Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge

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.

Location: Great Ocean Road, Port Campbell (8 km east of Port Campbell)

Temporary Closures at Loch Ard Gorge Precinct

Loch Ard Blowhole Lookout Project – From 15 January 2024, there will be changes to access and carparking at the Loch Ard Gorge precinct, due to construction works starting on a new lookout.

To ensure safety of visitors during the project, access to some walking tracks and areas around The Blowhole will be closed, including Thunder Cave and Sherbrook River.  

Parking:

Due to construction materials and machinery, there will be a reduction in the number of carparking spaces and restricted turning circles. Caravans and other long vehicles will be required to park in the Loch Ard Gorge car park.

The project will be the third delivered as part of the Victorian Government’s Shipwreck Coast Master Plan. The master plan is investing in projects to improve opportunities for visitors, strengthen the local economy and provide employment opportunities through sustainable tourism.

We apologise for the inconvenience while we deliver this project for the long-term protection and enhancement of this important site.  For further information please visit: https://www.parks.vic.gov.au/projects/western-victoria/loch-ard-blowhole-lookout

Beach access at Loch Ard Gorge remains closed due to a rock fall

Parks Victoria continues to work through complex stabilisation works that are required at the top of the cliff and undergo a structural investigation of the timber staircase that provides beach access.

The cliffs along the Great Ocean Road are extremely fragile and have outstanding environmental, heritage and cultural values. Managing infrastructure along this coastline is complex, and we appreciate your patience as we work to make this naturally beautiful area safe for visitors to enjoy. We are not expecting access to reopen until after the summer holidays

Walks that remain open:

  • Island Arch Lookout
  • Razorback Lookout
  • Mutton Bird Lookout
  • Mutton Bird Island Lookout

Walks of Loch Ard Gorge

Trails range from 200m – 3km. Allow 2 – 3 hours to explore the trails

Geology Walk
Level crushed rock and bitumen surface 900m return this trail includes lookouts at The Razorback and Island Arch.

Loch Ard Wreck Lookout
Undulating bitumen access from the main car park to the headland lookout is 600m return.

Wreck of the Loch Ard
1.4km slight inclines on bitumen and crushed rock, narrow in places near the cemetery. Trail connects through to the south of the cemetery and on towards Muttonbird Island lookout.

Thunder Cave
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. Visitors are not advised to cross the mouth of the Sherbrooke River. River mouth depth and width is variable and currents from river flow and wave and tide input are variable.

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 at.

Download a map of Loch Ard Gorge here.

Access Information

  • 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
  • Click here to view Parks Victoria access information

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.

Discover our many shipwrecks and the history of the area here.

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.

About The Author

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Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre

We sweat, bleed and cry tears of joy at the beauty of this region and regularly scrape our knees and break fingernails bringing you the freshest photos, videos, views and news from the places we love! Why don't you drop us a line or send us a shout-out on social media! Make our day and come in and see us when you arrive and let us help make your stay a memorable one. @visit12apostles

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.