Twelve Apostles and Beyond: The Great Ocean Road’s Shipwreck Coast
FUN FACT: Matthew Flinders notably said about the Shipwreck Coast that he had never seen a “more fearful section of coastline” – no surprise, considering the Shipwreck Coast acts as a graveyard for more than 500 ships that have been brought down either by the dangerous weather, human error, or foul play.
What Is the Shipwreck Coast? The Shipwreck Coast is a wild and beautiful stretch of coastline in southwest Victoria. It has a fascinating maritime history and it’s a great place to explore. There are hundreds of shipwrecks along the Shipwreck Coast, although it’s estimated that less than a third of them have ever been discovered.
Where Is It? You can easily get to the Shipwreck Coast by car in about 3 hours from Melbourne, or 1.5 hour from the South Australian Border. It stretches along the coastline for about 130km starting from Cape Otway and ending in Port Fairy in southwest Victoria. The misconception that the Great Ocean Road ends at the Twelve Apostles deprives many travellers the joy of exploring the Shipwreck Coast. Journeying on a few minutes from the famed Twelve Apostles, will take you to many equally stunning limestone formations and shipwreck lookouts - minus the crowds.
Why Take the Journey? If this section of coast shared the warm climates of the northern states, it would be now littered with high-rise hotel and apartment buildings. Luckily for the nature lovers, the cooler climate has helped preserve the coastline’s untouched beauty. As you drive the Great Ocean Road’s Shipwreck Coast, the breathtaking views and intact natural environment makes it easy to imagine the life of the early seafaring settlers, who’s stories are documented at each sightseeing lookout. Making this trip a must do for history lovers!
When to Go? The cooler months in Autumn and Winter are a great time to enjoy The Shipwreck Coast road trip without the crowds. During this time, you may even spot a Whale frolicking close to the shore.
Where to Stay? Warrnambool, the largest city on the Great Ocean Road, is the ideal place to stay as you explore the Shipwreck Coast. Enjoy city experiences including Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum and Village by day and ‘Tales of the Shipwreck Coast’ Sound and Light Show by night, Logans Beach Whale Nursery, fine dining, galleries and street art, shopping, live music, walking trails and sheltered beaches.
Read more! To read more articles like this, check out the Sharp Traveller magazine.
Photo credit: Mark Watson
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