fbpx
Closure announcement

Closure announcement

On June 30th 2022 Tourism Great Ocean Road comes to the end of our lease and 25 years as custodians of Cape Otway Lightstation.

From July 1st 2022 the lease of Cape Otway Lightstation will be taken over by The Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority.

Tourism Great Ocean Road and the Bowker family would like to thank everyone who has joined us on this journey and who has contributed over the past 25 years to help us rescue this derelict heritage site and transform it into the leading visitor attraction on the Great Ocean Road and the outstanding experience it is today. We look forward to watching this significant site grow and prosper as we hand over to the next custodians.

In preparation for the transition to the new leaseholders we will be closing the Lightstation to day visitors from the 15th – 30th of June with no walk up access available to the Lighthouse or heritage precinct. Our accommodation bookings for this period are unaffected with access provided to the Lighthouse for existing bookings. The Lightkeepers Café will also be closed from the 15th June. We are accepting accommodation bookings on behalf of the incoming leaseholders from August 2022 onward and these can be booked via our website.  We thank everyone for their understanding and patience during this time.

Information on reopening and operations beyond June 30th 2022 will be announced by the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority in the coming weeks.

 

Shannon McCartney

Manager

Cape Otway Lightstation

 

End of Lease Celebrations

End of Lease Celebrations

This week at the Lighthouse we came together to celebrate 25 years of Tourism Great Ocean Road as custodians of Cape Otway Lightstation.

Along with the Bowker family, staff past and present were joined by some of the wonderful people who, over the years, have helped us make Cape Otway Lightstation the outstanding visitor attraction that it is today. We shared heartfelt gratitude and stories of our time at the Lighthouse and enjoyed a night filled with speeches and both tears and laughter!

 

     

   

 

The original lantern was lit for the evening for our last time by Alex Parry and former Cape Otway Lighthouse Keeper Ted Peers. The heritage lantern was decommissioned in 1994 and is only lit on special occasions with permission from AMSA.

Ted Peers and Alex Parry Light the Lantern             Cape Otway Lighthouse Lantern

   

Assembled guests enjoyed music and food as they reminisced around the fire.

   

  

    

 

The incredible fireworks display at the end of the evening was a fitting tribute to the hard work and success of the past 25 years.

 

   

 Cape Otway Lighthouse fireworks

     

Our current lease term will end in June 2022 and the lease will be taken over by the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority on the 1st of July. We wish them all the best of luck in the future.

 

Summer Reopening Announcement!

Summer Reopening Announcement!

Cape Otway Lightstation Summer Reopening 

 

We are excited to announce that we will be reopening our gates and welcoming back Day Visitors from Saturday the 18th of December 2021!

After a long winter closure we are delighted to reopen our ticketing kiosk, Lighthouse, Heritage Precinct and Cafe. Tickets will be available to purchase on arrival with no pre-booking required. As per state mandate, all guests must provide evidence of double vaccination as a requirement of entry.

The Lightkeeper’s Cafe will open once again with a selection of Tea & Coffee, sweet treats and of course our famous Lightkeeper’s Homemade Scones with Jam & Cream! Please note that due to staffing constraints, we will not be offering a lunch menu this season.

Our beautiful Heritage Accommodation has had a refresh over winter and will also continue to operate with limited bookings now left for the summer season- so book early to avoid missing out!

Operating times vary so please check our website to plan your visit before heading out to see us!

We look forward to welcoming you all back again this summer!

Winter Operations Announcement

Winter Operations Announcement

Cape Otway Lightstation Winter Operations Announcement

After a tough year for us all, the team at Cape Otway Lightstation would like to thank you all for your continued support and provide you with an update from the Cape.

As has been announced in the media we have been in ongoing negotiations with Parks Victoria on the future of our lease here at the Lightstation over the past year and beyond. Despite the recent escalation of these talks we have not been granted an extension on our lease nor a transition for our staff in time to avoid closure. As the remaining term of our lease with Parks Victoria is until June 2022 and the site is not currently viable due to ongoing Covid restrictions and the lack of international tourism, we have taken the difficult decision to close the site to Day Visitors from the 1st of July 2021. We will be continuing to operate our accommodation and pre-booked guided tours only with limited staff. A Winter Tour Program will be announced on our website once details have been finalised, to facilitate ongoing access to the site. We are committed to continuing the full time operation of our accommodation until the end of our lease in June 2022 and hope to be able to reopen the site to day visitors during peak periods once visitation levels increase.

In summary, our winter operations schedule will be changed to the following:

The Cape Otway Lightstation will be closed to Day Visitors from the 1st of July with access available to the Heritage Precinct by pre-booked guided tour only.

The Lightkeeper’s Cafe will be closed from 1st July 2021.

Our Heritage Accommodation will be operating as normal and will not be affected.

The Lightstation Heritage Precinct will be accessible by pre-booking a tour only with no walk-up access to the Lightstation Heritage Precinct grounds.

Further information on our upcoming Winter Programme of tours will be added to our website once they become available to book.

Group or school tour bookings can be made by submitting a request via the group booking request form on our website.

