Can you swim at Loch Ard Gorge?

Can you swim at Loch Ard Gorge?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 10/08/2021

Reading time: 4 mins

As you make your way along the Great Ocean Road, you will want to make a stop at Loch Ard Gorge.

This gorgeous inlet of towering sandstone cliffs and turquoise blue waters is one of the most beautiful spots along the Great Ocean Road. It’s easy to see why Loch Ard Gorge has become such a desired attraction over the years!

Loch Ard Gorge

But swimming at Loch Ard Gorge can be incredibly dangerous. The Great Ocean Road is famous for its stunning beaches and infamous for its often treacherous waters. Out of nowhere, the calm waters turn into strong undercurrents and rough waters.

Therefore, it is only recommended that you swim at Loch Ard Gorge on a calm day, and if you are no stranger to ocean swimming. Be careful, cautious, and be aware of the water’s ability to get rowdy at a moment’s notice.

But if all this warning overrides what should otherwise be a pleasant stop at the gorge, there are other places to swim along the Great Ocean Road! With plenty of safe places to swim, you don’t necessarily have to swim at Loch Ard Gorge!

The story of Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge isn’t just a picturesque area, there is also a famous shipwreck that took place here. In 1878, the 1693 iron clipper ship named Loch Ard was close to finishing its trip from Gravesend to Melbourne. But unfortunately, the ship crashed into Mutton Bird Island which killed 52 out of 54 passengers on board. The two people who survived were Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael, both 18 years old. Tom and Eva managed to get ashore, now known as Loch Ard Gorge.

Now with a bit of knowledge of the history behind Loch Ard Gorge, here are other attractions throughout Port Campbell National Park. Within the area, there is plenty to explore as you go around the windy roads.

Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles is one of Australia’s most beloved landmarks with a giant series of limestone stacks leaping out of the raging sea below. The Twelve Apostles were nine stacks, but two have fallen, leaving only seven left.

The Twelve Apostles never fails to impress the thousands of travellers who visit every year. You can always visit during the day, with the best being at sunrise or sunset.

London Arch

Another incredible limestone formation holding its own in the wild waters of the Bass Strait. The London Arch, also known as London Bridge, makes for the most amazing site to view from the adjacent clifftops!

London Arch was once a bridge, but in 1990, it collapsed, quickly turning it into an arch. At the time of the collapse, two travellers were on the other side and had to wait for a helicopter to save them.

London Arch is another awesome stop within the Port Campbell National Park to visit during your road trip down Great Ocean Road.

The Grotto

The Grotto is simply gorgeous, and its bizarre shape framing the sea on the other side makes it look like something out of a Dali or Magritte painting. The Grotto is mixed between a cave, a sinkhole, and an archway.

It’s great to get down and take in the startling view through the beautiful formation from the lower viewing platform.

Gibson Steps

Another attraction where the Great Ocean Road doesn’t disappoint. Gibson Steps is an area with cliffs with 86 steps that take you down towards the beach.

The highlight here though is two 70 metre high limestone stacks which are similar to the Twelve Apostles. These limestone stacks are called Gog and Magog and when you stand down on the beach below, they’ll tower over you!

Ready to explore Loch Ard Gorge and other impressive attractions along the Great Ocean Road? Book a tour and join a once in a lifetime one day trip along Victoria’s most impressive coastal road.


Related article: What is there to see on the Great Ocean Road past the 12 Apostles?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.