About the listing
It is impossible to walk these trails and not be moved by the powers of nature that have shaped and the shipwreck history that defines the area. Offshore stacks, blowholes and the indescribable beauty of formations like the Razorback and Island arch make this precinct the one with the lot. There is a map of the whole precinct viewable from the main car park and available from the nearby Visitor Information Centre in Port Campbell.
From September to May a colony of short tailed shearwaters (muttonbirds) inhabits the offshore stack that is Mutton Bird Island, their nightly return makes a dusk visit all the more worthwhile.
Location: Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell (8 km east of Port Campbell)
Walks of Loch Ard Gorge
Length: trails range from 200m - 3km. Allow 2 - 3 hours to explore the trails.
• Geology Walk
Level crushed rock and bitumen surface 900m return the loop trail including The Razorback and Island Arch.
• Loch Ard Wreck Lookout
Undulating bitumen access from the main car park to the lookout is 400m return. This walk forms part of the 1.4km Wreck of the Loch Ard trail
• Wreck of the Loch Ard
1.4km slight inclines on bitumen and crushed rock, narrow in places near the cemetery.
• Thunder Cave
A 1.1km sealed path that forms part of the 3.2km living on the edge trail.
• Living on the Edge
3.2 km with inclines on bitumen and crushed rock.
• Mutton Bird Island Lookout
100m level on crushed rock to the upper deck of the viewing platform there are steps down to the lower viewing platform.
Walkers should make note which of the 3 separate Loch Ard Gorge car parks they parked.
• The Loch Ard precinct is linked by 3 car parks and four main trails.
• The designated accessible parking space at Loch Ard Gorge allows for good access to the Geology and Loch Ard lookout trails.
• Car parks at Mutton Bird island are not suitable for caravans and large vehicles and have no designated accessible parking spaces.
• There are no toilets on the site
Loch Ard Gorge is named after the famous 1878 shipwreck on nearby Mutton Bird Island. Fifty-two people were lost from the Loch Ard and only two teenage survivors were fortunate enough to be washed into the only safe gorge on the coast.
Other people on the ship were washed into adjacent gorges and perished.
Loch Ard Gorge is unusual for this section of coast, in that it has a relatively calm interior. It has a low energy beach and moderate sloping dune that makes the beach accessible with caution in most tide and ocean conditions.