The Great Ocean Road region is named after the road which follows a significant part of the rugged Victorian south-west coast.
The Great Ocean Road was constructed by ex-servicemen and the unemployed between 1918 and 1932 and is dedicated to those that lost their lives in World War One. It commences south of Geelong at Torquay, but doesn't reach the coast until Anglesea from where it generally hugs the scenic coastline passing through the popular holiday resort towns of Lorne and Apollo Bay. It then heads inland, traversing the lush Otway National Park and reaching its highest point at the small town of Lavers Hill. Its final leg covers the "Shipwreck Coast" where many vessels during the 19th century ran aground due to rough seas and the rugged coastline. These vessels were carrying goods and immigrants to the country, at the rate of up to 50 ships per day during the height of the gold rush. This section of coast is home to a collection of notable rock formations including London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge and the most famous of them all, the 12 Apostles near Port Campbell, carved out of the limestone headlands by rough seas over time.
The Great Ocean Road region extends well beyond the coastal tourist road of the same name. It goes further eastwards, encompassing Geelong which is the second largest city in Victoria and fronts Corio Bay. It also includes the Bellarine Peninsula with its collection of towns fronting the sandy beaches of the bay, the historic defence port of Queenscliff which is linked to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula via a passenger and car ferry service, and the ocean-front towns of Barwon Heads and Ocean Grove. The western end of the Great Ocean Road region includes the coastal city of Warrnambool, the site of Victoria's first permanent settlement at Portland, and the remote untouched coastline which extends westwards to the fishing village of Nelson and the state border with South Australia.
Also included in the Great Ocean Road region is the huge inland volcanic plain surrounding Colac, Camperdown and Terang with its craters, cones, large lakes and fertile soils, making it a highly productive agricultural and pastoral area.
Visitor Information Centres in this region.
Regional photographic features:
Regional tourist drives:
Regional guides on other websites:
Great Ocean Road destinations:
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