Thursday, September 4, 2014

Cape Otway Lightstation: Beacon of Light

While driving towards Kennett River on the Great Ocean Road, I thought it was a good time to check my Facebook wall. My friend Richard, who has a soft spot for lighthouses suggested we visit one at Cape Otway. As soon as I mentioned this to Mr H, the signboard for Cape Otway Lightstation appeared. Despite it not being part of our itinerary, Mr H seem more keen to visit here than the koalas at Kennett River. So bye bye it was to the koalas.

It was a quiet drive to the lighthouse. With no network coverage to activate Google maps, we continued along looking for signs that we were on the right track. Leaf-less trees continued to line both sides of the road and being 2 hours away from sunset, an eerie feeling slowly set in. A herd of cows grazing grass unexpectedly appeared, creating a ripple of excitement on my part. Hahaha.

Certainly not what we expected, cows grazing by the roadside.
Well mannered cows - all in a row.
A few kilometres on, we arrived at the entrance of Cape Otway Lighthouse. There is an entry fee of $19.50 (adult). If you plan your visit in advance, discounted tickets could be purchased at the Visitor Information Centre in Lorne and Apollo Bay and also Otway Fly. It was already 4:00pm by the time we arrived. Since we had an hour to explore (doors close at 5:00pm), we bought our tickets.

My initial thought was $19.50 is expensive just to see a lighthouse. I later found out there are at least 15 areas of interest within the grounds, making it less expensive if you average the cost. For an idea of what you could expect, view Cape Otway Lightstation's map here.

Due to time constraints and also the weather (it rained the moment we stepped in), we sought shelter at the "important" areas and gave the open areas a miss. Haha. It is not fun to explore historical sites in the rain - especially when you are on a cliff, exposed to strong winds and not dressed in rain gear!

Not heading straight for the lighthouse, we stopped at Telegraph Station first, followed by Flagstaff and Weather Station respectively. The lighthouse was our fourth stop. A small group ahead of us were making a move, leaving us with the lighthouse for ourselves. We took our time to look around and interacted with the "lighthouse keeper" who is actually a trained guide there.

Light at the end of the pathway.
Let's check out the 360 degrees balcony.
This could be the current lighthouse.
We stepped out from the lighthouse into the rain. Not prepared for such weather, we dashed towards the Cafe which used to be the Assistant Lightkeeper's residence for shelter. It was near closing time and there was not much options for us to snack out. We waited out for a bit and when the rain eased, we made our way back to the entrance (also the exit). 

Unfortunately it rained again before we got there which saw us making a detour into the Old Workshop. There were historical items on display which kept us occupied throughout the wait. The rain eased up again and we made our way to the exit one more time. This time we were successful and made it just in time to our car before it poured.

One final scary picture of me before leaving Cape Otway Lightstation grounds.

For more information on Cape Otway Lightstation, visit their website.

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