More than 'Just' The Lighthouse.
When most people think of Cape Otway, they immediately think of the lighthouse. While The Cape Otway Lighthouse is undoubtedly the main drawcard for the area, there is more to see in this wonderful area.
Ok, since the lighthouse is the main attraction, let's start there.
The Lighthouse began operating in 1848, serving as a warning beacon for ships navigating along Victoria's treacherous west coast, which has claimed some 80 vessels and many hundreds of lives along the 'shipwreck coast'. It is the oldest surviving lighthouse on mainland Australia and was in continuous operation until it's decommission in 1994. A guided tour is highly recommended.
Accommodation in the Lightkeeper's Cottages
Accommodation is available in two double studios or in the Head Keeper's cottage that will accommodate from 2 - 16 people. Beware, some people believe it's haunted!
(left: My daughter Jessica admiring the view from the top of the Light in 2007)
One of the original cottages has been transformed into a cafe with a charm all it's own. They serve homemade food and local delicacies with a mediterranean influence. They also do a great Latte! It's also a great place to buy books on local history.
Australia's first submarine cable link was laid between Cape Otway and Launceston in 1859. The Telegraph Station has now been lovingly restored and houses a permanent exhibition on the local history of the lighthouse area.
Beyond the light
For those more adventurous, the other way to see the lighthouse is as part of the Great Ocean Walk. The Great Ocean Walk passes through the lighthouse precinct. This simply stunning walk starts at Apollo Bay and stretches a gruelling 105km to Princetown, just short of the 12 Apostles. The other major highlights are Aire river, Wreck beach & blanket bay. Like the Surf Coast Walk, it can be done in stages, so don't think you have to do all 105km of it!
Blanket Bay is one of those 'secret spots' that may be a bit harder to get to, but is well worth the effort. It's popular amongst Landscape Photographers for it's beautiful rock ledges with intricate patterns. You'll feel like the only person on the planet here at times.
There are toilet, picnic and camping facilities, but you must book ahead to camp there as it is part of the Great Ocean Walk.
Access is via Cape Otway Road, then left at Blanket Bay Road, about 10km from the Great Ocean Road. It's about 6km to Blanket Bay from the turnoff. The road is suitable for standard vehicles most times of the year, but a 4WD is recommended in the wet months.
Parker River & Point Franklin
On the way to Blanket Bay, you will cross Parker River. It's worth the drive down to Parker Inlet & Point Franklin (just before the river crossing) for another one of those moments of sheer isolation.
Allow a few hours and bring wet weather gear in the winter months just in case.
Continue your journey: Cape Otway --> Lavers Hill
Cape Otway --> Great Ocean Road Homepage