The Cape Otway Lightstation is just under an hour away. You could be forgiven for thinking the Great Ocean Road is only a coastal journey, but with views of rolling green hills, it feels like we are a long way from the sea.
The oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia, Cape Otway was established in 1848 and is perched on top of towering cliffs 90 metres above where Bass Straight and the Southern Ocean collide. Looking out over the treacherous coast, it’s not hard to imagine why this stretch of water is the gravesite for hundreds of lives lost in shipwrecks.
The kids are a little young to appreciate the history, but they enjoy wandering through the buildings such as the Telegraph Station, built in 1859, which was home for the operators and their families. They delight in racing up the lighthouse stairs and having the wind blow through their hair on the balcony.
Next stop is the 12 Apostles. With the kids hitching a ride on dad and grandad’s shoulders we take the walkway from the carpark, under the road and out to the coastline. The magnificent limestone formations and sweeping coastal views are even more impressive up close than in photos, and all ages soon find themselves oohing and ahhing in glee.
Later, the kids watch transfixed as their grandparents take off on a 15-minute helicopter joy ride over the limestone stacks. When they return, there are such beaming smiles all around it’s hard to tell who has had more fun.
This article appeared in volume 51 of Holidays with Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.