Sunday, 26 July 2015

Day 105 - 26th July

Southbank to Point Lonsdale

Distance Travelled - 128.7 km

Woke up at about 6 am, remarkably refreshed and with a back feeling much less sore than usual after a night sleeping on the floor at Lindsay and Heather's. Stayed under the sleeping back and tried to go back to sleep without success until about 7.30 am when I finally ventured out. Heather and Lindsay were already awake and I was provided with a welcome coffee before heading off on a walk around town for about 40 minutes.

Came back and chatted with Lindsay and Heather for a while about a variety of things before heading off on another walk though the Crown complex, looking at the dazzling array of lights and waterfall in the foyer and reception area. It all looked very opulent and flash. Continued on out the back exit and wandered down to the Polly Woodside Maritime Museum where the Gellibrand Pile Light was housed. This lighthouse was partially destroyed some time ago when a ship ran into it. It was removed and at some stage went into the museum. Having got there I talked to people  there to find that it has been removed when building works were going on around the museum as they considered it too risky to leave there in case it got damaged further. The lady there gave me an address where it is currently being stored but apparently it is not much to look at as the stand and surrounds are missing and it is just the top part of the light.

Talking to Lindsay when I got back it would appear that Skipton where the light is being stored s significantly off the track for my proposed route and so not really worth the detour to see it. It is also housed in a National Trust storage building and there is no guarantee that even if I got there I would be able to access it.

After chatting some more I took the last of my stuff to the car and left at about noon and headed off to Willimmstown, the location of the next lighthouse. This lighthouse is not working as a lighthouse anymore but the original stone tower is still there and looks quite impressive. Took a few photos and wandered through the nearby information centre for a while before continuing on my way to Point Lonsdale, past Geelong.

The weather on the way down was very windy and I encountered some quite heavy rain at times. Finally got to Queenscliffe where 2 of the 3 lighthouses are located. The first I found was the Queenscliffe White lighthouse. This is on the very edge of the land overlooking the beach and has a large metal lattice tower on each side of it, making it somewhat difficult to get a decent photo of it.

Went and found the Queenscliffe Black lighthouse which is located within the grounds of Fort Lonsdale and not accessible except on a tour of the Fort. Tours run Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm and 3 pm. The tine was now 3.30 pm and I had missed my chance to see it. Went off and visited the Information Centre to see if there was any other way to view the lighthouse. Whilst the guy at the Info Centre was very happy to chat there was no other ways he knew of accessing the lighthouse. He gave me a pamphlet about the Fort and there is a contact number on the back. I will ring it tomorrow and see if something can be organised so I can get in a take a few photos.

After leaving the info centre I went back to the Fort where I could park by the beach and I saw the gates to the Fort were open. I walked over to see if I could source a way of getting in only to be confronted by a security guard about to lock the gates. I explained my dilemma to him and asked if he could take me in for 5 minutes to take a couple of photos but he would not. So I am back to plan B, ringing tomorrow and trying to sort something.

I went down to the beach and looked around there for a bit, took a couple of photos and then decided it was time for tea. Splashed out and bought fish and chips for tea and ate them down at the beach near the White lighthouse. After tea I dove about 6 km to Lonsdale where the other lighthouse is. Once again it is not particularly well located for photography but viewing it in daylight might provide answers. I went for a walk along the jetty and then came back to the car, made some phone calls and then started writing the blog. I have decided to sleep in the car tonight as there is not really any suitable options for camping here.

Tomorrow I will do some more photography of the lighthouses and then move on towards Airly and the Split Point Lighthouse and the beginning of the Great Ocean Road drive that I am very much looking forward to. After the disappointment of today's lighthouses that I thought would be much grander than they turned out to be I hope the Great Ocean Road is everything I have heard it to be.

                                                            Williamstown Lighthouse

                                                            Williamstown Lighthouse

                                                        Queenscliffe White Lighthouse

                                                         Queenscliffe White Lighthouse

                                            New laser navigational tower at Queenscliffe

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