the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum in the 1970s.

Lady Bay Shipwrecks

Although most of the shipwrecks are actually listed as not found, there is ample evidence, written, verbal and salvage of these wrecks. Many items from salvage are displayed at the Flagstaff Maritime Village and Museum. Here are just a few.

Enterprise 1847 – 1850 (not found) The New Zealand-built schooner Enterprise had sailed from Melbourne and was anchored in Lady Bay, Warrnambool when a south easterly gale swept in on 14 September 1850. The vessel began to drag its anchor, grounded, then went broadside onto the beach. A local Aborigine, Buckawall, struggled through the rough sea from the shore and secured a line to the Enterprise, allowing the crew to land safely. The vessel became a total wreck.

Golden Spring 1848 – 1863 (not found) Built in Maine, USA in 1848, the brig Golden Spring was registered in Sydney from 1858. The vessel was anchored in Lady Bay when a gale blew up, causing it to drag anchor and strike the wreck of the Maid of Julpha, located some 150 metres off shore in the bay. The Golden Spring soon broke in two. The gale was noted as the worst that had been record in Warrnambool at this time. The sloop Peveril was wrecked in the same gale.

Free Trader 1850 – 1894 The Tasmanian-built barque Free Trader parted from both its main anchors during a sudden gale at Warrnambool in July 1984; it was in ballast at the time, pending a voyage to Newcastle. The remaining anchor dragged, and the vessel drifted towards the beach, going broadside onto the piling at the swimming baths. The piling soon battered a hole through the hull, and the vessel filled with water. The crew escaped by climbing onto the piling, but the 44 year old Free Trader became a total wreck. The site is probably deeply buried under the sand in the intertidal zone south west of the Surf Life Saving Club.

Alexandra 1863 – 1882 (not found) The Alexandra was an English built brig which plied the inter-colonial waters around Australia during the nineteenth century. In 1882, while waiting in Warrnambool to load potatoes bound for Sydney, the Alexandra was struck by a south-westerly gale. The parting of an anchor cable resulted in the ship drifting, and striking sternfirst on the beach in Lady Bay. No lives were lost but the ship was a total wreck and eventually broke up in rough weather.

Edinburgh Castle 1863 – 1888 The Scottish barque Edinburgh Castle wrecked in 1888 near the mouth of the Hopkins River in Lady Bay. The ship was carrying an important cargo of cement from London for construction of the Warrnambool breakwater. Pilot error caused the ship to run aground despite the calm weather and it settled in sand, foiling efforts to refloat it. The remains of the ship were scattered in the surf and the site is now buried, but occasionally becomes exposed during rough weather.

Whaleboat unknown – 1836 (not found) In the winter of 1836 a whaleboat swamped and sank while entering the Hopkins River. One of the three whaleboat crew drowned in the incident. Further tragedy struck when another boat, captained by John Mills, overturned while trying to recover the whaleboat. The site has yet to be found or identified.

La Bella 1893-1905 The Norwegian-built barquentine La Bella was approaching Warrnambool with a cargo of timber from Kaipara, New Zealand, in heavy seas and evening mist when it ran aground on what is now known as La Bella Reef. By sunrise only seven of the 12 crew still clung to the wreck. A local fisherman, William Ferrier, rowed his small punt through heavy seas to rescue two of the crew, including the captain, whilst the volunteer lifeboat crew rescued a further three before La Bella broke in half and sank. William Ferrier was 25 years old at the time, and was awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Humane Society for his daring rescue. The wreck now lies in 13m of water and is home to an abundance of marine life.

Freedom 1841 – 1853 (not found) The Freedom was a two-masted schooner built in Jersey, England. It was carrying a cargo of wheat, barley and flour bound for Sydney when it was driven ashore at Warrnambool by a south easterly gale. Although refloated, another gale drove the vessel ashore again on 11 October 1853. This time the anchors parted and the ship was blown ashore near the jetty where it became a total wreck. The site has not been located.

Yarra 1850 – 1882 (not found) The Yarra was built in Hobart, Tasmania as a two-masted brigantine. It was waiting to unload a cargo of coal from Newcastle when the anchors parted in heavy swell and the ship drifted out of control across Lady Bay. The Yarra first collided with the SS Dawn, before grounding east of the jetties, where it broke up the following day. The site was later dynamited as it was a navigation hazard, and the remains of the site have not been located.


Just more proof of how beautiful, but unpredictable and deadly our coastline can be. We saw it on a warm, clear, still summer day, with light breezes and calm seas, it was not until a few days later that we saw any evidence of it being otherwise.


Victorian Lighthouse – Cape Otway


This will be a short and brief post, after suffering severe disappointment at not being able to shoot sunrise, we were not prepared to wait the 5 hours for it to open. This is the only photo I have.

It is Australia’s oldest working lighthouse. During winter to spring, the lighthouse is a vantage point for land-based whale watching as migrating whales swim very close to shore. The government reserved the tip of the cape as the site for a lighthouse. Access to the site was difficult; it was eventually reached overland and construction of the Cape Otway Lightstation began in 1846 from stone quarried at the Parker River.

