Eastern View, Great Ocean Road

No-one in Melbourne seems to have heard of Eastern View. I often resort to describing it as 'around Fairhaven...near Anglesea' in order to keep the conversation going. But on a lonely stretch of one of the most scenic drives in Australia you'll find this little locale - home to a few houses up on a cliff, a wide open stretch of sand, crashing waves, national park, and nothing much else.

Above: Teddy's Lookout

In my book this is pretty much the perfect beach in Victoria, but I admit to having a soft spot for Eastern View since I have swum here since I was little, and my mum swam here when she was little.

Arriving on Friday afternoon on an autumn day I started by going for a 'welcome back' swim in the ocean, battling the surf for a while in my wetsuit. After that burst of energy, I put a roast in the oven and sat back with a book and a glass of the local ale and watched the waves roll in.

Saturday was a day of adventure - we got going after an obligatory sleep in, and went to Lorne to do some walking, venturing to Teddy's Lookout, Cora Lynn Falls and Erskine Falls. They are gorgeous tramps; all three walks took us into lush rainforest, skirting the coast, and then into forested valleys where the ground grew muddy and every now and then the sound of rushing waterfalls would become audible through the greenery.

Above: Cora Lynn

We wound our way further down the Great Ocean Road, ridiculously dramatic coastlines unfolding themselves before us. As the weather closed in we finished the day at the Wye River, a cool little town with a famous gourmet foodstore and cafe, great waves and a family atmosphere. Watching the surfers from the window of the pub, we entertained ourselves by passing (unqualified) judgement on their skills as they battled the increasingly tumultuous ocean and we stayed warm and smug inside. After heading back to the ranch to put the fire on and have a nap, it was time for dinner. Ala Greque is the local gourmet destination in nearby Aireys Inlet. We ate duck with a tangy skordilla and a mezze selection of baked fetta, peppers, and charred octopus, and people-watched the mix of locals and Melbournites.

Above: Eastern View beach

I woke early on Sunday and checked the surf report. The storm from the night before meant that our local ocean was surfer-free and whitewashed, but the protected beach at Lorne was looking good, so I jumped in the car. In Lorne I hired a board and got out there with the masses - from skilled guys surfing the breaks in front of the rocks, to beginners playing in the whitewash. I fall into the latter category and what followed was a frenzy of splashing, board flying and occasional wave riding before falling off rather ungracefully. Nothing beats getting thrown around in the ocean, and afterwards I felt cleaned out, awake and alive.

Above: Hang-glider

We finished the day with a walk along the beach from Eastern View to Moggs Creek, where parasailers and hang-gliders try their luck launching off the cliffs. Then we toasted Eastern View one last time and headed home.


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Anna Metcalfe is a content maker, word writer and editor of things.