Quite often people ask me why we go to Wye River each year, why there and not, say….Inverloch, Waratah Bay, Mallacoota…?
Others ask…”Wye River! Where’s that?”
Of all the places to pick as your annual camping destination, a tiny coastal spot at the foothills of the wettest district in the state, the Otways, would at first glance not seem to be considered ideal!
So why do we choose to come to Wye River every January?
For me I guess it’s the familiarity, the sounds and smells, the memories…the rock pools!
Here’s me and my cousin Louise, in about 1963… on the rocks, just like every year, just like everyone. Go to the beach, look left, look right….and you have these magnificent rock formations running down to the surf. Rock pools for all shapes and sizes. People walking over them, swimming in them, fishing off them, watching the sea from them, contemplating the meaning of….all day, every day.
Pools big enough for Kenzie, and Rachael!
For me, a sense of history and family ties seem to bind me to this joint. My grandparents came down every year from Williamstown, season camp holders for many, many….many years!
Check out Mum (on the rocks!) fashioning the latest in bathing design. And how about the caravan? The hipster barista’s would pay plenty for the chance to set up their fancy-pants coffee joint in one of those today!
This is the first SLSC, in 1958. I’m pretty proud of the fact that my Mum’s family had such a strong connection to this, and the formation of the club. Brian Dann, my uncle, was the first club captain. He’s the devilishly handsome fella standing third from the right.
He even has the honour board named after him! The SLSC has been updated somewhat since.
A bit of tunnel ball action, circa 1964. Tim, Sal and myself bottom left, and Granny leading the way on the right.
The standard joke about Wye revolves around water, of the precipitous type that is, in all its guises from mist to showers to gale force downpour. We’ve seen it all over the last decade or so, joked along about the likelihood of similar on our next visit, or the next day, or the next hour! Not often do we compare suntans, or UV ratings!
Lets face it, a few years ago we got roadblocked in for four days as landslips made the road impassable, that was after being stuck in Lorne for eight hours waiting to get back to our site. It rained and rained some more, dumping about 170mm over four days. The river itself is normally a babbling brook, but for those few days was a raging torrent. Many books and uno games late it stopped, sort of!
The weathers not always crap, just a good proportion of it. But when it shines, the whole place lights up. The sea turns a beautiful emerald green, clear and crisp…with rolling (if small) waves, perfect for a surf or boogie board. Rachael had never been on a boogie board before coming to Wye….
Our weapons of choice! Naturally, the beer branded one is Rachael’s.
When you get sick of the beach there’s always the General store for sensational bread, or one of the best view anywhere, from the deck of the old “Rookery Nook”. Beer in Hand, of course!
Wye River and Separation Creek (around the bend) were settled mainly to service the timber industry, with logs been transported elsewhere via a long wooden pier, reaching out into Bass Strait, remnants of which have been left to slowly decay.
It’s not exactly Bell’s Beach, but the surf has it’s moments, and more often than not there’s a nice little rip on the right hand side, just waiting to catch the unaware. One year, two bus loads of tourists stopped off for a quick dip to cool their jets before heading to the 12 apostles, and 39 of them had to be pulled out of the rip. Wye was rated the most dangerous surf beach in the state that year, courtesy of our northern neighbours inability to swim!
Wye River in it’s normal guise.
A couple of the locals, point guard and lookout!
Rachael is a relative newbie to Wye, but the place is as much a part of her’s as it is mine, and we’ll continue to carve out our own little slice of the story that is Wye River.
So, there you have it, we come here ‘cos we love it. It’s part of the fabric of our lives. It’s not perfect, far from it, but the sum of the parts make it the place it is.
What more can you ask for in a summer holiday but relaxing, enjoying your surrounds, comfortable in your skin.