Home' The Great Southern Star : March 8th 2016 Contents “THE STAR”, Tuesday, March 8, 2016 - PAGE 17
State Coal Mine
Garden St, Wonthaggi
State Coal Mine
Garden St, Wonthaggi
The State Coal Mine
invites you to the...
The State Coal Mine
invites you to the...
SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2016
10AM - 3PM
THE Bass Coast is
tific circles for its rich
dinosaur fossil beds.
From The Caves near In-
verloch to the rocky coast-
line of San Remo, fossils
have been discovered, offer-
ing an insight into the fasci-
nating creatures that roamed
a landscape that today is
enjoyed by holidaymakers,
surfers and anglers.
A Phillip Island couple
are offering another per-
spective on the dinosaurs
that once inhabited the
Bunurong coast by drawing
on modern technology to
study the past.
Photographers Dale and
Cecilia Rogers have created
amazing images of dino-
saurs by placing illustra-
tions of the reptiles within
of the coastal landscape.
“As a photographer and
dinosaur lover, I felt it was
wrong to shoot these places
without including the resi-
dents of 120 million years
ago,” Mr Rogers said.
“I searched the inter-
net for some nice images
of dinosaurs and carefully
placed them as realistically
as possible into a few of our
“My intention was to
draw awareness to the
unique nature of our coast-
line and to spark the imagi-
nation, curiosity and learn-
ing of others.”
He said some 120 mil-
lion years ago, the Bass
Coast area was within a
great rift valley.
“This was where Ant-
arctica cleaved from Austra-
lia back in the day. The rift
valley was filled with mean-
dering rivers and dinosaurs.
These rivers provided good
conditions for the preserva-
tion of bone and the creation
of fossils,” he said.
“Nowadays, there’s no
rift valley, Antarctica is a
very long way from here
and the dinosaurs are all
gone. But, when I walk
out onto The Caves reef
in Inverloch at low tide, I
can just imagine dinosaurs
Up close: a theropod dinosaur, as appearing in the BBC’s Walking with Dino-
saurs series, digitally added to a photo taken at The Caves near Inverloch, fea-
turing photographer Cecilia Rogers of Photo Rangers. Photo Rangers created
the image to show how dinosaurs may look along the Bunurong coast today.
Dinosaurs return to coast
“Walking along the reef I
can see petrified wood, intri-
cate shapes in the rock, bizarre
patterns and a lonely thero-
pod footprint; yes, a bona fide
meat eating dino footprint sits
out on that reef.”
A self professed “dino-
saur nerd”, Dale said he has
loved dinosaurs since before
he could read.
“In primary school I was
reading about creatures with
complex scientific dinosaur
names as my school mates
were reading about Curious
George,” he said.
dreamed of being Michael
Jordan or Tom Cruise, I
wanted to be Robert Bak-
ker, a famous palaeontolo-
gist who first published the
notion that dinosaurs were
warm blooded and not slow,
sluggish beasts as previous
“When you see the way
the dinosaurs move and
communicate in the movie
Jurassic Park, that was his
groundbreaking theory in
Dale’s wife Cecilia
shares his interest in dino-
saurs and photography.
The couple now runs ad-
venture photography tours
and workshops through their
business Photo Rangers.
More information can be
found on the website www.
Facebook page www.face-
“I recommend anyone
wishing to learn more about
dinosaurs speak to our re-
gional expert Mike Clee-
land and the folks over at
the Bunurong Environment
Centre, Inverloch,” Mr Rog-
By Brad Lester
IT’S one of the windiest places in Austra-
lia and just shy of being the mainland’s
most southerly point, but it’s also a place
of serenity and beauty.
The lightstation at Wilsons Promontory National
Park’s South East Point has been the workplace for
Colin and Renata Musson for the past three years.
The couple lives the idyllic life, spending a week
at the Prom followed by a week at their own home,
in the heart of Melbourne city, at Southbank, opposite
They manage the lightstation for Parks Victoria,
sharing the role with Graham Woodley of Yanakie and
Andrew Rodda of Fish Creek.
Renata said, “This is probably one of the most
beautiful places in the world. We are perched on a
100m cliff and we have 330o views of the water.
“We are only seven and a half kilometres from Tas-
manian waters, there is a constant passage of shipping
and the marine national park hugs the coastline.
“For six months of the year we can see whales pass
The Mussons see a regular kayak group island
hopping to Tasmania from the Prom and are within
hiking distance of some of the most scenic beaches in
Australia, if not the world, at Waterloo Bay, and Ref-
uge and Sealers coves.
The lighthouse has run continuously since 1859
and is now fully automated, operating under the juris-
diction of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
That leaves the keepers to manage accommodation
and conduct tours for weary hikers travelling around
the Prom’s south east coast. They look after three
cottages once used by lightstation staff that now ac-
commodate 22 people between them, ensuring water
systems work, generators are running, the gardens are
tidy and the premises clean.
“There is always something to be done,” Renata said.
“Colin often says it’s like painting the Sydney Har-
bour Bridge; as soon as you finish at one end, it’s time
to start at the other.”
Working 25km from the nearest settlement at Tidal
River requires the keepers to be self sufficient, espe-
cially when the trip in requires a 17km drive along a
vehicle track and a three kilometre hike to the point,
including a steep ascent right at the end, all while car-
rying a weeks’ worth of food and supplies. When they
leave, they take with them a week’s worth of rubbish.
“If you forget something, it’s not like you can get it
very easily,” Renata said.
“It’s an unusual prerequisite that you have to walk
to work. You have to be in reasonably good health and
fitness for this job.”
Bigger items, such as furniture, tins of paint, gas and
diesel, are delivered by two helicopter drops a year.
“We are on call 24/7 for our guests and we have
the most wonderful guests and so we can be up late
socialising with them,” Renata said.
Wombats and swamp wallabies offer company
when hikers are too weary to talk.
The Mussons relocated to the Prom from Carnar-
von Gorge in outback Queensland where they man-
aged a property. Before that they worked on the resort
islands Fraser, Heron, Orpheus and Lizard, along the
sunshine state’s stunning coastline.
Tropical Queensland is a far cry from the Mussons’
personal experience of wind gusts up to 165km/h and
a wind chill factor of -14.7oC – in December of all
months - at the Prom.
“We are originally from Melbourne so this is com-
ing home for us. We love it down here. We expected
the cold when we came and we were prepared for it,
and we expected it to be blowy and horrendous, but we
were surprised by how pleasant it can be down here,”
A job like no other
Amazing view: the Wilsons Promontory lightstation as seen from the air.
Right, Coastal frontier: Wilsons Promontory lightstation keepers Colin and Renata Musson have rel-
ished life in the far south of the national park.
“Sometimes in winter you can
see 86km away to the Kent Island
group that is part of Tasmania so it
is amazing how much detail you can
see out there. It is extraordinary.”
Before entering hospitality,
Colin was a paramedic for 30 years
and Renata ran a ceramics busi-
ness. Both are keen divers.
“We did not think we would
get to live in some of these holiday
destinations,” Renata said.
“When we got the Wilsons
Promontory job, we had had enough
of living in outback Queensland, as
spectacular as it was. It was just
time to get back to the water.
“This has been the most ex-
traordinary place and we are both
madly in love with it.”
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