What a way to experience our great coastline

Fancy a first-hand look at the amazing coastline between Torquay and Aireys Inlet? Then the Guided Surf Coast Walk is for you.

There is no better way to experience the beauty of the Surf Coast than by taking part in the Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park‘s guided cultural walk.

The three-day guided tour will take you over 40 kilometres of the Surf Coast coastline, giving participants a great insight into the animals, plants and history of this rugged landscape – making this tour the only one of its kind.

You will get the opportunity to gain a special appreciation for our amazing coastline under the guidance of Wadawurrung woman Corrina Eccles. While for an ecological perspective, walkers will also be joined by Ranger Pete Crowcroft from the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s passionate environmental education team.

Guests take part in the Guided Surf Coast Walk.

Day one sees the group begin their journey at the Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park, before being transferred to Point Impossible where a Welcome to Country ceremony will take place before walking back along the coastline to the caravan park. Upon returning to the park, drinks and canapes will be on offer as well as a discount voucher to a local restaurant for dinner.

Day two is the biggest of the three days, with the group traversing a 22 kilometre stretch of coastline. The walk will commence in the morning with guests provided with a packed lunch and snacks.

Corrina leads the walk along many interesting points, sharing her culture and way of life on Wadawurrung Country. Explore midden and ochre sites and immerse yourself in the Aboriginal culture of the area. The group will experience a range of indigenous flora and fauna unique to this area, eventually arriving at Anglesea Family Caravan Park in the late afternoon where you will stay overnight. Dinner is provided at one of Anglesea’s well-known eateries.

Guided Surf Coast Walk participants learn about Wadawurrung Country with guide Corrina Eccles.

The third and final day sees guests walk from Anglesea to Aireys Inlet with Anglesea local Ranger Pete. Once again, breakfast and coffee are provided before hitting the trail.

Guests will receive a tour of the Split Point Lighthouse, made famous by featuring in the popular 90s TV show ‘Round the Twist’. The tour ends with a delicious lunch and Devonshire tea at The Lighthouse Tea Rooms, before guests are transported back to their car in Torquay.

The Guided Surf Coast Walk will take place from 1-3 May this year, with a single ticket costing $800 while a triple share is $450 per person.

Overall inclusions:

  • One nights’ accommodation in a Surfside cabin at Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park
  • One nights’ accommodation in a Superior or Cedar cabin at Anglesea Family Caravan Park
  • Meet and greet including drinks and canapes
  • Local restaurant discount voucher
  • Two continental breakfast hampers
  • Coffee vouchers each morning
  • One packed lunch and trail mix
  • Vouchers for the heated spa at Anglesea Family Caravan Park
  • A well-earned group dinner at a local eatery
  • Lunch and Devonshire tea at The Lighthouse Tea Rooms
  • Tour of Split Point Lighthouse.
One of the many stunning views you will see along the Guided Surf Coast Walk.

This tour is unlike any other and is perfect for those wishing to experience some of the wonderful features this coastline has to offer, while extending their knowledge of the land and its history.

The walk is limited to 25 participants so be sure to book your spot early. Book online now or call Torquay Foreshore Caravan Park to make your booking on 03) 5261 2496.

Wild weather for KAOS

Hundreds of kids aged between 3 and 13 descended down the coast to Anglesea last weekend as part of the Kids Adventures Outdoors (KAOS).

KAOS Anglesea is an adventure festival designed to encourage, nurture and provide the opportunity for families and kids to explore and take part in a range of exciting outdoor activities. Read more

Tis the season to be safe

Summer is the perfect time to visit our beautiful beaches along the surf coast and enjoy the glorious sunshine.

To ensure everyone has a great time this holiday season, read our top tips for keeping you and your family safe.

Photo: Ferne Millen Photography
Photo: Ferne Millen Photography

Water safety

Swim between the flags

Swimming between the flags is one of the easiest ways to stay safe this summer. Volunteer and paid lifeguards are patrolling Victorian beaches all summer to help protect beachgoers. The ocean is unpredictable which is why you always need someone looking out for you.

If you have young children, please remember that you must be within an arm’s reach of your child at all times and give them your full attention to ensure their safety.

You can view a full list of patrolled beaches and key dates in Victoria on Life Saving Victoria’s website. http://www.lifesavingvictoria.com.au/www/html/1402-patrolled-beaches.asp

If you are swimming in an unpatrolled beach, make sure you read and obey the safety signs and check that it is okay to swim before you enter the water as conditions can change regularly. It is vital that you know how to swim well and always recommended to have someone to look out for you whilst you are in the water.

More safety by the water information can be found on Life Saving Victoria’s website.

Wear a lifejacket

The Victorian boating regulations require Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) to be carried on a boat for all persons.

