Cape Otway

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Cape Otway
Victoria
Cape Otway Lighthouse south west pano.jpg
Cape Otway coast
Cape Otway is located in Colac Otway Shire
Cape Otway
Cape Otway
Coordinates38°51′0″S 143°31′0″E / 38.85000°S 143.51667°E / -38.85000; 143.51667Coordinates: 38°51′0″S 143°31′0″E / 38.85000°S 143.51667°E / -38.85000; 143.51667
Population15 (2016 census)[1]
Location
LGA(s)Colac Otway Shire
State electorate(s)Polwarth
Federal division(s)Corangamite
Localities around Cape Otway:
Glenaire Aire Valley Apollo Bay
Hordern Vale Cape Otway Apollo Bay
Southern Ocean Southern Ocean Bass Strait

Cape Otway is a cape and a bounded locality of the Colac Otway Shire in southern Victoria, Australia on the Great Ocean Road; much of the area is enclosed in the Great Otway National Park.

History[edit]

Cape Otway was originally inhabited by the Gadubanud people; evidence of their campsites is contained in the middens throughout the region. The cape was charted by the British when Lieutenant James Grant sailed through Bass Strait in the Lady Nelson in December 1800. Grant named it Cape Albany Otway after Captain William Albany Otway.[2] This was later shortened to Cape Otway.

The British started to colonise the region in 1837 when Joseph Gellibrand and George Hesse became lost in the Otways on an expedition. It was found that Hesse probably died of exposure, while Gellibrand was initially cared for by a local Aboriginal clan but later killed by members of another clan visiting from the Apollo Bay area.[3] The ship Joanna was wrecked near the Cape in 1843, with several survivors making a difficult journey by foot along the coast back toward Geelong.[4] Mr Kearnon attempted to establish a livestock property at Moonlight Head in 1845 but his hut was burnt down and his shepherd supposedly killed by the resident Gadubanud people.[5]

More detailed exploration occurred in 1846 when a number of surveying expeditions entered the area with the view of placing a lighthouse upon Cape Otway.[4] During these assignments, an Aboriginal man was attacked by colonists with stockwhips, while a surveyor's assistant by the name of James Conroy was killed by the Gadubanud. A reprisal force led by the surveyor and consisting of a well-armed militia of Barrabool men was organised by the district official Captain Foster Fyans. This force exterminated almost completely the remaining Gadubanud population of around ten people.[6][7]

Cape Otway Lighthouse was built on the point of the cape in 1848. The lighthouse is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.[8]

A telegraph office opened in 1859. The post office opened on 1 September 1880 and closed in 1972.[9]

Eight ships were wrecked along the coast of Cape Otway:[10] The Marie (1851), Sacramento (1853), Schomberg (1855), Loch Ard (1878), Joseph H. Scammell (May 1891), Fiji (September 1891), and the Casino in 1932. The first American vessel sunk during World War II, the MS City of Rayville, was also sunk off the cape by a German mine. Following this, the Americans built a radar bunker on the cape in 1942; it is now open to the public.

Commercial fisheries[edit]

The hostile seas, where the Southern Ocean meets with Bass Strait, that surround Cape Otway are home to some of the world's most prized marine species, including crayfish and abalone. On calm days, as many as 20 abalone dive boats commonly operate along the shoreline beneath the lighthouse. Commercial crayfishers use baited pots or traps throughout the reef system, with white floats on the surface marking their locations.

Climate[edit]

Cape Otway has a oceanic climate (Cfb) with mild summers and cool damp winters, and only 38 clear days annually.

Climate data for Cape Otway Lighthouse
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 43.3
(109.9)
42.0
(107.6)
40.6
(105.1)
33.3
(91.9)
27.8
(82.0)
24.4
(75.9)
21.8
(71.2)
25.0
(77.0)
31.0
(87.8)
34.2
(93.6)
39.4
(102.9)
43.4
(110.1)
43.4
(110.1)
Average high °C (°F) 21.4
(70.5)
21.5
(70.7)
20.4
(68.7)
18.0
(64.4)
15.6
(60.1)
13.7
(56.7)
13.0
(55.4)
13.8
(56.8)
15.2
(59.4)
17.0
(62.6)
18.3
(64.9)
19.9
(67.8)
17.3
(63.1)
Average low °C (°F) 13.4
(56.1)
14.0
(57.2)
13.3
(55.9)
11.7
(53.1)
10.1
(50.2)
8.5
(47.3)
7.6
(45.7)
7.9
(46.2)
8.5
(47.3)
9.6
(49.3)
10.8
(51.4)
12.1
(53.8)
10.6
(51.1)
Record low °C (°F) 3.3
(37.9)
2.8
(37.0)
−1.1
(30.0)
1.7
(35.1)
1.7
(35.1)
1.7
(35.1)
0.0
(32.0)
1.1
(34.0)
−1.1
(30.0)
−0.6
(30.9)
1.4
(34.5)
3.3
(37.9)
−1.1
(30.0)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 44.3
(1.74)
41.5
(1.63)
55.4
(2.18)
70.7
(2.78)
91.5
(3.60)
96.6
(3.80)
106.2
(4.18)
104.1
(4.10)
90.1
(3.55)
80.1
(3.15)
62.7
(2.47)
52.5
(2.07)
894.8
(35.23)
Average precipitation days 9.3 8.4 12.0 14.8 17.9 18.4 19.9 20.1 18.1 16.3 13.5 11.8 180.5
Average relative humidity (%) 74 75 75 76 78 80 80 78 76 75 74 74 76
Source: [11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Cape Otway (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 17 November 2017. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ Grant, James (1803). The narrative of a voyage of discovery, performed in His Majesty's vessel the Lady Nelson, of sixty tons burthen: with sliding keels, in the years 1800, 1801, and 1802, to New South Wales. Printed by C. Roworth for T. Egerton. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7243-0036-5. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  3. ^ "MESSRS. GELLIBRAND AND HESSE". The Courier (Hobart). XVII (976). Tasmania, Australia. 9 August 1844. p. 2. Retrieved 5 July 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ a b "CAPE OTWAY". Geelong Advertiser and Squatters' Advocate. VI (574). Victoria, Australia. 2 May 1846. p. 1. Retrieved 5 July 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "SUPPOSED MURDER". Geelong Advertiser. V (295). Victoria, Australia. 5 March 1845. p. 2. Retrieved 5 July 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ "REMINISCENCES OF PIONEER DAYS IN VICTORIA". Weekly Times (1, 198). Victoria, Australia. 23 July 1892. p. 30. Retrieved 5 July 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  7. ^ "EXTERMINATION OF THE CAPE OTWAY TRIBE OF ABORIGINES". Geelong Advertiser and Squatters' Advocate. VI (606). Victoria, Australia. 26 August 1846. p. 2. Retrieved 5 July 2021 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "Cape Otway Lightstation (H1222)". Victorian Heritage Register. Heritage Victoria. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  9. ^ Phoenix Auctions History, Post Office List, retrieved 7 March 2021
  10. ^ Australia's Great Ocean Road:Shipwrecks Archived 2007-12-09 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Climate statistics for Cape Otway". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 6 October 2021.