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Magazines : Breakaway Summer 2010
Showing the way Surf Coast publisher and Lonely Planet guidebook writer RICHARD EVERIST tours our impressive beacons of light Richard Everist has written and co-written a number of guide books for Lonely Planet and, in 2004, co-founded Torquay-based BestShot! Publications. His book The Complete Guide to the Great Ocean Road unlocks the region's sights, activities and background context using detailed maps, hundreds of photos, thousands of words and 414 pages. It's available from all good bookshops and Surf Coast and Otway tourist information centres. RRP $49.95. bestshot.com.au ICON LIGHTHOUSES peg down some of the most interesting corners of the Victorian coast like giant nails. The coast between Queenscliff and Cape Otway has five of the best in Australia: two in Queenscliff, one at Point Lonsdale, one at Aireys Inlet and one at Cape Otway. Make a lighthouse your starting point, and navigate outwards. There is a strange fascination about lighthouses. They embody the dramatic interaction between humans and the sea. They define and shift perspective, whether you're looking at them from a distance, standing beneath them, or taking in the view from the top. As you leave Point Roadknight, the first sight of the Split Point Lighthouse standing on the red cliffs of Aireys Inlet is one of the highlights of a trip down the Great Ocean Road. The "white queen'' dramatically completes the panorama created by the ocean and the Otway Ranges. Part of the magic of lighthouses is that they're not just window dressing and they do indeed have a purpose. Historically, the most dangerous part of the sea voyage from Europe to Melbourne was the 84km wide passage between King Island and Cape Otway (known as the eye of the needle), which only ended with a successful negotiation of the channel through Port Phillip Heads. Gradually lighthouses were put in place to reduce the risk. Cape Otway Lightstation In 1848 the Cape Otway Lighstation became the second lighthouse on the Australian coast and it is now the oldest one to survive. On a wild and empty stretch of coast surrounded by national park, the lighthouse is open to the public and guided tours are available. There's a cafe and and it's also possible to stay in the lighthouse keeper's cottage. lightstation.com Split Point Lighthouse, Aireys Inlet Compared to many, the lighthouse keeper's job at Aireys was not too tough. One of the early keepers scratched a hole in the black paint on the landward side of the light so he could check everything was functioning while he was still at the pub. Tours are available. splitpointlighthouse.com.au Point Lonsdale Lighthouse The Point Lonsdale Lighthouse overlooks the 3km wide entrance to Port Phillip Bay. There are few more dramatic sights in the world than the view from the lighthouse as a ship threads its way through The Rip in heavy seas. Queenscliff Black Lighthouse and Queenscliff White Lighthouse The two Queenscliff lighthouses were built in 1862. Both are built of bluestone, but one was left unpainted to distinguish it from its partner during daylight. The black lighthouse is in the grounds of Queenscliff Fort and is one of only a handful of black lighthouses in the world. fortqueenscliff.com.au GEELONG ADVERTISER I 23
Breakaway Autumn 2011