Start: Cape Otway Lighthouse car park
End: Cape Otway Lighthouse car park
Time taken: 3 hours
USP: Amazing ocean views and bird life
Distance: 14km round trip
The furthest south we’ve ever been. Nearly as far south as you can go in Australia. Only Wilson’s Promontory sticks out further. A shrubby headland, pointing out into the Bass Strait bearing the full force of wind and waves that can whip around the Southern Ocean unobstructed.
And on the very end of the shrubby headland is Cape Otway Lighthouse. Warning ships away from the steep cliffs since 1848 and the start of a great walk along the coast, through heathland scrub that gives glimpses of the vast ocean before reaching Electric Beach and a panorama that stretches for miles and miles.
When we’d left the overflowing car park on that Easter Bank Holiday and headed along the path, we were flanked by families with pushchairs and bus loads of tourists. But as the kilometers ticked away, they all dropped out. Within an hour we were on our own, save for the occasional couple, loaded down with camping kit, out for the long haul.
It’s not a big walk, but if you like birdlife, it’s a good one. The heathland scrub is full of Honeyeaters, Silver Eyes and several different species of parrots. After hiking along the dusty single track, the head high bush periodically gave way to small viewing areas across the ocean and glimpses of wheeling Gannets and Albatross, some of which may not touch land for several years as they patrol the open ocean for carrion.
The landscape here feels vast. As we approached Electric Beach, the view opened up and we arrived on a rocky platform, the path dropping away to reach sea level. The beach faded into the distance, hazy in the spray from huge waves ending their mammoth journey on the outer banks.
We trekked down to the beach and found a good vantage point to refuel. Cereal bars, bananas and water were guzzled and photos snapped before turning around to retrace our steps. Enjoying the solitude and raw beauty, the furthest south we’ve ever been.