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Cape Otway

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.

Details

  • Area:82.409 km2
  • Elevation:68 m
  • Population:15
  • Local Government Area:Colac Otway Shire Council

Description

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 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. 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. 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. 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.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. 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.Cape Otway Lighthouse was built on the point of the cape in 1848. The lighthouse is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register.A telegraph office opened in 1859. The post office opened on 1 September 1880 and closed in 1972.Eight ships were wrecked along the coast of Cape Otway: 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. # Weather Cape Otway has a oceanic climate (Cfb) with mild summers and cool damp winters, and only 38 clear days annually. # Things to do

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