The tiny town of Port Campbell lies on a triangular peninsula on the Great Ocean Road and is home to around 600 residents. It’s backed by agricultural acres and its district, the Shire of Corangamite, is part of the spectacular Port Campbell National Park. First settled in the 1870s, Port Campbell today serves tourists primarily heading for the Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road, and its pretty harbour is home to the local crayfishing community’s boats.
The Great Ocean Road’s approach to the town runs along massive cliffs, turning towards the town at the tip of the peninsula and leading to the sheltered harbour and sandy beach. Fans of fishing will find some of the best sites in the state right here, with lake, river and ocean fishing from the shore or by boat. Port Campbell’s wide main street is home to the Loch Ard Shipwreck Museum which commemorates the loss in 1878 of the Loch Ard. The wreck can still be seen in good condition on the sea floor.
The pretty town of Port Campbell is a good base for exploring Port Campbell National Park, which extends from the land into the ocean and embraces all the iconic wave-shaped offshore rock formations visible from the Great Ocean Road. Its landlocked area backs the tiny town and is home to a plethora of bird species as well as indigenous mammals, and offers amazing scenic views over the bay, the beaches and the rocks.
Learn more about Port Campbell.
Although Port Campbell is just a small town, it caters well for visitors with a selection of restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops and speciality stores. Accommodation here centres on self-catering, bed and breakfasts, motel-style lodgings and cabins in caravan parks, and the Port Campbell Hotel and the Room 6 restaurant and bar offer food, drink and a friendly welcome.
Twelve Apostles and Port Campbell
Thousands of years of erosion by the Southern Ocean have created extraordinary formations in the limestone cliffs of Port Campbell National Park.
The majestic beauty of this windswept, ocean-blasted piece of the world offers enduring memories to the millions of visitors it attracts each year.
The gigantic rock pillars of the Twelve Apostles are world-recognised icons, synonymous with the Great Ocean Road. However, there are many more fantastic landmarks to marvel at along this 27 kilometre stretch protected by the Port Campbell National Park.
While the coast is a must-see at any time of year, it’s at its peak when howling winds and huge seas are giving it a pounding. Blowholes roar with spouting water and the sea boils around the stacks and cliff bases.
At Gibson Steps, just before the Apostles, you can descend to the beach via steps that hug the 70 metre cliff face. Once on the wide, sandy beach you begin to realise the scale of this place. In the near distance is a huge rock stack, dwarfing visitors who walk towards it.
Make sure you visit London Bridge, a rocky promontory arch carved out by the sea which once linked to a tiny island but collapsed stranding two tourists.
Other spectacular attractions include Loch Ard Gorge, the Razorback, Island Archway, Thunder Cave, Bakers Oven Rock, Sentinel Rocks, and the Grotto.
Whether by car or coach, or through a bird’s eye view from a helicopter or historic tiger moth plane, the Great Ocean Road offers up experience after experience.