I left Geelong early, keen to allow as much time as possible for my first look at the east coast of the Bellarine Peninsula.
I stopped at Drysdale, a small town, but very busy with traffic and, surprisingly, three large supermarkets, to take photos of the old buildings you find in most Victorian country towns.
Winding my way through road works and pretty green countryside, I arrived at Portarlington.
What is it about piers? I have to walk to the end of every one I come across. The sun came out for me and sparkled on the water. So relaxing.
Something I didn’t know is that, as in Geelong, there is now a ferry service from Melbourne across the bay to Portarlington. I’m thinking what a great idea it would be to catch a train into Docklands, catch the ferry to Portarlington, and book a place at the holiday park on the beach for a few days R&R, then do the return trip the same way. I’d wait till the weather improves (we’ve been hit with an early winter) and the present dramas recede. Walking, reading, late afternoon drinkies. Can’t wait.
I could have hung around here for hours; such a nice place, looking out over the water but I had to get going, needing to be home by night.
I cut through from Portarlington to Point Lonsdale township, still quite busy with tourists, and along to the historic lighthouse. It stands on a headland overlooking ‘the rip’, a stretch of water considered one of the ten most treacherous navigable passages in the world, and the only seaborne approach to Melbourne.
It was built in 1902, replacing the original wooden one from 1863. Surrounding its base is an octagonal, two-storey signal station and observation room.
Although the light was automated in 1999, the signal station continues to be staffed 24 hours a day, controlling the movements of commercial shipping through Port Phillips Heads.
The Point Lonsdale Lighthouse precinct also contains military structures, built during the First and Second World Wars for the defence of Port Phillip and its major cities of Melbourne and Geelong.
It was very quiet on the beach; not even a dog to be seen.