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The southern coast of Victoria truly is a wild coast. This area can be travelled via the Great Ocean Road bringing the traveller right up close to one of the world's most rugged and wildest coastlines. The national park takes in the area between Princetown and Peterborough, including such well known landforms as the 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge, The Grotto and the Bay of Islands.
Loch Ard Gorge:
Loch Ard Gorge was the scene of the famous Loch Ard Peacock shipwreck in 1878. Only Tom Pierce and Eva Carmichael survived the wreck - 52 others died. The two survivors came ashore in Loch Ard Gorge. Two days later the ship followed.
Four of those killed are buried on the cliff above the gorge in Loch Ard Cemetery.
The Port Campbell area has seen many shipwrecks totalling about 80. Wreck Beach can be reached from the Great Ocean Road by taking Moonlight Head Road halfway between Princetown and Lavers Hill.
From the car park Gibsons Steps lead down to wreck beach where once the 400 steps have been negotiated you walk up the beach to the right to where 2 anchors are to be found in the shore. These belong to the 'Marie Gabrielle (wrecked on November 25, 1869)' and the 'Fiji (wrecked on September 6, 1891).'
GREAT OCEAN ROAD:
The Great Ocean Road follows the Victorian coastline for 420km from Torquay in the east to Warrnambool in the west. The road was completed in 1932 after many years construction by returned servicemen from WWI - with picks and shovels!
The aptly named Shipwreck Coast has seen some 140 shipwrecks over the years.
For photos of the Great Ocean Road Area:
Great Ocean Road: Gallery 1
Great Ocean Road: Gallery 2
Great Ocean Road: Gallery 3
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village:
The museum is located at Warrnambool and bears testimony to the 140 ships wrecked in the area. The village re-creates life in a 19th century maritime village. Here remnants of the shipwrecks along the Shipwreck Coast can be seen.
Apollo Bay is a special place on a special coast. This beautiful little town is situated right on the Great Ocean Road and faces the Southern Ocean. One can only imagine how cold this place gets in Winter! Still, Apollo Bay is one of my favourite coastal destinations and would easily make my top 10 Australian favourite coastal places.
Apollo Bay makes a great base for exploring not only the wonders of Port Campbell National Park, but also the Otway Ranges to the north east. After spending a day exploring Port Campbell National Park I found Apollo Bay just the place to relax before my return home.
Cape Otway Lighthouse:
The Cape Otway Lighthouse is reached by a 12km long sealed road from the Great Ocean Road about 20km from Apollo Bay. This is the oldest lighthouse in continental Australia, being built in August 1848.
The Melba Gully State Park is located near Lavers Hill, to the north west of Apollo Bay. This area has a number of walking opportunities through tree fern forests and wet temperate forests. Glow worms can be found on banks during the night. This is a popular picnic area with toilets, shelters and picnic facilities.
Triplet Falls can be reached via the Triplet Falls Heritage Trail circuit, through rainforest and tree ferns.
ACCOMMODATION AND RESOURCE LINKS:
Kevin's Wilderness Journeys Homepage
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