Split Point Lighthouse
Of the several places to stop along Great Ocean Road, one of the first is Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet. The stop takes a mere 15 to 30 minutes to take in the one feature of the area that is of key interest – the lighthouse. On a good day, you might be lucky enough to catch a brief phase of perfect weather sandwiched between two bleak periods and lots of cloud activity to add drama to this serene location.
The lighthouse typically has lots of visitors during the early part of the day. However, after 5p.m., this area is almost deserted, and is a great spot to shoot at.
This is an unmanned lighthouse since 1919. Public access to this lighthouse was a very rate treat until 2005 when the lighthouse was opened for tours.
Best times to visit
Summers produce lots of clear skies around this part of the coast. Autumn through to early spring produces lots of weather systems around this area, creating amazing cloud patterns. The position of the lighthouse makes it such that it is best to shoot from the path leading towards Split Point. Both sunrise and sunset are the best times to shoot at this location. This is an area with low light pollution, and hence, provides a perfect location for long exposure astro-photographyafter dark.
There is ample parking around the lighthouse, and pedestrian access is easy. Comfortable walking shoes, sandals and running shoes are suitable to wear while visiting this location.
Your choice of lens would be a wide angle lens (focal length under 24mm). The area around the lighthouse is elevated from the coastline and is shield by the local vegetation. Hence, there isn’t much impact of sea spray here, but passing showers might give you a bit of grief. Carry a small towel and some microfiber cloth to keep your lenses clean. While tripods are not essential, and you would comfortably be able to shoot hand held, unless you are shooting with long exposures. This might be something you might want to do using a neutral density filter when shooting at peak activity.
The site has well marked out paths. A comfortable pair of walking shoes is recommended. Runners are also suitable. Sandals and open-toed shoes will also suffice, though I wouldn’t recommend wearing them in this region if you have visits to other places in the area.
Always dress in layers. The weather and temperature here constantly changes.
Official web site: http://splitpointlighthouse.com.au/
Vehicular Access: Sealed road to the parking lot. Disabled parking is available right next to the lighthouse.
Pedestrian Access: Sealed road to the lighthouse. Well maintained gravel paths around the lighthouse.
Fitness levels required: Suitable for any reasonably fit individual. May not be suitable for individuals with mobility restrictions.
Walk Difficulty: Easy.
Amount of time required at the site: Between 20 minutes to an hour, depending on whether you choose to tour the interior of the lighthouse or not.
Price of Admission: Access the lighthouse grounds is free. Lighthouse tours are available at the following prices: Adult $12.00; Concession $10.00; Child $7.00 (aged 5- 16 years); Family $35.00 (2 adults and 2 children. Additional children cost $7.00). Private tours for parties of 4 or more can be booked during the week.
Access hours: The lighthouse grounds are accessible and open 24 hours a day/7 days a week. The lighthouse is open 7 days a week from 10a.m. to 4p.m. between December 26th and the end of January school holidays, and from 11a.m. to 2p.m. for the rest of the year. Tours begin on the hour, are subject to weather conditions, and last about 45 minutes.
Notes of caution: There are strong winds in the area. When near the edge of the cliff by the lighthouse, stay within the safety barriers.
Recommendations: Consider visiting this lighthouse after sunset on a clear moonless night. The lack of light pollution makes this an excellent location to shoot astro-photographs.