The Great Ocean Road spirals along the infamous Shipwreck Coast. Rough and dangerous waters paired with hidden reefs and notoriously thick fogs have seen more than 638 ships wreck here. Of those 638 only 240 have been discovered.
The Shipwreck Coast was the cause of many of Victoria’s most famous shipwrecks.
Head to the Port Campbell Visitors Centre and learn all about the shipwrecks across this region. From the Napier to the Antares there are many fascinating shipwreck stories to learn about.
One of the most famous shipwrecks from along this coast is that of Loch Ard. After travelling for months from London, the ship was so close to reaching its destination in Melbourne when it wrecked off the coast near the 12 Apostles. After trying to traverse the sea with faulty gear and running into a dense fog, the captain was unaware of how close the ship was running to the coast. Although the captain frantically tried to steer the ship away, he was unsuccessful, and it wrecked on a reef. Only two of the passengers survived the crash, you can learn all about their story at Loch Ard Gorge.
The Falls of Halladale is another particularly famous wreck from along this coast. After 23 years of sailing across the world, the ship was heading to Melbourne. It was early in the morning on November 13th, 1908 when the ship became wedged between two shallow reefs. Slowly over the period of two weeks, the ship sank lower and lower until it was entirely submerged. People travelled from all around to come and watch the ship as it slowly disappeared.
If you’re an avid diver and are keen to see the wrecks up close and personal, it is possible to dive at many of the sites. Grab your gear and explore the ships that have sunk along this ferocious coast. There are wrecks at all depths from 6m to 15m with a variety of items for you to discover. From anchors and chains to vases and porcelain dolls, these wrecks are a window into a bygone era. No matter which wreck you choose to visit you’re sure to find a delightful array of marine life that has made the wreck your new home. Just remember, look but never take, leave the wrecks as you find them.
If you’d rather stay dry that doesn’t mean you’ll miss out! There are plenty of lookouts along the Shipwreck Coast where you can spot the wrecking spots along the coastline. Many of them even have plaques describing the wrecks for you to learn about. No matter which town you stop in along the Shipwreck Coast you’re sure to learn something about the dangers of this incredible part of the world.
The Shipwreck Coast is an important and fascinating part of Victorian history as settlers and seafarers perished trying to reach Melbourne. If you’re heading down the Great Ocean Road you absolutely must learn all about this crazy Shipwreck Coast as you travel.