(Cover Photo: Water Sprite). Cape Liptrap at the Western end of Venus Bay beach in South Gippsland is a scenic extravaganza as you walk the Victorian coastline perhaps beginning at Phillip Island and ending in Eden NSW, a journey which will no doubt take you several delightful weeks. Where else in the world could you have such an adventure?
This is the lighthouse near the point of Cape Liptrap which has warned off ships from dangerous rocks for many years.
You can see some of those (dangerous and ) beautiful rocks below:
This is the view East across Maitland Bay towards Waratah Bay and Wilsons Prom.
We happened to see a rare ‘water sprite’ one of very few I have seen and the first I have ever managed to snap. They are such an evanescent emergent phenomenon they are well nigh impossible to photograph. Strong Westerly winds whipping around the point here can create such vortices. Be on the lookout for them on windy days.
I particularly admired this enigmatic DSE sign. (‘Walk/Don’t Walk?)
Looking down to the West you can just make out a beautiful little beach beneath the heath.
Where the mighty waves of the Southern Ocean beat against the rugged rocky coast.
There is a path down: Less than 100 metres back towards Walkerville you will see a locked gate on the Western side. Follow this path down a ridge.
You will then have to cross this gully. Watch out for the path as there is only one. You have to be particularly careful on the way back up, as so many people have obviously missed it and wandered for hours searching for a way back out onto the road.
The view down onto the beach (facing West here) just keeps getting better.
A panorama from Della’s phone.
Close up of the web of the spume on the skerries.
Further down still.
Breaking through the Banyalla onto the beach. Banyalla has edible fruit in season (as does pigface – there is plenty of that here too).
Spot leading the way.
This is the view back up (if you are walking along from Venus Bay. You have to watch for this gully as it is your last safe point of exit. The path travels up the West side of the gully then crosses over to the ridge on the East side.
The dogs love the beach.
The bay to the East.
Look at that chop.
Immediately to the West there is this interesting sea-cave being created in the syncline by the waves.
The westering sun echoing off the skerries.
Except at high tide the Government reckons you can walk all the way along here (from the Arch Rocks (nearer the Ten Mile) to Walkerville. I think they should say it is ‘possible’ at low tide myself. A couple of the points (Cape Liptrap itself, for example) could be quite dangerous even then. This is the view that greets you after you scramble around the first point heading West. You may be better to exit here then walk along the road to Bear Gully – but there is a way down to Maitland Bay on the other side of Cape Liptrap through the bush.
A long Southern wave rolling in to this seagull-bobbing cove.
Above could almost be a moonscape – a desert scape anyway.
There are so many interesting rock formations. You can imagine the wonders laid down in the layers of this ancient stone.
Some of the rocks have been painted by nature rather more spectacularly than by any human artist.
The tide has been coming in quite quickly. You need to watch out for that. Check the tide heights here: Waratah Bay would be the closest station. For the dogs especially (Well, the puppy, Honey anyway) getting around here is becoming a challenge. And, it is time for dinner. MaCartins Hotel in Leongatha is one of our favourites.
PS (by Della) 31/03/2017:
‘Saw my first waterspout today! It was only a small one, about a metre high, and it appeared suddenly while we were gazing at the Mitchell River, at the Mitchell River Silt Jetties where the river flows into Lake King. Of course, I didn’t have my camera to hand and this picture was taken after the event….and no doubt I missed the only chance I will ever have to photograph one…but it was so exciting! There was no wind detectable and I heard a sound very similar to leaves in a willy willy. Then the spout appeared, a twirling vortex of misty spray dancing about a metre high above the water surface. I stood mesmerized (well, apart from calling to Steve to “Look at that” without any indication of what “that” was). We both gazed transfixed as it danced on past us and then meandered over to the other side of the river, taking about 2 minutes or so before it disappeared. I was sure that it was a “watersprite “, a word that came go me from Shakespeare, I suspect. My googling of the phenomenon threw up the more mundane term “spout”, but it will always be a magical sprite to me after taking 63 years to show itself! Must be time for a unicorn sighting next!’
I remember them from Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner:
At first it seemed a little speck, And then it seemed a mist; It moved and moved, and took at last A certain shape, I wist. A speck, a mist, a shape, I wist! And still it neared and neared: As if it dodged a water-sprite, It plunged and tacked and veered. With throats unslaked, with black lips baked, We could nor laugh nor wail; Through utter drought all dumb we stood! I bit my arm, I sucked the blood, And cried, A sail! a sail!'