The fact that the Get to know our track walk for April 30 had been described as being of moderate to high difficulty did not deter 27 eager participants meeting at Aireys Inlet at 9.30am ready for the challenge. We were pleased to welcome three new members who joined in the activity – Catherine & Peter Robinson and Dini Shepherd.
Our first stop was at the site of the former Eastern View Hotel (1924/57) where we compared an earlier photograph of the Great Ocean Road showing the buidings and the tennis court with what is there today – a private residence and the beach car park.
We then stopped at the Memorial Archway car park where we spent a few minutes recalling the history as depicted by the monument that was constructed in 2007 to commemorate the construction of the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road is soon to be placed on Australia’s National Heritage List making it a fitting tribute to the returned servicemen from World War 1 who built the road often under difficult conditions, as well as a celebration of its cultural and historical significance to our nation.
From the Archway we then crossed the Great Ocean Road and began our uphill climb along Golf Links Road past the site of the Eastern View Golf Links (1936/39).
We stood on the foundations of the former Club Rooms and having diverted from the track leading westwards through the Great Otway National Park we stopped at one of the tees where golfers would have played in those earlier years.
Eathorne and John Mitchell, and Des Clarke demonstrated how it was done with some unusual golf clubs.
The climb to the top of the saddle through Ironbarks, Blue Gums. Messmate Stringybarks, with a varied understorey of Austral Grass trees and wattles was demanding, but we stopped to admire the magnificent view over Cinema Point and to have morning tea where the coastal views were just spectacular.
Sharp eyes found some of our autumn orchids either in flower or bud. These included Autumn Bird Orchids, Brown-tipped Greenhoods, Tall Greenhoods and Mosquito Orchids.
Boneseed was also scattered through the area but Lachie Richardson managed to remove a number of bushes.
From the top of the saddle we clambered down a kangaroo track (not exactly where we remembered it from our reconnoitre and perhaps making the walk a bit longer), but nevertheless leading us to the planned area that had been cleared as asset protection against fire.
It was a pleasant place to have lunch before making our way back down behind the houses and down to the Great Ocean Road at Spout Creek.
A large infestation of Boneseed growing in the gully just behind the houses has been recorded for Parks Vic action.
Having reached the Great Ocean Road the group then divided into two, with those who were wanting to go to Geelong to attend the funeral of Pauline Reilly, an honoured ANGAIR member, driving back to the Archway, and the remainder having a pleasant stroll of about 700m back along the beach.
The weather was perfect and we all agreed it was a most enjoyable walk. Thanks to Lachie Richardson, Di Trewenack and Ross Murray who helped to plan the walk with me and to make sure we kept on track.
Margaret MacDonald Leader