The erection of Split Point Lighthouse at Eagles Nest Point
Split Point Lighthouse was built in the 1890’s and for good reason. During the Australian gold rush era that began in 1851 and for the years to follow, hundreds of ships wrecked along this part of the coastline, mainly a bit further to the west on the Shipwreck Coast when they were sailing to Melbourne from Europe. Since the lighthouse was built, there hasn’t been another ship wreck at Split Point, which was originally called Eagles Nest Point.
Getting to the lighthouse from the Great Ocean Road
Early into your journey along the Great Ocean Road, not long after passing through Anglesea, you’ll arrive at another small coastal town called Aireys Inlet.
About 2-300 metres after you pass the Aireys Pub, you’ll see the turn off to Split Point Lighthouse on the left. Follow the signs and road for another minute or so.
The lighthouse is only about five hundred metres from the Great Ocean Road.
There is parking close at the lighthouse, but don’t be worried about where you going to park, as long as you’re near the coast as it’s nice to walk around the area surrounding Split Point Lighthouse.
Split Point Lighthouse is one of the most famous on the entire coastline
The lighthouse was erected to signal the dangerous rocky coastline to ships sailing in from the west and it served its purpose well, but Split Point became famous for a few other reasons that didn’t have a lot to do with safety at sea.
Round the Twist
In the 1990’s and again in the early 2000’s, a kids TV show was filmed at Split Point Lighthouse called ‘Round the Twist’. The show was about a family that moved into the lighthouse and all sorts of strange things happened in the area.
Round the Twist was filmed here because the surrounding area is stunning and there’s already been some film making done in the area, such as the original Mad Max with Mel Gibson, this helped make the decision that it was a viable area for production. The lighthouse also happened to be vacant and suitable for filming.
Some people still chose to believe that some other events that happened at the lighthouse over the last century or so inspired the TV show and choice of location.
The drunk lighthouse keeper
One of the early lighthouse keepers happened to be a drunk.
He made a long voyage to Aireys Inlet after hearing about its erection. He had close ties to Aireys Inlet and plenty of friends that would frequent the Aireys Pub, so if he got a job at Split Point Lighthouse that happened to be close to the pub, he’d be able to drink beers with them each night and live the dream.
During his travels, he fell from the crows nest of a sailing ship and broke his legs, then while recovering in hospital his feet were eaten by rodents. (This is actually documented! He caught the boat from near Perth where the records of the voyage and hospital visit begin).
Eventually, he arrived in Aireys and due to his hardship and dedication, he was awarded the job as the Split Point Lighthouse Keeper.
Some time passed, winter rolled around and the sun would now set in the early evening. He couldn’t handle seeing the pub that his friends would be sitting in while he had to man the lighthouse incase the kerosene lamp went out. So, one night, he scratched a large hole in the paint on the back of the lighthouse that was used to block it from blinding the town. He did this so that it would light up the pub, then he’d be able to sit in the front bar drinking beer while being able to know if the light was still operating.
After making the hole in the back of the lighthouse, he ran to the pub to show his mates, they all looked up and could see the light beaming past them as it rotated. Unfortunately, his boss happened to be one of the guys that he was show casing his work too and he was fired on the spot.
The ghost that haunts Split Point Lighthouse and the beach below
Once the drunk had been fired, it was decided that a more responsible lighthouse keeper was required.
A husband, mother and their kids moved into the lighthouse, this included a girl that was in her early teens.
One evening, the girl came home and explained to her family that she was pregnant. It’s said that the father then took her fishing at midnight to the rocks of Step Beach below the lighthouse. The father returned home without his daughter and it’s said that she’s been haunting the place ever since, trying to attract a young teenage male to be the father of her child. Allegedly, several teenage blokes over the last century have witnessed a girl walk out of the water in old fashioned clothes and try to pull them in.
Here’s a pretty lame video of when I went to try and find her: