Day 25 -25th April

We had a good night sleep with everyone being quiet; it was a cold night though. We had a nice sleep in and a leisurely morning before packing our lunch and heading off to the Cape Otway Lightstation. The light has been operating since 1848 and is on towering sea cliffs 80 meters above where Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean collide.

Before the lighthouse was built hundreds of lives were lost due to many shipwrecks on the rugged coast. At the Lightstation there is also a restored Telegraph Station and a World War Radar Bunker. The Telegraph Station was built to house Australia’s first Submarine telegraph cable, which linked Tasmanian and the mainland. When the cable failed the building became a Lloyds’ Single Station, signalling passing ships and telegraphing the details to Melbourne. Between 1882 and 1933 it was a school and accommodation for the Armed Services and Lightkeeper’s families.


The Lightstation is also home to the Head Lightkeeper’s house which was built in 1857 from green sandstone from a nearby quarry. Cape Otway is an important reference for the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.


The weather is recorded 24hrs a day 365 days a year with weathermen reporting observation to the Bureau twice a day. The Assistant Lightkeeper’s cottage built in 1858 and housed two assistants and their families. There is also another cottage used as a workshop built in 1850.


The Manager’s House was built in 1970. The Manager’s House is now used for accommodation. The Radar Bunker was built in 1942 after the US Steamship City of Rayville was sunk by a German mine off the Cape, in November 1940. The narrow gap between Cape Otway and King Island less than 90km was so hazardous at least 18 ships were wrecked there. In 1835 almost 250 lives were lost when the convict ship Neva was shipwrecked off King Island. In another major shipping disaster 399 immigrants perished when the Cataraqui was wrecked off King Island in 1845. This cause the people to demand a lighthouse was built in the area.


The Cape Otway Lighthouse was built in 1848, originally fuelled by whale oil, then kerosene and later electricity, in shone 48kms out to sea. The old light was decommissioned in 1994 and replaced with a close-by solar-powered automatic beacon. It costs $16.50 to go to the Lightstation, includes a climb up to the top of the lighthouse. It is well worth it, we spent several house there, it was very windy at the lighthouse, especially at the top.

Keeper Cape Otway Lighthouse

Coming out, along the road leading back to the Great Ocean Road we saw at least 5 Koala’s. People were stopping everywhere to take photos of them, we were fortunate to find one that wasn’t too high up the tree. We spent a nice relaxing afternoon back at the van before trying for some sunset shots but when the weather changes here it happens fast and all we got was a bit wet as it started to rain.

Koala 20100425Map


Day 24- 24th April

We had such nice neighbours who moved on yesterday only to be replaced by some very inconsiderate rude so and so’s. They talked loud, had loud music on until nearly 2am last night, obviously keeping us awake. There was also another group a bit further up just outside the park keeping people awake up there. The people next to us were in tents and had spread themselves across the back of 2 power sites, so the management is going to sort them out. Chris was also kept awake trying to still solve the Jackaroo problem.


We have moved on from the Apollo Bay area and stopped at one of the free camping spots we scoped out the other day. Called Johanna Beach, turn off is between Glenaire and Lavers Hill on the Great Ocean Road. The camping area is just behind some sand dunes next to the beach. There are several areas, some are level some a bit sloppy and some more protected from the wind than others, there is several more around the place, including another area about 300m, so it is spread out over a big area. After we had people keeping us awake last night we were careful where we put ourselves. We expected it to be packed, but it wasn’t when we came in. Several other caravans have come into our area suitable spaced, people are arriving all the time, fingers crossed it will be a quiet night.

Johanna-Beach - 02

It is a brilliant spot and if the weather was nice it would be lovely on the beach. This area is used as a surf beach for contests when the waves aren’t good at Bells Beach. So as you can imagine there were a few surfers when we walked down to the beach. They weren’t sticking around too long though as it was howling, there is a gale force warning out for this area. The wind was blowing the sand onto our legs like sharp little rocks; we didn’t stick around too long either. We are reasonable protected where we are camped, is raining on and off and is freezing outside in that wind. We had said the weather had been pretty mild up until now, not so bad in the van.


It is cooling down outside, and is a bit of noise but it’s only early and the cold may force them into warm beds. No luck with the Jack yet, but not from a lack of trying on Chris’s part.