Slowly and not-so-surely we are working our way through the sections of the amazing Surf Coast Walk. You may have read, over here, about our “use it or lose it” approach to walking and our commitment to completing every centimetre of this 44km walk.
We can now tick off Section 12, a shortish stint that packs a lot of punch into its 2.1 kilometres (each way) on a well-formed track with gentle hills and a few steps.
The brochure blurb says:
“Lighthouse Discovery. Aireys Lighthouse – Fairhaven. Discovery stroll from the Split Point Lighthouse and lookouts past whale sighting spots, through traditional Wathaurung country. Cross an ancient tribal boundary to the western reach of the Surf Coast Walk. Learn as you go with the insights of the Lighthouse Discovery Trail and several well-signed viewing platforms.”
Yes, there is lots to see on this section. Allow an hour or so at the lighthouse precinct for exploring the trails, interpretative signage, cliffs and … for snapping some memorable pic’s.
Wander west through the big car park, following alongside the Great Ocean Road and across Painkalac Creek, a favourite food harvesting spot for the Wathaurung aborigines, the traditional landowners.
The gravel path takes you through a shady ti-tree forest.
Soon you lift up into the sun and find yourself high above Fairhaven Beach, stretching invitingly ahead of you.
We were here on a quiet Monday so shared the beach with just a couple of other walkers. It’s a spectacular beach walk, with the lighthouse commanding one end and stunning ochre cliffs rising up at the other. Your beach stroll takes you beneath the famous Pole House and the new Fairhaven Surf Life Saving Club … both amazing buildings in their own right.
It’s a leisurely saunter back to the car park. Nearby, the Aireys Inlet “bottom shops” are worth a browse – there’s a book shop, retro diner and plenty more.
We settled for a peppermint tea served in this gorgeous cast iron pot on a rustic outdoor table with a vista over the Great Ocean Road.