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Maritime History Spots Along the Great Ocean Road

By Viator, August 2013

4.5 38 Reviews | Add your review

Victoria’s Great Ocean Road is a well-known route for travelers. Winding its way along the south of the Australian continent the road offers stunning scenery. Most often traveled for its views and access to the Twelve Apostles, here are some less visited maritime history spots along the Great Ocean Road.

Shipwrecks abound along the Victorian coastline, offering time-capsules that reflect moments of the past. A Shipwreck Discovery Trail has been established along the Great Ocean Road so visitors can learn about the moments of history preserved along the coastline. Look out in particular for the Loch Ard wreck. Victoria’s most infamous shipwreck, the Loch Ard  was wrecked in 1878 off Mutton Bird Island, with only two survivors. Stop by the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum to see a piece of the original cargo: an incredibly limited edition porcelain peacock that was to have been displayed in the Melbourne Museum.

Along with items from the Loch Ard, the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum holds information on the more than 180 ships that have been wrecked off the Victorian coastline. A sound and laser show come night time reenacts the wrecking of the Loch Ard. The Queenscliffe Maritime Museum showcases an extensive history of Victorian Lighthouses, artifacts from shipwrecks, early diving equipment and a unique model that displays the underwater topography of the Port Phillip Heads and shipping channel. See first-hand where so many boats ran aground!

A tour of the maritime history along the Great Ocean Road wouldn’t be complete without visiting some of the lighthouses that sought to make this stretch of coastline safer for those who sailed it. The Cape Otway Lightstation is Australia’s oldest lighthouse, and one of the most important to our maritime history. Discover the history of the coast by visiting the station, or treat yourself and stay the night.

Round out your discovery of maritime history by visiting some of the beautifully preserved heritage buildings that dot the towns along the road. From quaint fisherman’s cottages in Queenscliff and National-Trust classified homes in Port Fairy to Victoria’s first European settlement on a harbor that was once the busiest in the state at Portland, these are not to be missed!

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