History & heritage
Tread in the footsteps of the past of the Great Ocean Road region, from Aboriginal history and sacred sites to maritime museums, lighthouses and shipwrecks. Visit grand mansions with elegant gardens around Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula or drive the famous World War I memorial – the Great Ocean Road.
History of our ancestors
Learn about the heritage of Aboriginal Victoria from Wathaurong country in Geelong, to the Gunditjmara people of the west. Walk and talk with a local guide, see native wildlife or have the opportunity to sample bush foods of the area. Visit Lake Condah near Heywood, a permanent Aboriginal village – exploding the myth that all Indigenous people of Australia were nomadic. Get an Aboriginal perspective on flora, fauna, volcanic land formations, bush survival and traditional medicinal practices at Tower Hill State Game Reserve.
Discover the tragic shipwreck history of Victoria's southern coast. Visit shipwreck sites, maritime museums and historic lighthouses. Learn about the tragedy of the Loch Ard Shipwreck near Port Campbell in 1878, one of the most infamous of Victoria's shipwrecks. Explore the beaches on foot along the iconic Great Ocean Walk.
Wander through beautifully preserved historic buildings that capture the region's colourful past at towns such as Queenscliff, Port Fairy and Portland. At Queenscliff you'll see imposing Victorian-era hotels, solid old churches and quaint fishermen's cottages. Charming National Trust-classified homes, modest cottages and stately buildings are everywhere you look in Port Fairy while Portland, Victoria's first European settlement, is an old and charming place on the edge of a harbour that was once busier than Melbourne.
Learn about the Great Ocean Road, a permanent memorial to those who died in World War I, carved in rock, it winds around the rugged southern coast.
Discover the dramatic coastline of the Great Ocean Road region that has claimed more than 180 ships in its colourful maritime history.