We have had a wander west from Apollo Bay to Cape Otway. The Cape is famous for the location of Australia’s oldest standing lighthouse, built in 1848. It marks the entrance to Bass Strait. Across the water about 90 km (not sure but it’s a close estimate) is King Island. A light house was built there on Cape Wickham some 12 years or so later, marking the southern point of entrance to Bass Strait. So ships had to stay south of Cape Otway and north of Cape Wickham. Many times they didn’t and continued to run aground on the coastlines in this region. We have well and truly left the Surf Coast and our journey continues along the Ship Wreck Coast.
The tree lined winding road took us through the National Park and then some grazing land before reaching the lighthouse. On the way we passed numerous manna gum trees that have died back due to attack by the dreaded Koala. Apparently, around 2015-17 Koala numbers expanded considerably and ate out the foliage. There were more than 4000 Koalas in the region, 14 times the sustainable population. Many died of starvation, wildlife officers moved Koalas to other places and contraceptive devices were even fitted to females to control the population. 100,000 trees have also been planted to help vegetate the area. Major problem it seems, whether or not it is solved remains to be seen I suppose. Wonder what would have happened if nature was left to its course here?
We continue to be blessed with reasonable weather, a bit cloudy but the sun comes out at the right moments to highlight the scenery along the shoreline and in the forests. On the way back from Cape Otway we stopped at Maits Rest for a walk through the old rainforest, great tall beech trees and tree ferns abound along this short walk.
Going to have a little quiet time tomorrow in the Apollo Bay village to recover from the Cape Otway excursion and associated walks, maybe test out the fish ‘n chips at the wharf!