Coastal guide to nature and historyAuthor



My first deliberate walk along the coast was in the early 1970s when there was a passenger train service to both Port Fairy and Portland. The two places looked close together on the map, so I decided to walk between them. The trip was not well planned and I ended up struggling out to the road, then hitch-hiking into Portland.

Some time later I formed the idea of walking the whole of the Victorian coast. But along the way I began to wonder about what I was seeing. What are these animals and plants? How were the rock layers in the cliffs formed? What was this place like 150 years ago? Who used this decrepit old jetty? This book comes from my attempts to satisfy that curiosity.

I have walked every kilometre of the coast between South Australia and Wilsons Promontory, and some stretches further east. Well almost - I paddled the kayak past some mangrove shores, and I missed a few places where access to the coast is forbidden. I think I’ll need another lifetime to tick off the rest of the shoreline.

Many people have accompanied me along a stretch of coastline or provided car back-up. But I particularly thank my brother, Ross Patterson, who has been with me often, and given me practical and emotional support.