Here we will answer the question for you – what is there to see along the Great Ocean Road past the 12 Apostles?
Australia’s famous coastal touring route, the Great Ocean Road, is full of fantastic experiences and destinations. However, many tourists often drive along the coast to the 12 Apostles and then return to Melbourne. But we’re here to tell you there is a lot more to see and do once you’ve visited the famous limestone stacks.
After the 12 Apostles, the Great Ocean Road continues for another 60 kilometres west. There are rock formations, beaches and seaside towns boasting a fun holiday vibe. Read on to find out more about the attractions that are on the Great Ocean Road past the 12 Apostles. Such as Loch Ard Gorge, Port Campbell, the Grotto and more.
The Great Ocean Road past the 12 Apostles
Loch Ard Gorge
While most gorges along this stretch of the coast are just tall cliffs and waves crashing in – Loch And Gorge is quite distinct. It has a beach that is surrounded by tall limestone walls. Overall it is a spectacular place to visit. You can walk right down onto the sand to admire the cliffs and views to sea at the water’s edge. There are also some caves around the gorge which reveal this natural wonder. The gorge is also the site of an infamous shipwreck, and in fact is now named after that ship.
Mutton Bird Island
Mutton Bird Island is the site of the Loch Ard Shipwreck. The Loch Ard crashed into Mutton Bird Island in 1878 and the two survivors were swept by the waves into the gorge. Mutton Bird Island is named for the migratory birds that come to nest on the island each year after making a journey from Alaska. They nest and incubate their eggs on the island. There are a couple of different lookouts you can visit to see the island.
The Razorback and Island Archway
The Razorback is the long, narrow rock formation which can be accessed via the Loch And Gorge carpark. You can take a scenic walk along the coast to the viewing area. Here you can see The Razorback as well as cliffs, caves and the Southern Ocean.
The Island Archway can be viewed from a lookout along the same path. The archway is actually two rock formations that used to be one. In 2015, the top of the arch fell, leaving two large pillars – similar in shape and size to those of the Twelve Apostles. This area is particularly spectacular just before sunset.
Port Campbell is the main town just past the 12 Apostles. It is a popular place to stop after driving the Great Ocean Road. although there are more locations to see further along the coast. Port Campbell is a charming seaside town with plenty of accommodation and dining options. We recommend grabbing some fish and chips and heading to the beach to eat!
Originally a natural archway and tunnel, London Bridge collapsed in 1990. There is an amazing story of the collapse – two tourists were stranded on top when it happened. They had to be rescued by helicopter. Today you can view what is left of London Bridge from the mainland lookout. If you are there at dusk, try to spot some Little Penguins coming ashore on the beach below. In winter keep an eye out for whales that pass by the coast while migrating north from Antartica.
The Arch is a good example of how the limestone cliffs have been shaped over the years. This rock formation started in the form of a tunnel. However, rain and constant waves dissolved the rock and it hollowed out to form an arch. The Twelve Apostles had been shaped in the same way. Today the Arch sits precariously atop a rock platform and can be viewed from two different lookouts.
The Grotto is a hollow limestone formation. It is part-blowhole, part-archway, part-cave. The calm rock pools and smooth boulders of the Grotto provide a natural frame or window to the ocean. To visit you can enjoy views from the top lookout before descending the stairs to The Grotto.
Discover an incredible coastline on a tour to the Great Ocean Road with Go West Tours!
Written by: Leah Furey – Digital Content Coordinator @gowest.com.au