Port Campbell National Park is world famous for its extraordinary collection of wave-sculpted rock formations and the Twelve Apostles.
Loch Ard Gorge, site of a 19th century shipwreck ‘Loch Ard’, as well as the Island Archway and London Bridge are other highlights. The Island Archway collapsed in 2009, highlighting the fragile and ever-changing nature of Victoria’s coastline.
Discover the heritage of the Shipwreck Coast on short walks such as the Port Campbell Discovery Walk.
Take a scenic drives along the Great Ocean Road, stopping at points of interest.
Things to do Walking
The park offers many short walks to lookouts with spectacular coastal views.
Port Campbell Discovery Walk - Start the walk near Port Campbell beach by crossing the mouth of Campbells Creek or by following the signs from the Scenic Town Lookout Carpark on the Great Ocean Road, west (Warnambook side) of Port Campbell township.
Twelve Apostles Walk - Stop and visit the Twelve Apostles Centre before taking the walk to view the amazing Twelve Apostles coastline. The Centre offers insightful cultural heritage stories, shelter and toilets. Walk the short distance (500m) through the tunnel, under the Great Ocean Road to various lookouts offering expansive, breathtaking views.
Muttonbird Island - Muttonbird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, is an important nesting place for the Muttonbird (Short-tailed Shearwater). These remarkable birds migrate about 30,000 km every year, spending summer in the northern Pacific Ocean and returning the last week of September to nest in various rookeries in Bass Straight. You can watch them fly ashore each evening from October to April, although the best viewing is January to February.
Both Curdies Inlet and Gellibrand River are suitable for fishing. There is good ocean fishing at Newfield Bay, Clifton Beach and from the Port Campbell jetty.
The Gellibrand River is ideal for canoeing. Access is from the Gellibrand Inlet.
Diving / swimming
When the sea is very calm there is excellent wreck and reef diving off Port Campbell National Park. Diving opportunities are also available in local Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries.
Loch Ard Gorge
Three easy walks have been developed at Loch Ard Gorge to allow you the chance to discover the areas' natural treasures. Interpretive signs along these walks reveal the fascinating stories about the area's history, geology and natural features.
- Geology - Discover the secrets of the forces that shape the coastline on this easy self-guided walk. 900m return, allow 40 minutes.
- The Wreck of the Loch Ard - Follow the tragic story of the Loch Ard shipwreck site to the cemetery. This easy walk covers 1.4km and will take you approximately 50 minutes to complete. For more details about this amazing story of courage and survival ensure a visit to the Glenample Historic Homestead and the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village.
- Living on the Edge - Discover life on the edge of the sheer cliffs. The walk encompasses the Muttonbird Island viewing platform, the majestic Blowhole, Thunder Cave and Broken Head. Return distance for this easy walk is 3.2km, allow approximately 90 minutes.
There are a couple of separate carparks which are closer to Thunder Cave and provide access to Muttonbird Island, where you can look across a small gap to the island, and the Cemetery.
There is a small designated viewing area looking out over the ocean that is located approximately 20 metres from the carpark.
There are three separate designated viewing areas for London Bridge. The main path branches off to these at different intervals. The most accessible viewing area is the middle viewing area (Main lookout), approximately 100 metres from the designated disabled parking bay. This viewing area consists of tiered viewing platforms.
There are seven rock stacks that comprise the Twelve Apostles - six are on display in the classic view enjoyed by millions of people over the years, with the seventh located several metres away from the corner of the main viewing platform. Originally there were eight rock stacks when named the Twelve Apostles, however, one of the stacks collapsed dramatically in July 2005. The remains can be seen from the main viewing platform.
The Twelve Apostles were originally called The Sow and Piglets. The Sow was Mutton Bird Island, which stands at the entrance to Loch Ard Gorge and her Piglets were the numerous rock stacks located along the coast, including the Twelve Apostles.
The Visitor Centre is on the north side of the Great Ocean Road and has a kiosk, toilets and carpark which can get filled to the brim during the busy tourist season. There is a track which leads to Gibsons Steps Lookout (2.2 km) and a separate path leads under the road to a number of vantage points of the apostles. If the main view you get is the back of people's heads, stay patient and you will get some good views after a while. Take solace in that there are more impressive places along the coast where you can get closer views of the formations. The wildlife in the area is generally tolerant of people and we saw a wallaby and echidna when we visited.
The visitor centre is open 10am - 5pm from Sunday to Friday and 10am - 5:30 on Saturday.
At the main viewing area there is a staircase leading down to a beach-level view of The Grotto.
There is a 100m walk down a concrete path to two viewing platforms - one looking down on the arch and the other looking across to the arch.
Bay of Islands
There is a 100m walk from the carpark to two viewing platforms.
Bay of Martyrs
This is located near the outskirts of Peterborough. There is a lookout next to the carpark and you can walk down to he beach via a wooden set of steps. Follow the walking track from the eastern end of the carpark. This short spectacular walk leads to the site where the "Falls of Halladale" ran aground in 1908.
There are two easy walks here. Spend a half-hour on the Halladale Point Track walk and discover the endangered Rufous Bristlebird, the story of the Halladale shipwreck, why plants struggle to survive here and an insight into the Kirrae-Whurrong people's history or the beach walk. Follow the steps down and ... explore the flotsam and jetsam, feel the sand between your toes, spot a rare Hooded Plover and breath deeply the ocean's ozone.
The Port Campbell National Park and Bay of Islands Coastal Park which lie between Princetown, Peterborough and Warrnambool are a truly iconic destination with wonderful natural views, walks of various distances along the cliff tops and along some of the beaches, historical artefacts such as the Wreck of the Loch Ard and a good chance of meeting Australian wildlife such as wallabies and echidnas. A great trip which I urge everyone to do.
Address | Contact
Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell 3269, Victoria, Australia.
Map: X926 Ref: F9