All occupants must  wear a PFD if they are:

  • in a powerboat up to and including 4.8 metres in length
  • off-the-beach sailing yachts
  • in a personal watercraft
  • using canoes, kayaks, rowing boats and rafts
  • using a pedal boats, fun boats and stand up paddle boards
  • kite boarding and sail boarding
  • a recreational tenders
  • a child under the age of 10

For more information about the Victorian regulations click here.

Cliff Erosion IMG_6339

Take caution around cliffs

Many areas along the coast are subject to seasonal coastline erosion, especially Jan Juc and Anglesea regions causing unstable cliffs. To keep your family safe, please read and obey the advisory signs and take care when near cliffs. It is recommended to stay on designated walking tracks to avoid areas of cliff instability.

What can I do?

  • Avoid walking near cliff edges, or at the base of cliffs especially after wet weather and high tides
  • Keep to the walking tracks
  • Do not climb on cliffs as this can cause localised damage and increase the rate of erosion
  • Avoid damaging the vegetation as this promotes water infiltration and reduces erosive runoff
  • Obey all signs and stay behind safety fences
  • If you see evidence of a recent cliff collapse, take a photo and report it to your local land manager

For more information about unstable cliffs visit the Department of Environment and Primary Industries website click here.

IMG_1175

Time check the tides

There are several spots between Point Addis and Anglesea River that can become impassable at high tide. It is important to check the current tide times and be aware of tidal changes to avoid being caught. Always read the warning signs and familiarise yourself with the area before walking along the coastline. If you are unsure about an area ask a local or seek further information.

For information about local coastal walks and their accessibility click here.

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Local lookout at Rocky Point

Here at the Great Ocean Road Coast Blog we like to feature stories about our coast and the locals who live on and love our coast.

Marian Charlton is one such local –  an active Torquay community member and a lover of the natural environment.

Marian walks the scenic Surf Coast Walk on a regular basis, appreciating all our breathtaking coast has to offer.

Rocky Point Lookout, in particular, holds strong sentimental value to Marian, a place her and her family have been visiting for over 50 years.

“Rocky Point has always been a significant place for me since our family camped here over 50 years ago,

“It is a great place to just appreciate our coast with its rock headlands and great sweeps of beach with breaking waves,” she said.

Marian enjoys the unique scenic views from Rocky Point Lookout
Marian enjoys the unique scenic views from Rocky Point Lookout

Marian recognises the importance of caring for our coast and taking action to ensure it can be enjoyed by all.

“We should all appreciate and care for our coastal environment so that it is there for all to enjoy, including future generations,

“As a local community person I notify the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee of any hazards or problems I see on my walks. This includes both live and dead seals on our beaches, trees that have fallen on the path, and issues with local toilet blocks,” Marian said.

Interesting cloud formations looking towards Rocky Point Lookout. Photo: Marian Charlton.
Interesting cloud formations looking towards Rocky Point Lookout. Photo: Marian Charlton.

Marian is eager to see the transformation of Rocky Point Lookout as it undergoes a restoration, generously funded by RACV and DEPI.

The site is set to be fully restored by late September.

For more information on the Rocky Point Lookout redevelopment click here.

Want to get involved? Friends of the Surf Coast Walk are always looking for new supporters – learn more here.

 

What’s your favourite spot on the coast or the Surf Coast Walk?

Top 10 ways to have fun on the beach when its cold outside

Its suddenly a little cool down our way and we haven’t even hit winter yet!

Don’t despair though, because in our eyes it’s still beach weather. What? We hear you ask ….

Yes, we know, you usually spend time on the beach when its 35 degrees plus, but we reckon that if you don’t come down in the cooler months you might just be missing out on a really great holiday.

Not only are the below ideas fun for all ages, but they are also FREE.

Bike riding is fun and family friendly and its a great way to see our scenic coastline.
Bike riding is fun and family friendly and its a great way to see our scenic coastline.

 

First things first –  what are the advantages of visiting the beach in the cooler months?

  • You won’t have to fight for a spot on the sand – take your pick!
  • All of the activities below are FREE.
  • You’re much less likely to get sunburt – although make sure to use SPF even when its overcast.

There's so much to discover on the beach! Kids love to find interesting things, especially in rock pools.
There’s so much to discover on the beach! Kids love to find interesting things, especially in rock pools.

 

Here’s our top ten fun things to do on the beach when its NOT 40 degrees: 

  1. Sand art: Test your creative skills and make sand castles or sand sculptures.   This one is fun and can be made into a competition – you just need an impartial judge! The only materials required are a bucket and a trowl, there’s plenty of natural decorations to be found lying around.
  2. Volleyball, Football, Soccor or Cricket: The best way to warm up is to get moving! You’re not going to feel the cold when you’re running around hitting or catching a ball and the soft sand is the perfect crash mat for those epic catches.
  3. Cycling: We are blessed with some fantastic bicycle tracks on the coast …get on your bike and check some out! There are tracks for all levels of rider and parts of the Surf Coast Walk is perfect for cycling.
  4. Photography: There’s nowhere quite like the great ocean road for spectacular scenery. Get your camera out and take some incredible shots of cliffs, wildlife, beach scenery or your friends and family.
  5. Wildlife spotting: Grab a pair of binoculars and head off on a beach safari. See if you can spot endangered animals like the Hooded Plover or Rufus Bristlebird or some of our more common but equally cute friends such as echidnas and koalas.   For a sure fire way to view some wildlife, head on over to the Jirrahlinga Koala Wildlife Sanctuary where you can meet all sorts of furry friends.

