It's a little known fact that there are five working lightstations operating across the coastline of the Great Ocean Road Region between Aireys Inlet and Cape Nelson (just out of Portland).

Most people are quite fascinated by lightstations, so to be able to see so many in one region is quite a coup. Each one is unique in terms of their location, the views they offer and the stories they hold.

Planning a trip around the 'lightstation trail' means you'll be taken along the coastline, through the Otways, through towns like Warrnambool and Port Fairy and to the more rugged territory around Portland.

Believe us, there's no truth to 'saw one, saw them all' when it comes to lightstations. Once you squeeze your way up the small spiral staircase, you never know what you'll see from the top.

So charge up your camera, grab your coat (it's always windy at the top of a lightstation!) and be prepared to be blown away (not literally!) by the view you'll see.

You can tour most of them, just make sure you ring in advance to avoid disappointment.

1. Split Point Lighthouse

Remember the TV show 'Round the Twist'? This is the lighthouse where the show was filmed. The first lightstation on the trail, it's your first introduction to a life of maritime responsibility, engineering perfection, a pristine marine sanctuary and cultural connections. 

Places nearby to eat:

Places nearby to sleep:

2. Cape Otway Lightstation

This is the oldest working lighthouse in Australia. It was built in 1848 and towers 90 metres overlooking the ocean. At the station there's also a telegraph hut and WWII bunkers. You'll also see an Aboriginal meeting hut and can take part in storytelling and bush tucker sessions. Koalas openly roam the grounds and look out for whales in winter!

3. Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse

Warrnambool has two lightstations; both at the site of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and Museum. The red and white 'Lady Bay High' and 'Lady Bay Low' overlook the town's bay and you can tour the former.  

  • Stay the night at Flagstaff Hill Lighthouse Lodge and have dinner at the onsite restaurant before seeing the thrilling sound and light show.

4. Port Fairy Lighthouse

At the tip of Griffiths Island is the location of the town's working lighthouse (solar panelled generator). It's an easy walk across the island from the car park along the bush walking tracks. You can also walk right around the island, which takes about an hour. The island is home to a colony of shearwater seabirds.

  • The island was named after John Griffiths, who established Port Fairy's whaling industry on the island in the 1830s. 
  • You can still see the gardens of the now demolished lighthouse keeper's cottage.
  • The shearwater birds arrive late September from the Aleutian Islands near Alaska; lay eggs in January and leave in April.

5. Cape Nelson Lighthouse

First lit in 1884, this 35 metre high bluestone lighthouse is just 13 kms from Portland. Its powerful telescope and telephone meant it played a big role in WWI and, in WWII, it served as a radar station and support camp.

  • Stay overnight at the award-winning luxury accommodation in the renovated original cottages.


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About the Blogger



A blog contributed by a weekend adventurer, casual walker, coffee lover and market enthusiast. Enjoying days along the Great Ocean Road.

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