Station Beach and Rainbow Falls

Posted Mon, Jul 5 2010 14:51 by bill

The weather on Sunday was mild so we decided to head out for a hike along the Great Ocean Walk, from Cape Otway to Aire River taking in Station Beach and Rainbow Falls (see map)

The walking track is through heath land (shrubs), and you get glimpses of the ocean as you get nearer to the beach:

 

At the Cape Otway end of the track, it’s steep cliffs:

 

But after not too long you come to some magnificent views over Station Beach:

 

To get to Rainbow Falls you need to continue along the track for another kilometre or so and then you’ll find a track that leads down to the beach:

 

From the beach entrance you need to backtrack East about another kilometre to get to the falls.  Make sure you don’t try when it’s high tide and high seas as in places there isn’t much beach, and no easy way around.

One thing that amazed me as we walked along the beach was the scattering of small bits of plastic along the high tide mark. This is pretty much a pristine area, one of the most southern points of Australia, miles away from anything.  The plastic wasn’t rubbish people had left, it was stuff that had been washed in from sea.  This is something that has happened within my/our lifetimes, and it’s kind of sad. Where we use to walk as kids and look at the sea shells, there’s now a mix of brightly coloured pieces of plastic. I’ve heard talk of oceans with small bits of plastic, but seeing this in this wilderness area really brought the message home to me :(   It’s not like there’s piles of the stuff (yet), it’s just a fine scattering of small pieces, in amongst the shells.

 

Rainbow Falls gets its name form the mineral deposits on the cliff face:

There was only a trickle when we were there (more a seep than a water fall). It’d be interesting to see if they flow more in wetter years.

To get to Aire River from the falls you can either walk along the beach or take the track along the dunes/cliffs. As the tide was still coming in we decided to head back inland. The inland track does have some great views at places:

 

 

Eventually we popped out at a vantage point and caught sight of Aire River:

 

A bit further on we could see the bridge were we had left one of the cars:

 

The long shadows meant the sun was soon to set for the day

 

The track led us down to the river:

 

just as the sun was setting:

 

It was a lovely walk. On the section from Cape Otway to Station Beach we met a half dozen or more different groups, (families or couples etc).  I could discern a couple of different accents, Irish, American, European (possibly Swedish), as well as Australian. Probably a 50-50 mix of Australian and Overseas tourists.  On the lengthier section of the walk to Aire River, we didn’t see anyone else. It’s a lovely walk.

Oh, and be sure to check the tides before you leave as we didn’t see them posted anywhere. Use Portland as a good indication of tide times.

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