    Head out on a wildlife walk - there's so many amazing animals to be spotted.
    Head out on a wildlife walk – there’s so many amazing animals to be spotted.
  6. Have a picnic. If it’s not swimming weather but it’s not too windy or overly cold a picnic is a great activity. You’re spoilt for scenic spots and if it is a little chilly you can bring some hot chocolate.
  7. Fly a kite: There’s no place quite so perfect for kites as the beach. Kites are inexpensive and can even be made at home. Kids and adults alike will love this activity.
  8. Play Pictionary: The beach is a perfect canvas for drawing pictures which you can turn into your very own outdoor Pictionary game.
  9. Visit the rockpools: Rockpools are often full of interesting wildlife and sea plants. Discover little underwater worlds and identify the sea life.
  10. Do nothing.   This is probably one of our favourite options! Lie around, read a book, eat great food and RELAX.

 

Are you someone who likes the beach in the cooler months? What do you like to do at the beach when the weather is a little more wintery?

New trail marathon for Surf Coast Walk

A new trail marathon event is set to shine the spotlight on the Surf Coast Walk.

The inaugural Surf Coast Trail Marathon will take place on Saturday, 28 June, 2014, with marathon runners starting at Torquay, an hour south west of Melbourne, and finishing 42.2km further west on the beaches of Fairhaven, located on the world-renowned Great Ocean Road.

A new marathon event is set to hit the stunning Surf Coast Walk.
A new marathon event is set to hit the stunning Surf Coast Walk.

Runners will be enticed off road by a course that takes in impressive coastal scenery, including a short run along world-famous Bells Beach.

There is also a half marathon course being offered, beginning from Point Addis, and a relay team option allowing two runners to complete half of the marathon course each.

The Surf Coast Trail Marathon will benefit local organisations with a percentage of each entry fee going towards three Surf Coast beneficiaries, including the Fairhaven Surf Lifesaving Club, where the event finishes, and the Anglesea Primary School.

Some funds will also go back into supporting the trail and environs via the Great Ocean Road Coastal Committee.

Participants will pass by some iconic coastal landmarks.
Participants will pass by some iconic coastal landmarks.

There has been a marked increase in the popularity of ‘adventure racing’ and nature based tourism and sports on the coast, with many opportunities to get inv0lved and active in the great outdoors.

Are you entering for the marathon?

Entries have opened for the Surf Coast Trail Marathon  and runners can stay in touch on Facebook at www.facebook.com/surfcoasttrailmarathon

Learn more about the Surf Coast Walk here

Take care, be aware and share on the Surf Coast Walk

Offering natural beauty and easy access, the recently redeveloped Surf Coast Walk along the edge of the Great Ocean Road offers a world-class walking destination for all to enjoy.

The track has proved popular since its official reopening last year and from dogs to bicycles to pram to runners, everyone is out and about enjoying different sections at different paces.

In recognition of the multiple uses of the track and in response to some community concern around safety,  GORCC has installed some signs in high use areas around Torquay and Jan Juc, to promote safe shared use.

One of the four signs located in Torquay and Jan Juc
One of the four signs located in Torquay and Jan Juc

The Take care- Be aware- Share campaign encourages those who are cycling along the path to:

  • Give way to pedestrians
  • Travel at safe speeds
  • sSlow down and use their bell when passin

The signs also remind dog owners to clean up after their pets and to keep appropriate control over them at all times. Additionally, all users are asked to be vigilant of vegetation and wildlife and to keep to the left of the paths.

To stay safe and ensure you have an enjoyable Surf Coast Walk experience you should also:

  • Wearing sturdy, non-slip footwear
  • Carry plenty of drinking water and a well-charged mobile phone
  • Take care when walking near the edge or base of cliffs
  • Beware of snakes in late spring and summer
  • On days of extreme fire to seek information from Visitor Information Centres or the Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667, as some walks may be closed to the public.

Angela Norris and her two dogs Ollie & Shegi enjoying the Surf Coast Walk
Angela Norris and her two dogs Ollie & Shegi enjoying the Surf Coast Walk

More information including detailed maps are available at http://www.visitgreatoceanroad.org.au/surfcoastwalk.

More tips on staying safe on the coast are available here.

Did you know the Surf Coast Walk also has an official volunteer group, the Friends of the Surf Coast Walk?

Have you been out and about on the Surf Coast Walk lately? Let us know below or join in the conversation on the official Surf Coast Walk Facebook page.

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