Today was discovering the Great Ocean Road from Port Campbell to Warrnambool, we rose early to see the 12 Apostles at Sunrise. Unfortunately it was overcast and the colours were not as vibrant as they could be.
We then returned to the unit for a coffee and to pack a picnic lunch, then we drove to the lookout over Port Campbell. The angle of Port Campbell Bay and the offshore reefs that provide its protection are beautifully captured from this viewing platform.
The Arch perches precariously mounted on a harder rock platform proud of the water in small to medium swell. In large swells its formation becomes more evident as waves mount the platform, thick heavy tomes gliding sleekly through the opening and cascading out the other side.
London Bridge this stack was formed by a gradual process of erosion, and until 1990 formed a complete double-span natural bridge.
The span closer to the shoreline collapsed unexpectedly on 15 January 1990, leaving two tourists (Kelli Harrison and David Darrington) stranded on the outer span before being rescued by helicopter. No one was injured in the event. Prior to the collapse, the arch was known as London Bridge because of its similarity to its namesake. Offering sweeping views of the great Southern Ocean.
The Grotto among all the rock formations, the Grotto is perhaps the most enchanting. It is not quite a blowhole, not quite an arch, and not quite a cave – but it’s a bit of everything. The Grotto is a naturally carved out cave which stands about halfway up from sea level up to the cliff. An area covered with smooth boulders that leads to rock pools carved out in the worn but jagged edged limestone.
The Bay of Martyrs
Middens around Massacre Bay (just to the west of Peterborough) are testimony to Aboriginal contact with the area. The place names - Massacre Bay, Massacre Point, Bay of Martyrs - refer to a strong component of local oral history which suggests that Europeans killed a large group of Kirrae-Wurrong Aboriginal men by driving them off the cliffs hereabouts. The women and children were allegedly killed in a nearby swamp. Although there is, not surprisingly, no written evidence, it seems the local Aboriginal population dropped from a couple of thousand to virtually nil at some point, which may suggest migration but this is not what local folklore suggests.
Bay of Islands is filled with rock stacks that tower from the ocean and create a haunting natural landscape. The light limestone found here along the coast near Peterborough reflects a different quality of light.
After being back at our unit, the sun came out and we decided to go back to the Grotto thinking that the waters may have been different however the natural shadows from the cliffs didn't actually allow the light to hit the water in the Grotto. However you may recognise the couple in the shadow on the grotto wall.
The surf however was much larger at this time in the early evening.
The clouds coming in at sunset played amazing tricks with the sun, turning it into an orb looking more like a moon than a sun.