The promise of accommodation with the greatest ocean views in Australia is a big call one big enough to lure Jules Lund to have a look. It all started in Wilsons Promontory National Park in Gippsland on Victoria's south coast.
With Parks Victoria ranger Graeme Baxter, Jules soon discovered the promise of enjoying Australia's greatest ocean views isn't for the fainthearted. There are two ways to reach Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse: a 19km walk from Telegraph Saddle car park or 23.8km from Tidal River via Oberon Bay.
The lighthouse and keeper's cottages were built on a 90m-high cliff on Australia's southernmost tip by convict labourers between 1853 and 1859. It warned vessels travelling in a narrow shipping channel through Bass Strait between Tasmania and Victoria. Locally sourced granite was used. The lighthouse construction cost £15,572, an enormous amount in those days.
A lantern and apparatus provided the original light. A fixed catadioptric light using 32 wicks in parabolic mirrors was replaced in 1913 by a vapourised kerosene incandescent mantle. It was fully automated in 1993 and is solar powered.
While to reach it is considered a "moderate" walk, when you consider you have to take your own bedding, clothing, food and drinks, it becomes a little more than moderate, but with "the promise" firmly in his head, Jules stuck with it.
When he reached the lighthouse, Jules was confronted by its remoteness. Alisa and Chris Richter who live there are caretakers, rather than lighthouse keepers. Their very important job is all about maintenance and preserving the heritage of the buildings.
Salt spray and extreme weather are the enemies. About every six months a helicopter takes supplies to the light station and takes out rubbish and other unwanted materials. Visitors must take their rubbish with them when they leave.
The Richters say that after the long walk to reach the lighthouse, people are pretty exhausted, but once they've conquered the last steep slope, the views make it all worthwhile.
The granite tower, caretaker's residence and a number of other buildings make up the light station precinct. A diesel generator provides electricity. Gas bottles are the bulkiest and most costly resource.
Accommodation is in four refurbished heritage cottages with a charming mix of original and modern features. They were also built from local granite and have corrugated iron roofs, with modern conveniences. Fully equipped kitchens provide for self-catering. There's a lounge, dining room and bathroom. Bedrooms have bunk beds.
From the lighthouse 117m above sea level you will see two rocks 8.5km away. They are two of Tasmania's little islands.