Bellarine Penisula, Victoria, Australia.

Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

The Bellarine Peninsula. A bit isolated because you have to go through Geelong to get there from Melbourne, or take the Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry. So it has a country atmosphere, but comes complete with bustling and growing towns ... Leopold, Drysdale, Clifton Springs, Ocean Grove/ Barwon Heads, Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale ...

Aussie Stories - telling about Australia in words and pictures

Joe Mortelliti's life long love, from when he was first given a Brownie camera as a boy, was photography. It was the focus of his work life for many years. He loved to travel with his wife Marion to as many parts of Australia as he could. He had the ability to 'see' the beauty of our land in such a way that he could photograph it for the delight of others. These photos are a legacy that he has left us. Used by permission and with appreciation.
Aussie Stories - telling about Australia in words and pictures

Beautiful picture of Thirteenth Beach, near Barwon Heads, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Beautiful picture of Thirteenth Beach, near Barwon Heads, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Thirteenth Beach near Barwon Heads is a popular surf spot. It was very cloudy and not the sort of lighting to take a shot, but we set up, composed the shot and waited around for more than and hour. A gap opened up in the clouds and spotlighted the beach, it only lasted a few seconds. January 2003.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

The patience of the photographer. Marion told me the other day that it was more like two and a half hours, and they were not then yet organised enough to have chairs. They subsequently bought some lightweight stools. But that's what it takes to get good shots - the right light. Just like Rembrandt before him, Joe knew the importance of getting the light right!

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Queenscliff beach, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Queenscliff beach, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. The white 'building' in the background on the left of the picture is the Queenscliff to Sorrento ferry. June 2004.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

Beaches are interesting places with all sorts of things to be seen, from driftwood to tiny animals to shells to colourful stones to someone's forgotten mobile phone...

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Blue skies, Point Lonsdale lighthouse, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Blue skies, Point Lonsdale lighthouse, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. The Point Lonsdale lighthouse is the only permanently manned lighthouse in Australia. This is one of my first test images taken on digital. I enlarged it up to 30”x20” in size. Captured at 12 million pixels as a JPEG, fantastic quality. December 2002.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

How times change. My phone now has an 20 megapixel camera, and Nokia released a Windows phone with a 41 megapixel camera a year or two ago! That's just a phone ... I wonder what the dedicated cameras are like? Technology just moves on ...

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Point Lonsdale lighthouse, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Point Lonsdale lighthouse, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Sitting at a café table at Ocean Grove I could just see the entrance to the rip and the Point Lonsdale lighthouse. To get this shot, I fitted a 450mm lens, and while being seated on the chair, I rested my elbows on the table top for support.

This shot was used in Richard Everist's book, Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula, a BESTSHOTS publication. The book contains a large body of my (Joe's) photography. January 2003.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

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Sun's rays, Point Lonsdale, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Sun's rays, Point Lonsdale, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Escapee William Buckley sheltered here in a cave. His chances of survival were rated low, hence the saying Buckley’s chance!. January 2003.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

William Buckley was a convict who escaped from the ship Calcutta in Port Philip Bay in 1803. He was befriended by aboriginals of the Wauthourong tribe, given a wife by whom he had a daughter, and lived for thirty two years in a hut that he had built near the mouth of Bream Creek.

Buckley surrendered himself to a party under the command of John Wedge after he overheard the Aborigines plotting to kill the people on a visiting ship and to rob it. He was pardoned by the governor and given a job as an interpreter. He eventually moved to Hobart, married, and died there in 1856.

He must have been a pretty smart operator to have survived in a totally foreign situation, learned the language and customs of the Wauthourong people, and re-adapted to European society after thirty two years.

More info on William Buckley can be found at Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Looking west from the cliff near the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse, Victoria, Australia
Looking west from the cliff near the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse, Victoria, Australia. Follow the track past the flag signalling pole and the old fortifications, to the end of the track. At the top of the cliff, next to the stairway down to the beach, somebody has thoughtfully provided a park bench with a magnificent view from the rip to Ocean Grove/ Barwon Heads. Ocean Grove can be seen in the far distance and the shimmering sea attracts the surfers and swimmers. December 2016

Copyright © Willem Schultink

Wreck of the 'Ozone', Indented Head, Bellarine Peninsula, with Melbourne in the background, Victoria, Australia
Wreck of the 'Ozone', Indented Head, Bellarine Peninsula, with Melbourne in the background, Victoria, Australia. John Batman, the founder of Melbourne, formed a temporary base camp here at Indented Head. Originally the whole of the Bellarine Peninsula was known as Indented Head.

The paddle steamer Ozone was wrecked here to form a breakwater. You can see 3 birds on the wreck, braced with legs apart and their backs to the wind.

Taken with a 450mm lens, while sitting in my 4wd on the edge of the beach. I had the lens barrel resting on the partly lowered window, facing into the wind. The vehicle rocked back and forth in heavy winds and I was only able to get off one or two exposures and then had to clean the salt spray off the lens. This exercise was repeated many times before I had a sharp image with a horizontal horizon, and the right wave crashing into the wreck remains.

This image is featured on page 134 of Richard Everist’s book, Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula. June 2004.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

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Early morning, RAAFS beach, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Early morning, RAAFS beach, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Looking toward the Bluff at Barwon Heads. The weathered and textured fence was built to control erosion. I loved the rustic character and construction. Using it to lead the viewer’s eye through the picture, we waited for the rising sun to break through the clouds. January 2003.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

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Bluff, Barwon Heads, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Bluff, Barwon Heads, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. Shot from under the old Barwon River Bridge. It is the longest timber road bridge in Victoria. Built in 1927 it replaced the ferry service that was used by holiday makers. The impressive timber pylon construction is a feature identified by a heritage report. February 2003.

Copyright © Joe Mortelliti Photography

You can clearly see Diver Dan's shack, from the TV series Sea Change still there, to the right of the restaurant that has been built on the pier. The bridge has since been replaced - see below.

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Barwon Heads Bridge, linking Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia
Barwon Heads Bridge, linking Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove, Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria, Australia. The longest timber road bridge in Victoria. Built in 1927 it replaced the ferry service that was used by holiday makers. The impressive timber pylon construction is a feature identified by a heritage report. June 2004.

This is an historic photograph. The bridge you see in the photo no longer exists. It has been replaced by two bridges - a road bridge which utilises some of the pylon technology from the old bridge, and a footbridge a few metres downstream. So this pic has real historic significance.

The new bridge has 34 spans, supported on timber piles with five piles to a pier, spaced to match the original timber bridge. Galvanised steel I beams support a reinforced concrete deck. The bridge is 308 metres long and 9 metres wide with two 3.3 metre wide traffic lanes. The new 4.5 metre wide footbridge is located 10 metres downstream.

A Vicroads project information sheet can be found here.

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