The Bert Alsop Track is a scenic walking track along the Lorne foreshore, linking North Lorne to the town’s centre and offering views across Louttit Bay and is a popular route for cyclists, walkers, and joggers.
Over the past 6 months the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee’s conservation team has been busy with the woody weed removal that started with the Green Army program in 2016, and the end of 2017 saw all of the woody weeds from the start of the track to the ‘Fat Ladies’ car park removed. This was done with the generous help of a Ford corporate group, LorneCare volunteers, and Great Ocean Road Coast’s conservation and foreshore teams.
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.
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.
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.
During summer, many of our beaches are patrolled by life savers with red and yellow flags indicating the safest areas to swim at each beach – please swim between the flags.
If you are using an unpatrolled beach, make sure you:
Read and obey the safety signs
Know how to swim
Always swim under supervision or with a friend
Check it’s okay to swim before you enter the water, conditions change regularly, and
If you are unsure of conditions, ask a lifesaver or give it a miss.
Other tips for ensuring your safety in or by the water can be found on our website.
Take care near cliffs Many cliffs along the Great Ocean Road coast, particularly in the area between Jan Juc and Point Roadknight, and also at Aireys Inlet, are susceptible to instability. Consequently, you should pay attention to advisory signs, take care near cliffs, keep to designated walking tracks and avoid areas of cliff instability.
Areas of seasonal coastal shoreline erosion can also create unstable, temporary ‘sand cliffs’ which are not like normal cliffs and are more susceptible to collapse.
DSE Arthur Rylah Institute (ARI) Senior Scientist Nick Clemann said snakes will be emerging from their hibernation over winter to bask in the sun and start moving about to look for food and a mate.
“Spring means more people are out walking their dogs, cycling, bush-walking, enjoying parks and gardening so, depending on where they live and walk, they are quite likely to encounter a snake,” Mr Clemann said.
The Great Ocean Road Coast Committee encourages the community to keep dogs on leads, and steer clear of long grasses, rocks and bushes where snakes might be lurking.
DSE have provided some key points to remember about living in an area with snakes:
If you see a snake – keep calm and try to move yourself, anyone with you and your pets away from the snake.
Never touch or attempt to capture or hurt snakes – instead call DSE on 136 186 for further advice, or call a licensed snake catcher.
Have a spring clean – clean up around the house and cut lawns regularly – snakes are attracted to shelter such as piles of rocks and timber, sheets of metal, or building materials.
Undertake first aid training, ensure your first aid kit contains several compression bandages, and if someone is bitten, call 000 immediately.
Snakes are protected under the Wildlife Act 1975. It is illegal to capture, kill or harm them. Bites can occur when people try to kill snakes.
From board games to brain teasers, puzzles to excursion maps; you will be amazed by the richness of the coast and discover heaps along the way!
As much as we love a day on the beach swimming and surfing, sometimes the weather doesn’t allow it.
So if you’re faced with a rainy day, why not take a look at GORCC’s new interactive suite of activities which range from board games to brain teasers and puzzles to excursion maps.
Schools and families can now access free, printable activities offering fun ways for all ages to learn about the local environment either from the comfort of their home or classroom or out and about on the coast.
GORCC Community Liaison Manager Jane Rowlands said the activities would suit kids of all ages, at school and at home.
“The activities are a fun, accessible and educational option for those wet weather days when swimming isn’t an option, for inspiration in the classroom or when you want to add a little bit of interest to your coastal walk,” she said.
Ms. Rowlands said the activities were designed to cover a breadth of education topics, raise environmental awareness and promote discussions with others.