A Great Ocean Road tour takes in an explosion of different sceneries, from wild cliff faces and crashing waves to ancient rock monuments carved over thousands of years. In this part of Australia, there is a lot to see and do, and the colourful seaside village of Port Campbell is a great place to start.
Marking the gateway to the Port Campbell National Park, this charming town is packed full of local history, pristine beaches, and quirky accommodation – all the makings of a great stay. While there, you can tuck into seasonal dishes in local restaurants and gaze out from the end of the famous Port Campbell Jetty.
Elsewhere, there are walking trails that weave through the surrounding landscape, including the Kanawinka Geotrail that carves a track inland, taking in volcanic lakes and ancient craters. In the Port Campbell National Park, there’s even more to do. With the Great Otway rainforest sprawling out to one side and the Bay of Islands and stunning sea views to the other, this national park is bound to be a highlight of any trip.
Here are some of the best things to do.
1. The Twelve Apostles
The most famous attraction of Port Campbell National Park – and, most likely, the Great Ocean Road itself – is the Twelve Apostles. This series of weatherworn limestone stacks carve a quirky silhouette against the skyline and showcase the years of natural history that characterises this area.
2. The Island Archway
Part of a natural bridge that jutted out from the Great Ocean Road collapsed in 2009, leaving an archway that leads to stunning sea views. This fragile feat of nature shows visitors just how much the surrounding landscape is at the mercy of Mother Nature.
3. Loch Ard Gorge
Many of the stories that make up the Great Ocean Road feature shipwrecks of one kind or another. They were incredibly common in this part of Australia in the past, which means there are now a number of spots where visitors can check out the aftermath. This stretch of coastline is now also known as the Shipwreck Coast, where eerie, rotting ships join forces with natural wonders like the Loch Ard Gorge to create a mesmerising landscape.
4. The Wildlife
It’s not just natural wonders and centuries-old stories that make up the Port Campbell National Park, though. In fact, it is home to an abundance of wildlife thanks to its many different ecosystems. Keep your eyes peeled for brightly coloured bird species, like fairy wrens, honeyeaters, pelicans, and emus. Elsewhere, look out for bandicoots, swamp antechinuse, and echnidna.
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