One of the most spectacular formations along the Great Ocean Road is the magnificent London Bridge.
Carved into the limestone stacks over decades by the crashing waves and harsh ocean winds, the London Bridge sits snug in the Port Campbell National Park.
Located not far from the 12 Apostles, the London Bridge we see today looks very different to what it once did. A large, singular stack was eroded at from both sides by the ocean, slowly boring into it until the two archways had formed, creating the bridge-like structure we know.
The formation got its name from its similar shape to the London Bridge in England. The natural archways and ocean tunnel were undeniably similar to the bridge across the globe. We’re not sure who exactly came up with the name, but it certainly stuck!
Initially, there were two arches. One that connected to the mainland and a second that seemingly joined two stacks. In 1990 the view changed forever, when the bridge connecting the island stack to the mainland collapsed. Before the collapse of the first arch, it was possible to walk over the bridge from the mainland.
The day the bridge collapsed was big news, not only because of the change to the landscape but because two hikers became trapped on the stack. They had crossed the bridge to explore the stack as was common at the time. They heard a loud crashing noise then discovered the bridge had collapsed when they turned around! The two were unharmed and rescued by a helicopter, but they have quite the story to share now. Today, the remaining arch is unreachable, only to be seen from the mainland.
There are two viewing platforms where you can see what remains of the London Bridge. The upper platform is quite close to the main car park, or you can take a short 300m walk down to the lower viewing platform. Giving their closeness, we suggest you visit both lookouts. Each has a unique viewing experience and lets you see the formation from a new angle.
The London Bridge is one of the few places in the Port Campbell National Park where you can see little penguins returning to the shore. The population is quite small, approximately 100 birds, but the viewing platforms are incredibly close to the penguins themselves. Head to the platforms close to sunset to watch them waddle up the beach to burrow for the night. There are no staff at the colony reminding you how to behave to remember to stay quiet and never use flash if you’re taking photos.
The London Bridge is a fascinating sight to see. The incredible natural stack formation is ever-changing as the ferocious ocean waves and harsh coastal winds continue to erode the limestone. Ask any local and they’re sure to have a story about the bridge or watching as the penguins waddle up the shoreline. So head on down to the London Bridge for a fantastic addition to your Great Ocean Road experience.
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