Our Torquay and Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park management teams have undergone a change in management with new park managers, assistant park managers, commercial manager and marketing communications officer being appointed in the past six months.
More than 200 beachgoers took part in GORCC led and funded environmental education activities this summer as part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Parks Victoria 2016 Summer by the Sea (SBTS) program. Read more →
The iconic Summer by the Sea program is back on the Surf Coast from 2-26 January with an exciting line up of free activities including popular stand-up paddle boarding and fossil hunting activities. Read more →
Summer by the Sea is almost here and in 2015 the program features stand up paddle-boarding – a new addition to a growing line-up of free activities.
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries and Parks Victoria program which runs from 2-26 January 2015, is an opportunity for everyone to discover Victoria’s marine and coastal environment.
In 2015 more than 300 free, guided activities will be on offer across the state. In the Surf Coast region activities are being funded and run by the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC), a program partner.
Stand up paddle boarding will feature in Torquay and Lorne and GORCC Education Activity Leader Pete Crowcroft who is organising and leading activities on the Surf Coast, said the activity is a fun way to explore and learn about estuaries and rivers.
“Stand up paddle-boarding is a popular but expensive recreational activity so we’re pleased to be able to offer it for free to participants,” he said.
In addition to activities for the more adventurous such as snorkelling, canoeing and stand up paddle-boarding, there are a huge variety of options available with something for every age and level of ability.
Participants can engage in everything from fossil safaris and walking tours through to coastal craft and playing detective both on the beach and in the bush.
“Those looking for something a little more relaxed can engage in activities like guided coastal walks along the stunning Surf Coast Walk, kite making sessions, rockpool rambles or calico craft,” said Mr. Crowcroft.
GORCC sponsored activities will be offered in Torquay, Anglesea, Aireys Inlet and Lorne and at the Torquay NightJar Markets.
“It’s wonderful to be able to get people of all ages to engage with our incredible coastline and experiencing and learning about the environment.
“It is particularly great for kids, as it’s very important that they learn to connect with and appreciate the natural environment from a young age,” Mr. Crowcroft said.
GORCC Community Liaison Manager, Jane Lovejoy said every previous January for four years GORCC had run a free environmental education program for campers.
“We are excited to partner with DEPI and Parks Victoria in Summer by the Sea and expand our activities to make them available to everyone on the coast.
“We look forward to seeing excited and happy participants of all ages enjoying what we have on offer,” she said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With Keep Australia Beautiful Week 2010 starting next Monday, 23 August, there’s really no time like the present to focus on the simple things we can each do in our daily lives to reduce the negative impacts we humans are having on our environment.
This year’s event is focusing on public place recycling to help reduce litter on our streets and, for those of us who live and work on the coast, on our beaches, coastal reserves, caravan parks and the like.
Did you know that of the 43.5 million tonnes of waste we Australians produce every year, just over half is recycled while the other half (around 21 million tonnes) still goes to landfill? Did you also know that, although we’re very good at recycling our household waste, we’re not so good at recycling when we’re out and about away from home? This is where public place recycling comes in.
Rather than sending our empty drink bottles, cans, food containers and other recyclable items straight to landfill by consigning them to rubbish bins (or worse, not binning them at all!), from here on in we should each make every effort to recycle them by using public place recycling bins or, if these are unavailable, by taking them home for recycling. How hard can that be?
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee has for some years now been working to encourage beachgoers, foreshore users and campers to dispose of their waste appropriately by providing recycling bins in our caravan parks and coastal reserves.
Through our involvement in groups such as the Barwon Regional Waste Management Group and participation in programs such as Waste Wise and Resource Smart, we are also endeavouring to improve our own practices and to educate others by spreading the word (including through this blog).
At the end of the day however, it all comes down to you and your behaviour. What do you do, for example, when you’re enjoying a break at the beach? Do you recycle your recyclables and bin your non-recyclables? Or do you leave them behind for other people to swim in? (Now, if everyone did that, then you have probably been swimming in rubbish too!)
Check out the Keep Australia Beautiful Week website for more information, including tips and resources to help ensure you are recycling right, and to find out what your rubbish is being ‘reincarnated’ into. After all, keeping beautiful starts with you.
Ahhh! The coast in winter. Many of us who live and work here believe it sparkles even more brightly during the colder months than it does in the harsh sunlight of summer. While we are the lucky ones who love the coast all year round, winter is perhaps the time of year when we love it the most.
As the temperature drops and the hordes depart after the Easter break, we love the way that life on the coast settles into a quieter and more relaxed pace that is very easy to take. We’re sure our native animal and plant life appreciate having less people around to contend with too!
We love the feel of the crisp sea air on our faces and the way it can turn our noses and cheeks into a glamorous shade of red as we take in an ever changing seascape. There’s nothing like rugging up and walking along a virtually deserted beach watching the colours of the sea and sky change depending on the time of day and weather conditions. No day is ever the same but every day is beautiful.
Winter is also the time when the whales come through on their annual pilgrimage to their winter breeding grounds. Whale sightings are common right along the coast at this time of year and have already been reported at various spots, including Torquay, Anglesea and Lorne. It’s impossible to be blasé about catching a sight of these magnificent creatures in their natural environment. We love that too.
And for those of us who surf, we love the winter swells. Non-surfers may find this hard to believe but winter is the best time of year to surf. The waves are less crowded while swell conditions are generally more consistently surfable, whether it’s two foot or six foot plus. Wind conditions often tend to be more surf-friendly too although there’s no accounting for the whims of Mother Nature at any time of the year.
These are just some of the jewels we cherish from our coast’s treasure chest of winter delights. Why not share what you love about the coast in winter by posting a comment on this blog?
The first reservations of public land along the Victorian coast were made in the 1860s. Not long after, in 1898, the committee of management system was implemented, which gave local communities management control of foreshore reserves on behalf of the Victorian public, with oversight by the State Government.
Most foreshore reserves included small camping areas, which have provided the majority of funding for committees of management since the 1900s.
Today, approximately one-third of the Victorian coast is managed by committees of management. These volunteer organisations (or in some cases local councils) are appointed under the Crown Land Reserves Act to “manage, improve, maintain and control the land for the purpose for which it is reserved”. They also comply with and help implement the Victorian Coastal Strategy.
There are more than 80 caravan parks and camping grounds on Crown land along the Victorian coast.
From Nelson on the South Australian border, along the Great Ocean Road, around Port Phillip Bay and the Mornington Peninsula, through to Wilsons Promontory, Gippsland and Mallacoota near the NSW border, there are a diverse range of caravan parks and camping grounds in fantastic coastal locations.
Caravan parks and camping grounds on coastal Crown land provide affordable recreational opportunities for millions of people to visit and enjoy the coast each year.
Revenue generated by operating these parks is used by the committees of management to look after the foreshore reserves and the coast itself. Committees operate on a not-for-profit basis, with all surplus funds used to look after the coast.
So next time you take a camping holiday along the Victorian coast, not only will you have a fantastic holiday, but you will be contributing important funds towards the management and care of our beautiful coastal environment.
And you will be building on more than 100 years of camping – and coastal management – tradition!