Came across this site – its a short but really comprehensive video. Enjoy
Come, Stay, Enjoy
Came across this site – its a short but really comprehensive video. Enjoy
The Bell Street Printworks and Gallery in Bell Street Torquay is holding the “Bells Beach & Beyond” surf photography exhibition to coincide with the Easter school holidays and annual Rip Curl Pro held at Bells Beach.
This is a lift Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 March, 2009 : – - This Easter, visitors to Torquay will have an added attraction with the opening of an important photographic exhibition by members of the Surf Coast Photographers (featuring special guest photographers from Geelong and Port Campbell), in the foyer of the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
Organised through a consortium of three of Torquay’s highly respected galleries – Bell Street Gallery & Printworks, Watermarks Gallery and Tigerfish – the exhibition will be officially opened by Surf Coast Shire Mayor Libby Mears and Julie Dyer, Surf Coast Shire Arts Development Officer, at a special preview on Friday April 3 at 6.30 pm.
On display, will be images by some of Australia’s leading surf, ocean and beachscape photographers, including Steve Ryan, Scott Wintle, pioneer surf photographer Barrie Sutherland and award-winning photographer Matthew Stevenson. The exhibition comprises images of surf, sand and sea by many renowned photographers who will each exhibit two works and all images are for sale.
The photographers are (in alphabetical order), Alison Aprhys, Bill Beath, Tom Caddaye Darryl Fowler, Cormac Hanrahan, Eric Holt, Rodney Hyett, Peter Kirkhouse , Wendy Mitchell, Darren Noyes-Brown, Steve Ryan, Kyle Simpson, Matthew Stevenson, Barrie Sutherland, Kevan Way and Scott Wintle.
The Great Ocean Road Photography Exhibition represents a great opportunity for those who love this part of the world to view and obtain works by some of the best photographers the Geelong Region and Surf Coast has to offer. The Surf Coast Photographers provides a forum for showcasing existing and emerging photographers from the Victorian West Coast & Geelong regions.
· Exhibition open between April 3rd – 20th, 2009
· Opening night – Free event, 6 pm for 6.30 pm Friday April 3, 2009
· Venue – Crowne Plaza, The Esplanade, Torquay
· RSVP – Matthew Stevenson at Bell Street Gallery & Print Works on 5264 7199
· The exhibition is free and will be open daily throughout the Easter and School holidays.
For more information contact either:
· Matthew Stevenson at Bell Street Gallery & Print Works on 5264 7199, or
· Barrie Sutherland at WaterMarks Photo Gallery on 5264 7232.
So by the time we drive back to Apollo Bay and up into the hills to Forrest, it’s a late lunch for us. What we do know now is that in winter the one place you can grab a warm bite to eat after 2pm is La Bimba.
We have arranged to chat with Bruce Jackson at Otway Eco Tours on our way home. I have seen platypus at Healesville Sanctuary in the Dandenongs on the other side of Melbourne, but never in the wild.
So, here we are sitting on Bruce’s porch in Forrest, chatting about the wonderful wildlife that he regularly shows people in the area around his home.
Bruce and his family moved from Melbourne via Torquay – as a keen surfer he still visits Torquay often. He has a degree in biological science and chooses to utilise his knowledge by showing people the secret lives of our native animals.
While we’re with Bruce, we get to see both a male and female bowerbird – a thrill for me as I am mad about birds and didn’t even know that bowerbirds are common in the Otways. Bruce says we were particularly lucky to see the male as he is quite shy and there are fewer males around.
We make plans to return to Forrest with our family in the summer to paddle along Lake Elizabeth and see the platypus.
Around 4pm we’re on the road again, in an attempt to reach Birregurra before the shops close. There are two shops I particularly want to visit: Chez Georgie and Mr Ted and The Birregurra Bower. Don’t worry boys, there is a good café and a bookshop too!
This is real country driving and it’s essential to follow the map and the signs carefully. This tiny town once had one of the most famous country restaurants run by George Biron at Sunnybrae – one of our favourite haunts. George only runs occasional events now, and we always try to book because his style of cooking relates so strongly to place, so the food is always fresh and beautifully presented. Get in touch with us for more information if this sounds like your kind of thing.
An hour and a half of clothes and handbag shopping later, I am very happy and Tim has been engagingly entertained by another George, the dress shop owner’s husband, with good coffee and chat.
Our final leg home is in the dark and takes us another 45 minutes.
Along with some special purchases, we have brought back to Torquay a fresh appreciation of the wonderful area we are privileged to live in. This is why we have chosen to devote ourselves to showing visitors the real experience of the Great Ocean Road, not just a fleeting view of the sights from the window of a bus.
While this is a great two-day tour, it really isn’t long enough. If you are coming a long distance to see this wonderful region, we advise staying an extra day or two. Start out with us in Torquay and take your time exploring the region with day trips out of Torquay, or a 2-4-day tour of the road, returning to Torquay for a few more days of R&R at the end.
If you can spare no more than a day, you could drive from Torquay to Apollo Bay and fly over the Apostles before driving back. But staying a while is far more preferable. We can help with bookings for accommodation, meals and tours – just get in touch to discuss your requirements with us.
