Two towns on the Great Ocean Road
A number of years ago, we took a rare break from business to have a short family holiday in Lorne, Victoria. The week leading into our departure, I’d had the worst headache imaginable, culminating with a CT scan the morning we left. Against dire warnings from my doctor that I should stay in town until the results came in, I persuaded my husband to head to the one place I knew would help – the ocean.
From our home in the Macedon Ranges, just a bit north of Melbourne, Victoria, we crossed country toward Geelong, a city in its own right on the west coast. A few kilometres from there, we passed the town of Torquay and drove below the sign welcoming us to the Great Ocean Road.
This mostly coastal road winds between Torquay, almost all the way to Warrnambool, stopping just short around the fishing village of Port Fairy. Returning soldiers from WW1 built this heritage listed road between 1919 and 1932 and is the world’s largest war memorial, dedicated to the fallen soldiers.
Although we’ve subsequently visited Warrnambool and surrounds, this trip was for a few days relaxation in the seaside tourist town of Lorne. Founded by the English in around 1850, it remains a small town (about 1200) until tourist season swells it to thousands.
Winding beside the vivid blue sea for kilometres, the road suddenly curved into Lorne, crossing a broad river before the town. For those who have read The Stationmaster’s Cottage, there will be some familiarity with the landscape. Although not set there, certain elements crept in.
After settling into our rooms, we wandered the shops for a while, enjoying the wide variety of locally made products. The phone rang at last – no sign of anything to worry about with the CT scan. Strangely enough, my headache had already subsided the moment I drew in the sea air.
The long beach in Lorne faces the open sea – my kind of place. We spent many hours wandering, swimming and enjoying the natural beauty of the area. Inland, it is only minutes until peaceful Australian bush surrounds you. We visited waterfalls and walking tracks.
The day we left, instead of heading straight home we went further west to Wye River. Only about 20 kilometres from Lorne, the very winding road means a slow trip, which is all the better for watching the ocean.
With only around 120 residents, the town is small. Another river runs through here to the sea. It is a gorgeous place to stop and simply wallow in the natural beauty.
One of the reasons for our visit to Lorne and Wye River was to allow me to absorb scenery I could use in The Stationmaster’s Cottage, and subsequently, Jasmine Sea. If you ever visit those towns, see whether they are familiar. I love them and hope you enjoyed my memories and photographs.
About the Author
Phillipa Nefri Clark grew up around lonely Australian beaches with wild seas and misty cliffs. From a young age she wrote stories and dreamed of being a writer. There were many detours along the way as she trod paths as diverse as a travelling sales rep to singing and acting. Fascinated by film, Phillipa wrote five feature length screenplays, one which was optioned. Now living in regional Victoria on a small acreage close to a mountain range, she markets the family business a few days a week and writes the rest of the time. With nonfiction credits for specialist canine publications, she finally returned to stories with the release of The Stationmaster’s Cottage, a dual timeline romance, in February 2017. Her great loves, apart from writing, are her family of two young adult sons and her husband, their Labrador, music, fine wine, and friends.
On the web:
Jasmine Sea: A River’s End Love Story. Book Two
Sometimes facing the past is the only way forward.
Starting over never felt better. Christie Ryan adores the little cottage she’s renovating, the seaside town that embraced her, and Martin Blake, the man she longs to marry. Ex-fiancé Derek Hobbs is finally out of the picture, and there are no more secrets in her life or mysteries to solve.
Will the arrival of a mysterious woman who commissions a portrait from Martin under a cloud of secrecy break her after all? Unrest and suspicion remind Christie that happiness can be fleeting, and when the peaceful town is shattered by crime, her past is again thrust into the limelight.
With one chance and only minutes to save those she loves, Christie comes face to face with her greatest fear—and there is no way around it.
Jasmine Sea follows on from The Stationmaster’s Cottage, set shortly after its stunning conclusion.
Enter to win signed copies on Goodreads!