 

 

We thank you again for your support and we hope to be able to return to full operations as soon as we can.

 

 

 

 

Cape Otway Lightstation shortlisted for 2020 Victorian Community History Awards

Cape Otway Lightstation shortlisted for 2020 Victorian Community History Awards

Cape Otway Lightstation has been shortlisted for the 2020 Victorian Community History Awards!

The awards celebrate and recognise contributions made by Victorians who are preserving the state’s rich and diverse history and we are delighted that our WWII Memories community history project has been included in this years shortlist.

Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson announced the 48 projects and publications that made the shortlist for this year’s Victorian Premier’s History Award and Victorian Community History Awards. From the shortlist, the 2020 Victorian Premier’s History Award recipient and nine Victorian Community History category winners will be chosen. 

Final award winners will be announced online in October as part of History Month. 

WW2 RADAR EXHIBIT

Our community history project ‘WWII Memories’  is an audio visual interpretation project that marries Corten steel silhouettes with voices of Victorian WWII Radar veterans as they recall their secret war; unknown to contemporary audiences.
Housed within the WWII Radar Station at Cape Otway Lightstation, the project is a collaboration between the Lightstation & RAAFA Radar Veterans Association and features an audio panel with excerpts from WWII Veterans George Runting and Beryl Mainon as they describe their experience of their secret war.

 

WW2 RADAR EXHIBIT

The history of WWII RAAF Radar has been a relatively unknown “secret story” due to its top-secret WWII status, which was effectively continued post-WWII by RAAF Radar Veterans who had committed to its secrecy status. This has resulted in very little formal historical recording of WWII RAAF Radar.

VRAAFRA WWII Veteran Members have been committed to creating, recording and preserving for future generations, an historical understanding of WWII RAAF Radar and its critical role in defending Australia and winning the war in the South West Pacific. The relatively few surviving WWII Radar Veterans, together with other VRAAFRA Members continue that commitment today and have donated to this Tourism Great Ocean Road project at Cape Otway Lightstation.

The significance of this project can be seen in the fact that outside of the Australian War Memorial’s static display of WWII RAAF Ground Radar equipment in Canberra, the Cape Otway Interpretive Exhibition, based at the purpose built and still standing 13RS Radar Operations Building, is the only other exhibition recording WWII RAAF Radar history. The inclusion of WWII veterans’ audio recollections of Radar Station activities is also significant in providing a personal balance to that secret historical WWII RAAF Radar Story.

 Beryl Mainon joined the WAAF in 1942 at the age of 17 – she lied about her age. Upon qualifying as a Radar Operator, Beryl served on several Radar Stations in Victoria and New South Wales until the end of the war in 1945.  

George Runting joined the RAAF in 1943, at the age of 18 and qualified as a Radar Operator. He then served at 13 RS Cape Otway. George served overseas in the Pacific campaign as part of a mobile radar unit until the end of the war in 1945.

Launch of WW11 Radar Station Interpretative Exhibit at Cape Otway Lightstation

Launch of WW11 Radar Station Interpretative Exhibit at Cape Otway Lightstation

We are delighted to announce that we have just added an exciting new exhibit to the Cape Otway Lightstation Heritage Precinct! 
WW2 RADAR EXHIBIT

Delve deep into WW2 history as we uncover the story of a top secret mission at Cape Otway. An audio visual interpretation project that marries Corten steel silhouettes, with voices of Victorian WWII Radar veterans as they recall their secret war; unknown to contemporary audiences.

The original wireless equipment, on loan from the Apollo Bay Museum has been returned to the bunker and displayed as part of the exhibit. 

Housed within the WWII Radar Station at Cape Otway Lightstation.  The project is a collaboration between the Lightstation & RAAFA Radar Veterans Association.

 

WW2 RADAR EXHIBIT

The history of WWII RAAF Radar has been a relatively unknown “secret story” due to its top-secret WWII status, which was effectively continued post-WWII by RAAF Radar Veterans who had committed to its secrecy status. This has resulted in very little formal historical recording of WWII RAAF Radar.

VRAAFRA WWII Veteran Members have been committed to creating, recording and preserving for future generations, an historical understanding of WWII RAAF Radar and its critical role in defending Australia and winning the war in the South West Pacific. The relatively few surviving WWII Radar Veterans, together with other VRAAFRA Members continue that commitment today and have donated to this Tourism Great Ocean Road project at Cape Otway Lightstation.

The significance of this project can be seen in the fact that outside of the Australian War Memorial’s static display of WWII RAAF Ground Radar equipment in Canberra, the Cape Otway Interpretive Exhibition, based at the purpose built and still standing 13RS Radar Operations Building, is the only other exhibition recording WWII RAAF Radar history.
The inclusion of WWII veterans’ audio recollections of Radar Station activities is also significant in providing a personal balance to that secret historical WWII RAAF Radar Story.

 

WW2 RADAR BUNKER

Contributing Donors

Victorian RAAF Radar Association

The Bowker Family/ Tourism Great Ocean Road

Ian McKellar

Margaret Bennett

Apollo Bay Museum- Original Wireless equipment