The light was first lit in 1848 using a first order Fresnel lens; it was the second lighthouse completed on mainland Australia and it remains the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia. It was decommissioned in January 1994 after being the longest continuous operating light on the Australian mainland.  A telegraph station was added to the site when Tasmania was connected to the mainland by a submarine telegraph line from Cape Otway to Launceston in 1859.

Eight ships were wrecked along the coast of Cape Otway. These included the Marie Gabrielle (1851), Sacramento (1853), Schomberg (1855), Loch Ard (1878), Joseph H. Scammell (May 1891), Fiji (September 1891) and the Casino in 1932. The first American vessel sunk during World War II, the SS City of Rayville, was also sunk off the Cape by a German mine in 1940, which sank less than 24 hours after the British Ship S.S. Cambridge off Wilsons Promontory. The Americans built a radar bunker on the Cape in 1942 which is now open to the public.

The lightstation was decommissioned in January 1994 after being the longest continuous operating light on the Australian mainland. It has been replaced by a low powered solar light in front of the original tower whose focal plane is at 73 m above sea level. Its light characteristic is three white flashes every 18 seconds.


Year first constructed 1848 (first)
Year first lit 1994 (current)
Deactivated 1994 (first)
Construction sandstone (first)
fiberglass (current]]
Tower shape conical frustum tower with balcony and lantern
Markings / pattern white tower and lantern
Height 20 metres (66 ft) (first)
4 metres (13 ft) (current)
Focal height 91 metres (299 ft) (first)
73 metres (240 ft) (current)
Original lens First order Fresnel
Intensity white 1,000,000 cd; Red 4,000 cd
Range 26 nautical miles (48 km)
Characteristic three white flashes, separated by 4.5 s, every 18 s (currrent)


Great Ocean Road – Day 6, Part 1

Due to the many images, I have split this day’s travels into 2 parts

Picked the worst hotel in Portland it seemed, woke in agony. But at least we didn’t spend too much time there, as we planned a sunrise shoot back at Whaler’s Bluff. It was not very cold, but cloudy and we had hoped it might dissipate, but by the time sunrise hit, the sea mist was back with a vengeance and we could see nothing. All thoughts of a return trip to Cape Nelson lighthouse, the wind farms and a few others items became apparent; just were not worth the time. We wandered around town, stop by a few old churches, the town hall and artillery hill, then headed to Cape Bridgewater. We even spotted a peacock just ambling along the side of the road?

Cape Bridgewater was almost a lost cause, no seals by sea cruise, nor whale watching for me. We drove out to the Petrified Forest (Not a real forest), and the Blow Hole where one can usually see whales at this time of year – no show for us.

We drove out to Nelson (on the S.A. border) and decided that inland might be the way to go. Spoke to the Information lady who suggested we try Mt Gambier and possibly the Sink Hole Gardens and then Tantaloola Caves; as they are easier to negotiate than the Rose Caverns at Nelson. The further we headed inland the hotter it became, but at least the sea mist eventually disappeared.

I will leave it here for now and continue the rest of Day 6 in another post.



Great Ocean Road – Day 5

After a busy few days, we decided on a little sleep in. We then headed over to Tower Hill, by the time we got there it was already getting very hot. The weather for the last few days had been wonderful, but now we knew it was Summer. Instead of the long walk to the top, we made the shorter (more sheltered) walk along the Lava Board Walk. Apart from a few brush birds (finch and such) we only saw a few curious emus. Tower Hill is an ancient volcanic crater, now a wildlife reserve.

We then headed out to Mailor’s Flat to visit a supposedly really cool antique/junk store (which of course was closed), then dropped into to Koroit to check that out – not much there! Finally we made our way over to Port Fairy. In the distance we saw what we at first thought was smoke, growing larger as we got nearer to Port Fairy, however we could not smell smoke and the radio said bush fires in Portland, so we assumed it was from that. When we arrived in Port Fairy…….it was like something out of a horror movie, The Fog! Technically it’s called sea mist. It was still very warm and quite humid, but allowed little visibility.

We stopped by Artillery Hill to see the guns and defences, then drove around the Port and Breakwater. Eventually we drove to the little walk bridge that leads to Griffith Island (and another Light House). The Sea Mist by this stage was getting worse. Made for some eerie, dramatic light house shots!We walked the 1.25 kms to the Lighthouse, saw a little black faced wallaby and explored the island as much as we could see.

We continued our drive onto Portland, hoping for better weather, we saw many desolate and abandoned buildings, burnt out, decayed with age and neglect. It is kind of sad, but beautiful in their own right, and quite frankly a photographers dream.

Sea mist had dissipated only marginally, we drove around town for a bit, then headed out to Cape Nelson for another lighthouse, some 4WD tracks and wind farms. We gave up on any of the look outs, could not see a thing, but we did find another wallaby.

Heading back into town we went to Whaler’s Bluff, with the skies clearing. Looks like a great sport to shoot sunrise, IF the weather holds clear.

There are 100’s of ship wrecks in and around this port, most of which cannot be seen from land, many have never been found, some are for divers only. We had hoped to visit the Tram Depot, Seals by Sea, Artillery after shooting sunrise in the morning. But by now getting late, time for dinner and a hotel for the night.