This trip, our family made a conscious effort to explore the hidden beaches along the Great Ocean Road. We stopped at every car park between Apollo Bay and Smythe Creek.
This beach was our definite highlight, although it is hard to find an official name. Google Maps lists it as Biddles Beach, although it is hard to find any reference. It may also be Beach 374.
The best way to find it is to use Google Maps. Travel past Skenes Creek towards Petticoat Creek. Look on your left for a wooden sign that says Petticoat Cottage. The beach is accessible from the car park just before the cottage.
The car park is popular with superb fairy wrens. There was a pair that repeatedly visited dads car to check out their reflection in the mirror and window.
The beach itself is a short walk from the car park. Initially it is a bit muddy, but becomes sandy close to the beach. Be careful when walking along this section; there are blackberries along the edges.
The path is actually hard to find once you are on the beach. We drew a giant arrow to make it easier. The beach itself is very beautiful however I’m very attracted to rockpools and waves hitting the rocks. I immediately turned right and walked towards once of the headlands.
The rock formations were beautiful along this section, especially when you have a stormy sky in the background. I loved watching the waves hit the rocks. We had to be very aware of the tides as we walked further along.
We loved this hidden gem and returned several times to get a better look. It’s brilliant for photography; both along the ocean and the cliffs. It’s become one of our favourite haunts.
We stopped briefly at this lookout on the way to Apollo Bay. We had no idea about it’s significance; we just needed somewhere to rest for a few minutes
The area near the car park contains a grave site. According to Monument Australia, it is a false grave that
commemorates those from the barquentine “Chittoor” who were drowned in three separate accidents during salvage operations on the barque “W. B. Godfrey” which was wrecked here on 8 March 1891. Those who died were R. Pleace and J.McIntyre on 18 April 1891, C. Boutler on 18 June 1891 and Captain T. Gortley and Seaman V. Godfrey on 8 October 1891.
We are planning to return later to properly explore the beach.
The restrictions had only just been lifted prior to this trip. We were extra cautious. Most business owners were pretty positive and you could see the local community rallying. The lack of tourism – especially from Melbourne and overseas – is definitely having an impact.
This is yet another example of mum discovering something interesting while I was in bed, sleep. My mum and nephew had gone rockpooling in the harbour when she noticed this specimen. It piqued the interest of my field naturalist club friend, who had suggested that is slightly resembled Botrylloides violaceus.
B. violaceaus differs from B. Schlosseri due to having double lines instead of the star/ring shape. And, unlike B. Leachii, it is the one colour.
I wasn’t able to photograph this exact specimen again this trip, due to being overwhelmed and not being sure what to photograph. I now have a better idea of what to get next time.
I agree that it doesn’t look like the typical Botryllus schlosseri. It could be because it is the only one I saw on a plant, and parts of the plant could be obscuring it. It could also just be the angle.
We will hopefully find out more next trip.