fbpx

Our operating hours are changing. From July 1st you must pre-book your spot online before your visit. Spaces are limited so please book your tour early to avoid disappointment. No walk up tickets will be available. For more information, click here.

Tales of the Cape

Intriguing stories of how it all began.

Be inspired by the rich and intruiging history of the Cape Otway Lightstation, those who lived and worked there and the surrounding area.

 

If you would like to be informed when new Tales are published, subscribe to our mailing list below. 

Subscribe
Migration: The Challenging Voyage to Australia

Migration: The Challenging Voyage to Australia

The following Tale is an extract taken from a daily History Talk given by Guide Hugh about migration. The first immigrants here were obviously convicts but contrary to popular opinion, there weren't a huge number of convict ships. During the whole convict era there...

read more
Living at the Cape Otway Lightstation

Living at the Cape Otway Lightstation

Despite being 'home' to more than 170 staff and their families throughout the ages, Cape Otway Lightstation only housed a very small community at any given time. For most of its operational life, the Lighthouse was staffed by a Head Keeper and two Assistant Keepers;...

read more
Disputes and Differences at Cape Otway Lightstation

Disputes and Differences at Cape Otway Lightstation

As with any isolated community, disputes and differences due to personal opinion arose. Head Keeper for 30 years (1848-78), Henry Bayles Ford saw many Assistant Keepers come and go. The turnover of staff perhaps not always helped by his autocratic manner. As a former...

read more
Cataraqui Disaster: Cape Otway Light is born

Cataraqui Disaster: Cape Otway Light is born

Incredibly remote and extremely difficult to access, why was Cape Otway chosen as the best site for a lighthouse? When the emigrant ship Cataraqui founded on jagged rocks about 140 meters from the shores of King Island on the 4th of August 1845, authorities decided it...

read more
Squatters at Cape Otway

Squatters at Cape Otway

The 'Squatters Station' was the term given by Head Lighthouse Keeper Henry Bayles Ford for those who lived at Glenaire Station. The lives of those at the Cape Otway Lightstation were often intertwined with those at the 'squatters station'. Tom Riches for example was...

read more
The wreck of Eric the Red

The wreck of Eric the Red

The Eric the Red was a wooden, three masted ship built in Maine, USA. She left New York in June 1880 destined for Melbourne and Sydney carrying the exhibits for the Melbourne Exhibition, 3000 tons of general cargo, two passengers and a crew of twenty four. Eighty five...

read more
The First Motor Car at Cape Otway Lighthouse

The First Motor Car at Cape Otway Lighthouse

A daring feat! The first ever 'road trip' to Cape Otway Lighthouse! The first motor car to reach Cape Otway Lighthouse was a Model-T Ford driven by Bill Gratton Wilson in February 1932. Getting a motor car to the Lightstation in those days was no easy feat, but Bill,...

read more
Cape Otway School

Cape Otway School

Since 1848 children have always played a part of life at Cape Otway Lightstation – even today as curious visitors and school groups. Initially the children of the people working here were home-schooled, until 1881 when the official State school No. 2352 was opened in...

read more
Horses

Horses

The first motor vehicle was not seen at Cape Otway until 1932. For well into the 20th century, horses were the main means of transport for those working at the Lightstation, their families and visitors. In the 19th century, the horses used by the Keepers were...

read more