Thursday, January 12, 2012

Point Lonsdale

Sister took us and Little Jo to Point Lonsdale lighthouse for a look on christams eve. It was a very pleasant warm day with a refreshing cool breeze blowing. Little Jo was so good we promised her an ice cream on the way home. Nonsense, said Sister. I have ice cream and cones at home.

Of course we took a walk out along the pier. There is often little see when walking on a pier, but I do enjoy it, especially if has some rotting timbers that make a noise. It did.

Apparently we were under threat in WW II, hence the bunkers and gun placements.

Escaped colonial convict William Buckley was supposed to have lived among aborigines of the area and sheltered in a beach cliff cave. No one knows which cave, but I can see it here.

There were two of these at the base of the lighthouse. I wonder what they were for? They did not look like that they could reel anything in from the sea because of the distance and topography.

Hels has a neat map and a photo of the Queenscliff lighthouse here. Sister told me that the navigators of ships entering Port Phillip Heads would line up the white Point Lonsdale lighthouse with the black Queenscliff lighthouse and.......well, I forget what she said they did. Research required. You do it.

Another bunker. They sure took this World War thingie seriously.

I walked right past this survey marker but R spotted it and called it to my attention. It says, Penalty £50 for interference. That is literally $100, but in today's value, maybe a thousand dollars or more.

Sister and Bone Doctor sat bolt upright in bed the first time they heard the fog horn go off, very shortly after they moved to the area. It has seldom sounded since.

Back to the calm of the swimming beach, where we swam. Well, I nearly did. I went into the water to the waist, which for a bloke is a significant crossing the line point. I didn't want my hair messed up. In the photo, you can see Point Nepean on the other side of the Port Phillip Heads rip. It is a treacherously narrow passage for all those ships loaded with LCD televisions from China and iPhone 5s.


  1. When you come to think about it the Japanese did bomb Darwin and sailed a mini-sub into Sydney Harbour during WW2 so i think the bunkers were needed at the time and you'll never know what they were used for or what they contain :-).

  2. I can't remember what the weather was like this Christmas eve, but your photos look as if the sky was quite overcast and the sea a bit choppy. Was your general feeling that this part of the coastline was still quite rugged? My own experience of Point Lonsdale has been from the inside of a pub or a bookshop :)

  3. Ever since I read The Bone People, I've loved lighthouses but it's not like I see too many of them where I live now. Ha. Once upon a time there were lighthouses in my life though. This is a cool post Andrew.

  4. Crossing the line? Do you mean when the water feels cold? Or do you mean something else?

    That's cool about the William Buckley history.

    I hope you all enjoyed your at-home ice-cream.

    It sounds like an interesting way to spend Christmas eve.

  5. Someone will probably have more details than I have, and my copy of "1942" is not where I can grab it, but I think Australia fired the first shot of WWII when it warned a German trading vessel not to leave Pt Phillip Bay.
    I've also seen a map showing that there were mini subs popping up in all sorts of places, including Bass Strait. Apparently the Victorian sighting was hushed up, probably to keep the population focused on Darwin.

  6. Those things at the base of the lighthouse are for tethering your toddler while you stand around snapping photos of the views. When toddler gets too far away, just reel him back in....
    Great photos, I'd love to see and maybe explore a beach cave.

  7. Windsmoke, and Broome and further south than Darwin. It was hushed up at the time, or the severity of the bombings.

    Hels, it was supposed to be 32 but never reached that down there anyway. There is a lot of cliff face, so I guess you would describe it as pretty rugged. Once inside the Heads, it tames down rather.

    Rubye, I've not read The Bone People, so I'm not sure about how one features in that. I like them too, but oh, all those stairs.

    Dina, I mean like when you go in higher than your thighs. The ice cream was very nice.

    That's correct FruitCake, but I didn't know about the subs in Bass Strait.

  8. Good one River. It would do for a dog too.

  9. fruitcake,

    I can only think of one thing that is similar. The first Allied shots of WWI were fired when a gun at Fort Nepean fired across the bow of the German freighter Pfalz, as she was attempting to escape to sea in August 1914. The orders to fire came from Fort Queenscliff.

  10. Hels, I read about it recently but the information has left my head, except she sailed from Williamstown. I meant to check some details before I published this. Might the bunkers also be WW1?

  11. Hels, thanks for the truth.
    I knew there was something more than the original "the Russians are coming" theory.

    PS, I also make up 72.5% of the statistics I quote. :)

  12. iPhone 5s? You must be the first in the world to have those. As far as I know everyone else is only up to iPhone 4s.

    We occasionally have fog horns sounding on Sydney Harbour. I love waking to the sound of them.

  13. I really need to get out more, your photos make me feel like such a homebody!

  14. Oh Victor. When will you learn not to bite. I expected a pvt email from a kiddie asking where he/she could get an iPhone 5. Guess my readership is not so young.

    I think it would be pretty cool to hear fog horns.

    Fen, it is an effort. See Kath's last post and my comment.

  15. Andrew, I only bite so as not to disappoint you.

  16. Andrew,

    I should have said that fear of a foreign invasion started way before the Germans in 1914.

    As the city of Melbourne became wealthier, fears of invasion increased, particularly by the Russians who had just been defeated in Crimea 1853-6. HMVS Childers was a navy vessel bought to defend the colony of Victoria from the threat of Russian invasion. It arrived at Station Pier, 104 ks from Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale, in 1884.

    Why Victorians thought the Russians would have wanted to chase half way around the universe after the Crimean War to locate Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale... is utterly beyond my understanding.

  17. That's right Hels. I know all this stuff, but I just don't remember it. But of course The Heads weren't their interest but they were our protection against intrusion into Port Phillip Bay. It really would be impossible for anything to get through the narrow heads without being noticed or blown to smithereens.

  18. I go to Pt Lonsdale a lot - via the Melbourne Port Authority webcam -

    If you go to it on 26 Feb you will see the QE2 come through The Rip, and on 5 March the Queen Mary

    check the schedule on the left sidebar for all the other cruise ships in the meantime.

  19. Yo have to be quick to catch a view of a passing ship though Mod. A friend suggested we go down there and see either ship come through the heads. Depends on my work times. Funnily I just printed out the cruise ship schedule yesterday. Another friend who lives near Station Pier receives a nicely printed one from PMOC.