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History & heritage

Tread in the footsteps of the Great Ocean Road region's fascinating past. Learn about local Aboriginal history and sacred sites, visit maritime museums, lighthouses and shipwrecks, and drive the famous World War I memorial – the Great Ocean Road.

Gunditjmara legacy

Learn about the heritage of western Victoria's Gunditjmara people. Walk and talk with a local guide, see native wildlife or have the opportunity to sample bush foods of the area. Visit the ancient Budj Bim Cultural Landscape at Lake Condah, a permanent Aboriginal settlement and aquaculture site that dispels 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.

Seafaring days

Discover the tragic shipwreck history of Victoria's southern coast. Visit shipwreck sites along the rugged coastline, delve into local lore at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village, and visit 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.

From shipwrecks to surf legends. Spend a day exploring the Australian National Surfing Museum in Victoria's surf capital of Torquay. Check out the development of boards through the decades, see film clips of the greats in action, and experience the impact surf culture has had on the Australian way of life.

Heritage buildings

Wander through beautifully preserved historic buildings that capture the region's colourful past at towns such as Port Fairy and Portland. 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.

Ode to the Great Ocean Road

See how 3000 World War I returned soldiers conquered difficult terrain and extreme weather to build this remarkable road. The Great Ocean Road Story is a permanent exhibition housed in the Lorne Visitor Centre – a memorial to Australia's diggers, and a celebration of a project that united the region's coastal towns.   


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History & heritage

Maritime history

Split Point Lighthouse Tours Aireys Inlet

Come and climb Split Point Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet. The views are simply breathtaking. You will spot her as you travel the Great Ocean Road. Why...


Great Ocean Road Story

Experience The Great Ocean Road Story: Building Australia's Most Famous Road. This purpose built permanent exhibition in the newly constructed Great...


Australian National Surfing Museum

Check out the Australian Surfing Hall of Fame plus interactive displays and exhibits celebrating the history of surfing and beach culture in Victoria.

Heritage buildings

Cottage in the Gardens

Situated in the Botanical Gardens, this two storey bluestone cottage was the home of the Portland Botanical Gardens' curator. It features a bedroom,...

Maritime history

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village has just undergone a major redevelopment, that included interactive digital installations throughout the village, a...

Heritage buildings

St John's Anglican Church Port Fairy

The iconic St John's Anglican Church, surrounded by lawns and the original stone wall, was built in 1856, to replace the smaller, wooden one, then in...


Portland Cable Trams

Come and explore Victoria's birthplace by the sea onboard Portland Cable Trams. Travel along Portland's historic foreshore and enjoy the breathtaking...

Maritime history

Cape Otway Lightstation

Climb for dramatic views and stories of shipwrecks at this historic lighthouse perched on towering cliffs where Bass Strait meets the Southern Ocean.

Heritage buildings

St Stephens Portland Anglican Church

Victoria's oldest Anglican Church is found in the historic town of Portland. Its history stretches back to the town's initial founding in 1834. As...


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