Loch Ard Gorge
There’s no charge to visit Loch Ard Gorge. Most travelers come for a quick photo stop or to walk one of three short, easy walking routes: the Shipwreck Walk, the Geology Walk, or the Living on the Edge bird walk. Mutton Island, near the beach, houses a colony of short-tailed shearwater seabirds in spring and summer, when it’s possible to watch thousands of them flying home at dusk to feed their hungry chicks.
Many Great Ocean Road tours and Melbourne–Adelaide overland journeys stop at Loch Ard Gorge. For a less busy experience, consider joining a reverse itinerary Great Ocean Road day tour, which visits the area in the morning rather than the afternoon; a sunset tour; or a multi-day tour with a stopover in Port Campbell.
Recent reviews from experiences in Melbourne
Things to know before you go
- Avoid standing too close to the cliffs if walking on the beach: Rock falls can be an issue here.
- There is no wheelchair access to the beach, but both the Shipwreck Walk and the Geology Walk routes are designed to be accessible for travelers who use wheelchairs.
- There are no bathrooms at Loch Ard Gorge. Plan a rest stop in the small town of Port Campbell or at the Twelve Apostles, which has accessible restrooms and a kiosk.
How to get there
Loch Ard Gorge sits within Port Campbell National Park just off the Great Ocean Road, about 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) from the Twelve Apostles. It’s about a 4.5-hour drive along the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne, but it sits just 5 miles (8 kilometers) east of Port Campbell, which is a great place to spend the night. There’s no public transit so you’ll want to rent a vehicle or join a tour.
When to get there
Loch Ard Gorge is open all year round, but is popular with day trippers from Melbourne on summer afternoons, especially during the weekends. Stay in Port Campbell and visit at dusk between October and April to watch Mutton Island’s flocks of birds flying home to roost—or swing by in the morning for a quieter experience.
The Loch Ard Shipwreck
The stretch of coast between Victoria’s Cape Otway and Port Fairy is known as the Shipwreck Coast because over 700 ships met their end on its savage cliffs. The Loch Ard wreck in 1878 captured 19th-century imaginations when just two seafarers survived after the ship hit Mutton Island—Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael. The English-speaking world hoped the teenage pair would marry. They did not.
- Things to do in Victoria
- Things to do in Yarra Valley
- Things to do in Ballarat
- Things to do in Hobart
- Things to do in Adelaide
- Things to do in Sydney
- Things to do in Hunter Valley
- Things to do in Port Stephens
- Things to do in Tasmania
- Things to do in South Australia
- Things to do in New South Wales
- Things to do in Queensland
- Things to do in South Island
- Twelve Apostles
- Great Ocean Road
- You Yangs Regional Park
- Point Nepean National Park
- Werribee Open Range Zoo
- Grampians National Park
- Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm
- Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens
- Phillip Island Nature Parks
- Station Pier Cruise Ship Terminal
- Brighton Beach
- The District Docklands
- Visiting the Little Penguins
- How to Pick a Great Ocean Road Tour
- Wine Tasting in Yarra Valley
- Melbourne Street Art
- Shopping in Melbourne
- Holiday & Seasonal Tours
- Sightseeing on a Budget in Melbourne
- Don't Miss These Must-Do Activities in Melbourne
- Things to Do in Melbourne This Fall
- Things to Do in Melbourne This Spring
- Top Parks and Gardens in Melbourne
- Art Lover's Guide to Melbourne
- First-Timers Guide to Melbourne