Well, we made it from Torquay to the official “end of the road” (Allansford) in a day, and now we’re driving back thinking about where we might stay the night. Port Campbell is the obvious choice.
This is the point where we learn that, even in the off-season, it’s a good idea to book ahead as Port Campbell is quite isolated – two hours’ drive either way to Apollo Bay one way or to Warrnambool or Port Fairy the other.
We call Chris at Shearwater Haven who is unfortunately booked out but graciously invites us to view the lovingly built B and B that she and her husband, Hans, have now run for eight years.
We would love to have stayed at this comfortable place with its picturesque views of the valley where birds can be seen quite close up in the splendid native garden.
The place recommended by Chris and Hans is fully booked too (we’re talking a Thursday night mid-winter!), but we finally find a self-contained apartment and eat at the pub.
The pub is reasonable value at $20 for a generous meal. While breakfasting the next morning at Waves, we figure we would have preferred their menu to pub food for dinner too, but it depends on your taste and budget.
Our second day brings Southern Ocean wind and cold rain showers. The weather seems most appropriate for the Shipwreck Coast, where so many old sailing ships perished in the ferocious gales this coast is known for – much worse than we are encountering today.
The rock formations along this coast that are responsible for the wrecks are nevertheless a dream for photographers.
These are the famous formations by name:
Bay of Islands
Bay of Martyrs
Loch Ard Gorge
This time we don’t visit the Loch Ard Gorge – where the two sole survivors of a famous shipwreck were found. It is an inhospitable place, and a truly remarkable story – worth absorbing, especially on a stormy day, to allow your imagination run riot with sheer melodrama.
Instead, we pause at the Twelve Apostles and London Bridge for some misty yet atmospheric photos and lots of beautiful fresh air! On a clearer day we would have taken a flip over the view with 12 Apostles Helicopters ($90 for 10 mins and $195 for 30 mins).
Next post: Back to Torquay via The Otways
The most wonderful vistas have continually begged us to stop and take yet another photo of the most fabulous beaches, but we have pressed on to our lunch destination.
We have a very soft spot for the brilliant fresh food served in the spectacular Chris’s Beacon Point Restaurant up the hill at Skenes Creek. Impossible to drive past here without sampling something – and the view is to die for too.
Today I have blue eye fillet on mash with red wine jus. Mmmmmm! Tim has calamari with blue cheese and walnut dressing and a Greek salad.
This restaurant was rebuilt after being totally destroyed by a bushfire four years ago. The refurbishment has ensured that every diner has access to that spectacular view, yet they have managed to maintain the warm feeling of a Greek taverna that it has always had.
Chris is 70 now, having migrated from Greece as a young man, and he still pops into the restaurant every day. The next party of diners arrives as we leave. Any weekend and all summer this place is packed to the rafters day and night.
There are cottages right outside the door if you don’t want to drive after your delicious meal. (Contact us for more information.) We, however, are on a mission and must press on – without dessert.
Skene’s Creek is only 6 km from Apollo Bay, which we slip through today, but is worth a stop for the beach, the pub and La Bimba – a warmly welcoming café. And if you have very little time, this is where you can catch a plane for “flightseeing” over the Twelve Apostles with Apollo Bay Aviation.
We want to see how far we can comfortably travel today. Can we get to the end of the road, or even to Warrnambool or Port Fairy?
By the way, if you’re intending to drive to Warrnambool in winter, call ahead (1800 637 725) to find out if the southern right whales are swimming off Logan’s Beach. You can often see them just 100 metres offshore – a real treat.
Our drive now covers the wettest area of the state of Victoria, where rainfall is normally measured in feet rather than inches! And yes, it’s raining – and everything is green. Cows graze in the valleys, and eucalypts, ferns, beech and wattle line the roads, which are single lane with double lines frequently reminding us not to pass. There are plenty of rest stops so you can pull in and appreciate the scenery.
We pass signs for Mait’s Rest Forest Walk, which gives you easy access to wonderful temperate rainforest, Cape Otway Lighthouse and Johanna Beach (often used as an alternative to Bells Beach for the Easter Surf Pro Competition). These would all be worthwhile diversions with time to spare. Not for us today.
Pine plantations surround us as we head over the hills to Port Campbell. Gibson’s Steps provide our first opportunity to view the rocky outcrops that this coast is famous for – the Twelve Apostles – and it’s easy to see why everyone gets excited about them. Their naturally sculpted beauty is magnetic.
But once again, because of our mission, we decide to savour the Apostles on the way back, and instead we cruise past each outcrop to the “end of the road” at Allansford, and Cheese World – a free museum devoted to the dairy industry!
It takes us an extra hour of driving, including a stop to allow milking cows to cross the road, and it’s really only worth doing this last stretch if you have a particular interest in dairying or want to buy some delicious cheeses and chocolates for the return journey – as we do!
Next post: Overnight stop and The Twelve Apostles
We’ll be uploading more photos from time to time, so feel free to send yours in for consideration.