Alone on the Shipwreck Coast

With Wade on a yacht delivery for the whole of May, I had to keep myself occupied on weekends in between consulting work interstate or the loneliness would hit me. On one of those weekends I had a plan: go to our Jan Juc house, get up super early and drive for two hours down to the Port Campbell National Park, to get there at sunrise and at low tide, before the hordes of tourists turn up. This part of the Victorian coast is world famous for its extraordinary collection of wave-sculpted rock formations.  It is an inhospitable but spectacular area aptly named the Shipwreck Coast and features an array of sheer cliffs overlooking offshore islets, rock stacks, gorges, arches, and blow-holes.

I would love to explore along there from the ocean rather than the road, although I wonder if we would dare approach these forbidding shores in Take It Easy.  Explorer Matthew Flinders said of the Shipwreck Coast: “I have seldom seen a more fearful section of coastline. It is on the wish list anyway.

With this most photographed stretch of the Great Ocean Road, it is hard to be original but yet I wanted to give my own take on these iconic seascapes. I especially wanted to make images that spoke of how it felt to be there alone. Most of the images I took were long exposures with Lee Filters.  I was there from dawn and the feeling of standing on my own, particularly at Gibson Steps, was one of calmness. No people, no wild surf, just a tranquil mood.  Those were precious moments because they are so rare along that stretch of coast. It got busier during the morning, and brighter as the sun appeared, and the gentleness was replaced by a sense of awe at the power of the wind and waves which shaped this wild coast. Here is a gallery of my favourites.

27 thoughts on “Alone on the Shipwreck Coast

  1. Great photos! It would be very exciting to sail there. Maybe in summer – a quick jaunt from Lorne to Port Campbell maybe?

    • Hi Craig
      We have an hankering to sail to South Australia exploring the two gulfs may be as far west as Ceduna in a couple of summers so we would be sailing past there! It’s a stunning Coast anyway and I enjoyed this little escapade.

  2. You nailed it kid. Wow spectacular shots of our wonderful coastline. In Paris for A few days, before going to Normandy on Sunday.

    • So glad you like them Sue. You have followed the progression with long exposure photography… So much to learn! You might have a chance to see how similar the Normandy coast is to the Great Ocean Road! If you get a chance, head for Etretat.

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