Port Campbell National Park on Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road is spectacular for many reasons. The coastal views, natural beauty, wildlife, and famous landmarks all make their debut in this 243 kilometres drive. But the best part of the road trip is in the Port Campbell National Park. All of the best features of the Great Ocean Road lie in the parameters of the park. The national park was formed in the 1960’s to protect the limestone on the rigid coastlines surrounding that area. It grew much bigger in the 1970’s due to its decreased population of local flora and fauna.

If you have been to the Great Ocean Road then you have witnessed the beauty of the national park. If you are planning on going, you are going to be amazed at the sheer natural beauty of the area. The Port Campbell National Park is situated along this stretch of coastline, taking in 1,750 hectares of lush greenery and wild seascapes. On one side, the Great Otway National Park brings together centuries-old plant life and bushwalks, and to the other the Bay of Islands Coastal Park promises a mesmerising array of marine life.

Port Campbell National Park

Things to Do at the Port Campbell National Park

The coastal town of Port Campbell is a popular stopping point for tourists whilst travelling on the Great Ocean Road. The reason for this? Port Campbell is conveniently located close to major attractions such as the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge. Don’t forget that the town of Port Campbell itself is also worth exploring! There are homemade baked goods to try, Two Mile Bay Beach for local surfer approved waves and local craft stores to pick up a souvenir of your journey, perhaps?

The main street in town is called Lord Street which you’ll easily find as it’s the street lined with pretty trees. The town itself was named after Captain Alexander Campbell who oversaw a nearby whaling station at Port Fairy. Port Campbell is halfway between Warrnambool and Lavers Hill with a beautiful coastline surrounded by dramatic cliffs.

The National Park has plenty to keep visitors entertained, from breath-taking natural rock formations to an incredible selection of native wildlife and fascinating history. Dedicated in 1964, the National Park has an area size of 1750 hectares for you to explore. It’s a great area for beachcombing, snorkelling and bird watching to name some of the many activities you can do at the Port Campbell National Park.

  • The Twelve Apostles

    12 Apostles

    The most visited, most photographed, and most talked about feature of the Port Campbell National Park is the Twelve Apostles. These limestone stacks line the coast of the Great Ocean Road and provide one of the best photo opportunities in all of Australia. The crashing waves, the dramatic cliffs, and white sand make it a must-see on your trip. Sure, there might only be 7 or 8 left but they are no doubt still an amazing attraction when you see them up close.

  • Loch Ard Gorge

    Another stop is the Loch Ard Gorge only a few kilometres away from the Twelve Apostles. The gorge is named after a shipwreck that killed everyone on board except for two young teenagers. All along this stretch of coast, which is also known as Shipwreck Coast, Stairs descend down to the beach where you can take incredible photos of the waves crashing on the walls of the gorge. If taking photos isn’t your thing, just listen. The waves make a big crashing sound when they hit the cliffs. Visitors can learn about the stories that imbue the ships, as well as take a stroll along one of the many trails that weave around the gorge.

  • The Island Archway

    Back in 2009, a natural bridge of the Great Ocean Road collapsed and completely changed the landscape of the coastline. Now, the remaining land forms more of an archway, reminding visitors and locals just how fragile Victoria’s coastline really is. The Island Archway once sat at the entryway to Loch Ard Gorge, a tribute to the ship that ran aground here. What has become of the name of the Island Archway you may ask? The two individual rocks have been named Tom and Eva in dedication to the two sole survivors of the wreckage.

  • London Arch

    Another highlight in Port Campbell is the London Arch. Erosion got the best of this part of the coast and what was once the London Bridge, collapsed into the sea and hence became the London Arch. During the collapse, it left two people stranded on one of the pieces of sandstone. Luckily they were rescued with no harm done.

  • The Animals

    There are many local inhabitants in the park that are special to the area. Penguins, peregrine falcons, pelicans, black swans and ducks all make their home in the national park with dozens of other species of birds and animals. There’s many types of flora in the region as well. If you’re planning on going out to the park keep a look out for the beautiful sun orchid.

    For land-based critters, there are tons of native species to spot. Keep your eyes peeled for bandicoots, swamp antechinus, and echidna.

Visiting the Port Campbell National Park

The Great Ocean Road gives you a great introduction to the Port Campbell National Park and hopefully you will be able to experience the area and its inhabitants when you visit! You can drive the coast road to get an overview of the scenery on display, or take it in by foot, exploring the animals, plant life, and landscape a little more deeply.

This part of Australia is fascinating for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is home to an abundance of natural wonders and, secondly, it hosts a whole load of historic stories that weave around the rugged landscape.

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