Travelling time to
Port Campbell...

Melbourne (3 hrs via Princes Hwy)
Melbourne (6 hrs via Great Ocean Road)
Adelaide (7 hrs)
Apollo Bay (2 hrs)
Lorne (3 hrs)

Peterborough (10 minutes)

Things to do in Port Campbell

golf
helicopter flights
coastal walks
the loch ard shipwreck
shipwreck history
shipwreck museum
boat charters
SCUBA diving
fishing
crayfish / lobster
surfing

Port Campbell

Victoria Australia

Map of Port Campbell
   aerial view of the shipwreck coast

For the best view of them all…

For the adventurous visitor, there is nothing to equal the view of this magnificent coast from the air. Helicopter flights operate daily in school holidays, weather permitting. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to view the Port Campbell National Park, the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge from the air. 

   london bridge, before one arch collapsed

When the wind is blowing and it is pouring with rain…

In the winter months when the wind and rain from the ocean is blowing a gale, rug up in your weatherproofs, pull on a jumper and explore the coastal walks. This is a wild and magnificent coastline, especially in a storm. You will soon understand why this is called the shipwreck coast. Enjoy the beauty of the crashing waves, and experience the sheer strength of the wind.

   london bridge after the collapse of one arch
   the wreck of the falls of halladale ship; slowly sinking off peterborough

Shipwrecked

More than 400 ships have been wrecked along the south west coast of Australia. This is a treacherous stretch of coastline where in the days of sailing ships of the 1800's more than 35 ships were wrecked along the great ocean road coast. Navigating this coastline was referred to as 'threading the eye of the needle', for the ships' captains had to rely on the weather to take their bearings and pass between king island 90km off shore and the mainland. Only one second out in their calculations per day could mean that they were drastically off-course. The loch ard wreck of 1878 was the last of the sailing ships to be wrecked in our waters.

   view of loch ard gorge

The Loch Ard tragedy

In the early morning hours of 1st June 1878, the Loch Ard was fast approaching the Otway coast and nearing the end of her three month voyage. An account by the Geelong advertiser on Tuesday June 4th, reads...

… it was only at about four o'clock on the morning of 1st June that the lookout saw the danger, the reef being at that time scarcely half a mile from the ship, the ship being under close reefed topsails, running before the wind. The captain was on deck at the time the discovery was made. He gave order to haul the ship to the wind, but she could not weather the land. We then let both anchors go with 50 fathoms of cable - one each. She did not hold. But was dragging on shore. When we were about a hundred and fifty yards from the rocks we slipped both anchors, and tried to put on sail, but only just got the mainsail set when the vessel struck the rocks on her starboard quarter. At this time it was just breaking day…

Tthe ship sank in less than fifteen minutes. There were only two survivors from this tragedy, Eva Carmichael and Tom Pearce. 

Loch Ard Shipwreck Museum

Visit the Shipwreck Museum to see relics and to watch underwater footage by local divers of the shipwreck, which is still in excellent condition on the sea floor. Situated in the main street of Port Campbell, the museum also has excellent souvenirs.

      Eva Carmichael, survivor of the Loch Ard Shipwreck
      Tom Pearce, survivor of the Loch Ard Shipwreck
   the twelve apostles at sunset

Boat charters… snorkelling or SCUBA diving?

For a view of the Twelve Apostles and the coastline, or for a fishing trip with one of the locals who knows the best spots, Port Campbell Boat Charters offer several tours departing from the pier (weather permitting). SCUBA divers will marvel at the wonders of the deep amongst the shipwrecks of the Loch Ard, Fiji, Falls of Halladale, Antares, Schomberg or Newfield. The Schomberg and Falls of Halladale shipwrecks are even suitable for snorkelling. On very calm days, the tours venture into the cove at Loch Ard Gorge (below).

   fishing from the pier

A fisherman's dream

Port Campbell is ideally situated for some of the best fishing in Victoria. Our region has featured on many popular national and international fishing shows; both for the catch and for the beauty and the experience. With ocean, lake and river fishing all nearby, you can fish from the shore, cliffs and riverbank or take a boat along one of our rivers or lakes. You can catch shark, snapper, pike, sweep, flathead, king fish, tuna and crayfish from afloat. From the cliffs, try your luck for trevally, shark, snapper and sweep. Our productive rivers, the Hopkins, Gellibrand and Curdies offer bream, trout mullet and salmon. Renowned fishing for Chinook salmon, rainbow trout or redfin occurs on Lake Purumbete and Lake Bullen Merri.

Lobster season…

Each afternoon, from mid-November to the end of August, you can watch the local fishermen return from their day at sea, on the Port Campbell Pier. Here, they lift their boats out of the water and empty their crayfish (southern rock lobster) pots into underwater coffins. The crayfish are later transported (live) to Melbourne Airport, and flown directly to Japan, where they are renowned for being the most delicious crayfish in the world. Enjoy a freshly prepared crayfish at Napiers Restaurant, overlooking the bay.

Surfing

From Bells Beach to the Beacon at Port Campbell, the Southern Ocean is renowned for its excellent surfing. Ask the locals about their favourite spots; The Well, Crofts Bay and The Point. Or take the path along the headland at Port Campbell to watch the surfers perfect their waves at Two Mile Beach.

   the old Port Campbell pier
   the port campbell bay & pier
   peterborough golf course, literally on the cliff tops!

For the golf enthusiast

Travel to Peterborough and enjoy a round on the cliff-edge golf course, directly overlooking the rugged cliffs and ocean.

Have you ever played golf between two volcanoes?

In Camperdown, you can! just a thirty minute drive to the spectacular 18 hole course. While in Camperdown, visit the Historic Mill Buggy Display, climb to the top of the clocktower, or admire the needlecraft, patchwork and gifts on display in the old courthouse. Timboon and Peterborough also have fantastic 9 hole golf courses in beautiful settings.

   the famous sea stack on the south west coast of Victoria

Koalas and Kangaroos

The Port Campbell National Park is a haven for native wildlife. Koalas are not always easy to find during the day. However, at night they often stroll down the white line of the great ocean road; so please drive carefully. Possums, kangaroos, echidnas and bandicoots can all be seen. Visit the display on native flora and fauna at the port Campbell National Park visitor information centre.