The Story of Loch Ard Gorge

The Story of Loch Ard Gorge

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 06/30/2017

Reading time: 4 mins

Hidden along the Great Ocean Road, Loch Ard Gorge is a beautiful beach between limestone cliffs.

The Great Ocean Road is a popular Victorian coastal drive that spans across 243 kilometres. The road has an eclectic mix of stunning sea views, wild scenery, and breathtaking natural monuments.

If you find yourself travelling along the iconic scenic road, be sure to make a stop at Loch Ard Gorge to soak up the incredible rugged scenery!

Loch Ard Gorge

The History of Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge was named after a famous shipwreck that took place in 1878. The Lock Ard ship crashed into Mutton Bird Island and killed all passengers on the boat besides two people. A 19 year old apprentice, Tom Pearce, and 19 year old Eva Carmichael, who was emigrating to Australia with her family were the only ones to survive.

Pearce rescued Carmichael from the water, but she returned to Europe three months later as she lost four family members in the sinking.

The nearby Island Archway, which was a natural bridge that fell down in 2009, that left two unconnected rock pillars. The two pillars have been affectionately named Tom and Eva.

This stretch of coast is renowned for multiple shipwrecks, where boats have washed up on the shores over the centuries due to the rough waves. Loch Ard Gorge marks just one of the spots that saw boats get into trouble, but it’s not just history that makes the landmark a unique place to visit.

Walking around Loch Ard Gorge

Walking around Loch Ard Gorge

One of the most popular activities in and around the gorge is walking, and there are plenty of routes to keep you busy. You can discover the geology of the region on a 900-metre return walk along the coastline.

Or you can follow the tragic story of Tom and Eva on a walk to the nearby shipwreck cemetery. This 1.4-kilometre route takes around 50 minutes and exposes visitors to the fascinating narrative that has made Loch Ard Gorge so famous.

There is plenty to do from gazing out at the spectacular views from the top of the gorge, to taking a stroll through the lush undergrowth of the Port Campbell National Park. You can make your way down into the gorge via a series of steps. This gives you a unique viewpoint of the landmark and promises a different perspective to soak up.

What to see near Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge is by all kinds of landmarks that sit on the Great Ocean Road. Some of the main attractions are only within a short drive away!

Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road
• Twelve Apostles
The most popular landmark along the Great Ocean Road is the Twelve Apostles, which are multiple limestone stacks that sit out in the ocean. You can see these remarkable limestone stacks from four different lookouts to get a new angle of the stacks.

• Gibson Steps
Gibson Steps has 86 steps that lead you down to the beach to be towered by two 70-metre tall limestone stacks sitting in the water. If you don’t want to go down the steps, you’ll have a beautiful coastal view of the limestone stacks from the top of the cliffs.

• London Bridge
London Bridge was once a bridge until it collapsed in 1990, turning it into an arch. When the collapse happened, two people were left stranded on the arch until later being rescued a few hours later.

You can see London Bridge out from a lookout which is best to visit during sunrise or sunset.

You can make a trip along the Great Ocean Road to see Loch Ard Gorge and other attractions by car or by booking a tour. You can do the drive in a day or spend more time exploring the scenic road and do it over a few days.

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.