Travelling to Memorial Arch on the Great Ocean Road

Travelling to Memorial Arch on the Great Ocean Road

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 02/10/2017

Reading time: 3 mins

This historic landmark is known as the gateway to one of Victoria’s greatest tourist destinations!

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most popular attractions, found only a short 90 minutes drive from Melbourne City. Along with its winding coastal route, it features numerous natural wonders as well as man-made landmarks that are well worth a visit. The Memorial Arch is one such attraction, known for being the best stop to discover the road’s historic and fascinating history.

About the Memorial Arch

Before the Great Ocean Road was built, the coastal area was a remote region barely visited, covered in thick bushland and giant rocks that resulted in weeks of travel. A road was propositioned, hoping to help boost the development and tourism of the coastal region, as well as give returning soilders from the war work. Due to the rough terrain, the road was a difficult job, but out of the 3000 men who worked on the road, a whopping 2300 of them were returning soldiers from World War I.

The monument was a tribute to the World War One servicemen who dedicated their time to building the Great Ocean Road, and it has had a lengthy, turbulent history. The current arch is the third one to have been built on the same spot after the second was destroyed in bushfires back in 1983. Made up of a log archway complete with cement and stone supports on each side, it spans the width of the Great Ocean Road and marks the start of this stretch of coastline.

Servicemen completed building the Great Ocean Road in 1932, and you can see the plaques commemorating all three arches, as well as the 50th anniversary in 1982, at the start of the road.

Though there are numerous attractions to check out along the Great Ocean Road, the Memorial Arch is one of the most popular as it sits at the start of the coastal trail. You can stop off at the on-site carpark, where you can take a photo of the arch and statue to mark the start of your adventure.

Travel Information for Memorial Arch

Memorial Arch is easy to get to for tourists, and there is a parking lot on the side of the highway that caters to the attraction. From the carpark, you can easily walk to the arch and it is recommended that you spend around 10 and 20 minutes at the site so you can take enough photos and read the plaques and commemorations that adorn the arch.

Admission is totally free and you can visit the site 24 hours a day 7 days a week. To experience the archway with fewer crowds, try visiting in the morning and the evening. Not only will there be less footfall and less cars on the road at this time, but you might also catch the sunrise or sunset against the Memorial Arch.

If you travel along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll find it hard to miss Memorial Arch. It is a great place to start your coastal adventure from whilst soaking up some of the rich history that pervades the region. Be sure to pack your camera so you don’t miss out on any photo opportunities.

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.