Thursday, June 17, 2010

Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road

Along Victoria's famous Great Ocean Road, between Lorne and Warrnambool, there is a stretch of coastline known as 'The Shipwreck Coast', for obvious reasons. Many ships came to grief along here and it's not hard to understand why when you stand at various points and watch the powerful waves crashing onto the towering cliffs.

There are several sites which have become major tourist attractions such as 'The 12 Apostles', 'London Bridge' (not quite as spectacular since part of the span collapsed into the sea several years ago) and 'The Grotto'.
These photos were taken in the region of Loch Ard Gorge, the scene of one of the best known shipwrecks of the mid 19th Century, and subsequent amazing rescue.

The Razorback.

If you click on the photos of these signs you should be able to read the text quite clearly.

Sheer cliffs rise from the sea.

You can see the crack in the end of 'The Razorback' on the right side of photo. No doubt it will only be a few years before another piece breaks off.

These outcrops would have been one piece a long time ago before being separated by the relentless waves.

You can believe that any ship which founders on these unfriendly shores would mean almost certain death in those early days for passengers and crew.

Caves and grottos carved out by the force of the sea.

The beach looks enticing. However access is difficult and the risk of being swamped is ever present.

A brief outline of the wreck of the Loch Ard.

Amazingly two people survived this wreck and were rescued.

At the end of the Great Ocean Road, in the beautiful city of Warrnambool, there is the Maritime Museum, called Flagstaff Hill. Every evening (except Christmas) visitors can witness after sunset an amazing Sound and Laser Show giving graphic details of one of the most famous events in Australian history. This internationally rated $5m show lasts for approximately one hour, but here is an excerpt of just a few minutes from "Shipwrecked".


Susan said...

Alice, love your travel photos! The first one of the razorback with the tree is my favorite, you have an artist's eye.

diane said...

Fabulous shots and a beautiful part of Australia.

Kerri said...

What a beautiful coastline! Those rock formations are fantastic.
I'm imagining standing on the cliff tops, hearing the waves pounding and inhaling the fresh sea air. Ahhh! I miss those sights and sounds. Thanks for the nostalgic memories...not of these same cliffs, but others, much closer to Sydney.
I agree with Susan. That first photo is beautifully framed.
I watched the excerpt from Shipwrecked and would love to see the whole show. What a terrible tragedy. Truly amazing that anyone survived. Thanks for the link and for sharing this fascinating part of the world.
Ross says hi and sends his love.

Laura in Paris said...

Impressive shots and incredible story ... looks so arid and yet fascinating.

Frankie said...

Stunning photos, a great post. Funny how such beauty can harbor such a tragedy. I maintain that paradise and hell are actually at the same place.

Puss-in-Boots said...

It's a pretty but dangerous coastline down there. You have taken beautiful photos and I can see that quite a large chunk of the Razorback is going to disappear in the not too distant future.

The video clip of the laser show is amazing...I'd love to see the whole show...incredible!

Thanks for a very interesting post.

Noella said...

Wonderful photos, Alice. They bring back memories of many happy childhood camping holidays to Port Campbell. It will always hold a special place in my heart. Love, Noella

Maryse said...

Wow! I went to the Great Ocean Road in 2003 when I went to Melbourne for work (I'm from Montreal, Canada)... The landscapes are breathtaking. Your pictures bring back a lot of memory! Thanks!

Susan said...

Thanks for your permission to use your photos in my blog post today about virtual travel.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Polly said...

Alice these are fantastic photos!

I wanted to add to your webpage that we offer Great Ocean Road Tours for anyone interested in seeing this beautiful part of Australia! :-)

see: Bunyip Tours