The Shipwreck Coast, on the Great Ocean Road, is an area with strong waves and large limestone cliff faces. As such many amazing rock formations have been formed across only about a 40km stretch and give you many chances to take great photos.
The Twelve Apostles is the most famous sight on the Great Ocean Road and is a must visit, but this article will show you why you should spend longer in the area to see all the Shipwreck Coast has to offer and give you some tips for visiting. Here are the different formations – enjoy!
The Twelve Apostles
Actually really just seven current apostles, the limestone rock stacks tower up to 50m high. There is plenty of car parking and a visitor centre here but definitely do not come between 3-5pm as that is when most day tours arrive and it will be packed!
Loch Ard Gorge
Named after the ship that crashed here, Loch Ard Gorge is only 3.5km from the Twelve Apostles, making it the second most popular spot and again must be avoided between 3-5pm. There are other great viewpoints accessible from the same car park, such as the Razorback, so spend some time here.
On the other side of Port Campbell, The Grotto is a quick stop spot, where you can descend down a staircase to see this great formation.
Formerly known as London Bridge until erosion caused part of it to fall, London Arch is still a very impressive sea-locked archway.
Bay of Islands and Bay of Martyrs
These are spots a little less visited but are still very beautiful, especially at sunset. They are deemed part of the Bay of Islands Coastal Park as opposed to all the others, which are part of Port Campbell National Park.
Tips for travelling to the Shipwreck Coast on The Great Ocean Road
If you try to see it in one day you will find the traffic intolerable. This is because many tour buses do this route and the Great Ocean Road is long and windy with few spots to overtake.
If you have to do it in one day then try to go in reverse, driving the Princess Freeway straight to Port Campbell and working your way along the Great Ocean Road back to Melbourne.
Most tour groups only go to the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge as the easiest way back to Melbourne is to turn back to the freeway from Port Campbell.
Worth staying a night either at Port Campbell or Peterborough. That way you can avoid the crowds.
Best light for photographs at the Twelve Apostles is in the morning but you can also get an amazing sunset photo at all spots (if the sunset behaves).
This stretch of the Great Ocean Road is three hours from Melbourne. Do it as part of a longer trip rather than try to rush it. There is so much to see and do. See our article on a 3 day Great Ocean Road itinerary for ideas.
Incorporate other amazing spots in the area such as the Otway Rainforest, Tower Hill Nature Reserve, or a little further away, the Grampians National Park. Our 3 & 4 day small group tour campout is a great way of exploring the area.