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    Posted July 31, 2014 by
    Airey's Inlet, Australia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    The lure of lighthouses

    The Great Ocean Roadtrip


    Along the south-west coast of Victoria in Australia, runs the long and winding Great Ocean Road. With our 2 young road-trip loving boys, my husband and I recently drove the long stretch, making several stops at the beautiful beach-side towns along the coast, a couple of waterfalls and almost every playground. One of the highlights of our adventure was a stop at Airey's Inlet where we were met with the gorgeous red and white Split Point Lighthouse. The lighthouse was not on one of our scheduled stops, but when we saw it we just knew that we had to have a closer look. As we got closer, we realized that this same lighthouse had a place in our childhood, being the set of an Australian TV Show called ‘Round the Twist, inspired by our favorite books by author Paul Jennings. Week after week we watched the lighthouse act as a backdrop and sometimes integral part of the storyline as characters Pete, Linda and Bronson navigated their way through school, family and puberty. With some of the most embarrassing and sometimes grotesque storylines.


    The coastline of the area is often referred to as ‘Shipwreck Coast’ as it is said to have claimed over 630 ships, thus being the reason that Spilt Point Lighthouse was commissioned in 1890. The lighthouse has a rich history and we loved learning about the lighthouse watchmen and the rumored ghosts that had made the lighthouse home. In an effort to protect the residents of the town from being bothered by the bright light, the back of the lantern was painted black. One of the beer loving watchmen made a strategically located scratch in the paint, so that the light would shine into the pub so he could ensure that the lighthouse was operating from his seat in the bar. We also read of a ghost who tries to seduce men to follow her into the sea. It is rumored that she was one of the watchmen’s daughters that died on a fishing trip with her father.


    Our roadtrip was 4 weeks ago, but we are constantly reminded of our incredible family trip. I had the biggest smile on my face as we drove past a factory and upon seeing the red and white stripes on the chimney, our sweet Mr2.5 proclaimed ‘Mum, look, a lighthouse! Remember from our holiday?’ he may have been a little off the mark, but it made me realize that the lighthouse had been etched into his memory. I’m not sure if he will remember it in 6 months, in a year or in 5 years, but I know we will. And we have these photos, where time just stands still. Much like this lighthouse had a place in my childhood, and in my husband’s, I know that we will be back to visit, to climb the stairs and admire the view and we will carry Split Point Light House into their childhood memories.


    By Natalie Reynolds
    Melbourne, Victoria
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