I woke up to 2015 halfway between my house and one of the most wonderful places I have ever experienced. I love the Great Ocean Road - it's my home. I live and work in Melbourne, but my home is on the western coastline of Victoria. My great, great uncle first resided in Lorne in the late seventies, as well as my mother who was born and raised in Geelong in the sixties. My aunt and uncle bought in Fairhaven in the early eighties, and recently my family has taken over the log cabin of Lorne. One of my closest friends' great, great grandfather was one of the first to land in Lorne, around the 1850s before it even had that name. Back then it was known as Erskine House. The rest of the coastline west of this point to South Australia proceeds me but it is so rich in discovery.
The winters spent along the Great Ocean Road are majestic in its rolling fog and sea mist, combined with cabin wood fire smells and typical pouring rain. The hues are predominantly a combination of white, cyan, and green from the Otway National Park. The summers are the complete opposite. Screens of pinks and oranges mask the landscape every evening and sunrise. The days are hot and often spent in the bright blues of the Southern Ocean, avoiding all bushfires as safely as possible.
I have to wonder about the landscape as well. The rolling hills are immediately interrupted by the devastation of ocean. It's not safe to swim any point passed the lowest point of the Otway National Park. By the time you arrive in Apollo Bay the land is well and truly elevated. I love the hills that overlook the small seaside town which I will mention in later posts. But passed this point is the real talent. In evening air the ocean mist rises back onto the land. Shrouds of fog creep up onto the country, unfazed by the quickly growing elevation of Victoria, so the beautiful hues of oranges and pinks can smokescreen your vision creating an overwhelming hyper-reality. A dreamtime.
The first stop on the road to your immediate left is Gibson Step. This one is my favourite of all the stops for the simple fact you can make your way down the cliff face and onto the beach. The beach itself is enormous. Goose and I arrived at the perfect time. The sun was setting over the Southern Ocean, forcing the sea and the waves to create this utterly white wall of mist to hide the destruction of the waves. And in all this destruction was so much peace and calm. I caught Goose staring out as if in a complete state of hypnosis. Completely free. Lion and Goose not wanting to be anywhere else in the world but the eroded cliffs of Victoria's Great Ocean Coastline.