Charlie’s On East, Port Fairy

This is the only place to dine with views of the surf in Port Fairy as it is located with the surf life saving club. Great views of the beach from outside on the deck or within the dining room. Nothing beats a good cappuccino with the crashing waves in the background.
Charlie’s is open for breakfast and lunch with a selection of treats to go with your coffee all day. Prices are very reasonable and the coffee is nearly always good. Charlie’s has a laid back feel that you would expect for a surf location overlooking the beach. There is a long deck that you access from the carpark or through the cafe with tables and chairs so you can view the crashing waves while you dine or enjoy your coffee. If it gets too hot or cold then you can retreat into the main cafe.
Orders are taken at the service counter where you can peruse the cakes and biscuits on offer. If you are here for breakfast or lunch Charlie’s have a very good selection of meals including an extensive breakfast menu that should satisfy most tastes. If you are looking for ocean views and casual dining then this is a very good cafe to visit.

 


      

Phone: (03) 5561 5600

Address: 4 Hughes Ave, Port Fairy, Victoria 3284

Monday:  8:30 am to 5 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am to 5 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am to 5 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am to 5 pm
Friday: 8:30 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am to 5 pm
Sunday: 8:30 am to 5 pm

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When I was a boy @ Rippleside, Geelong

When I was young Rippleside was a very popular beach for swimming and fishing. It was close to both North and West Geelong as well as Corio and Norlane. Rippleside is a small flat beach with a small jetty extending into the bay. It slopes slowly and has always been a safe swimming destination for Geelong.
I learned to swim at Rippleside Beach. Every Saturday morning parents would drop kids off at the beach and send us into the water under the eagle eyes of the instructors. I remember learning to do a torpedo which is face down in the water with arms outstretched in front while kicking frantically for propulsion. As long as you could hold your breath you knew you could swim. I still don’t remember learning anything but that technique. I do remember always having a thong floating close by to defend yourself from the red jellyfish that appeared in great numbers. I know of no-one who ever got stung, but better be safe than sorry.
If you liked fishing the Rippleside pier was a good place to throw in a line and was good for catching whiting. My brother and I found that the best bait to use was the bait that everyone else was using. No matter which bait we used the fish always seemed to prefer something different. One day out of desperation when no-one was around I stripped off naked, dove in and grabbed some muscles. The port authority turned up saying there was a complaint about nude bathing. Seriously they would have needed a telescope to see me from above the hill. Anyway they let me off and once again I left empty handed.


     

When I was a boy @ Eastern Beach, Geelong

Although I grew up on the other side of Geelong, Eastern Beach was the best beach destination on Corio Bay.  It had the large swimming pool, diving boards, floating platform and a very good kiosk.  Better still it had a shark proof enclosure, lots of park land and was close to the city.  I often rode my bike for a swim here.

The truth about the shark proof enclosure was that it wasn’t.  As kids we used to take it in turns to dive down and swim under the rusted out barrier into the open bay nearly every time we visited.  Still it made people feel safer to think a shark couldn’t get in.  In the middle of the large pool was a platform with 4 slides going down into the water in each direction.  They were steel, dry and got very hot so you tried to get on them as quick as you could while still wet.

It was in the deep end of the pool I had my first encounter with a person who was drowning.  She and her brother had ridden to the pool with me and we were swimming fine until she realised she couldn’t touch the bottom.  She panicked and started to sink.  Heroically I swam over to help her.  She grabbed me, pushed me under her to stay afloat, and I was in danger of drowning.  I couldn’t break her grip so I sank to the bottom and she let go.  I swam to the edge of the pool and insisted an older boy rescue her.  He did and he was the hero.

Eastern Beach was an exciting place for a kid to visit and still has a lot to offer.  If you are visiting Geelong or the Great Ocean Road do not miss out on the opportunity to enjoy it.