The Great Ocean Road is one of the world's most impressive coastal drives, but it's also an important part of Australia's maritime heritage, dotted with landmarks and legendary shipwrecks. Here are some maritime spots to add to your itinerary.
Loch Ard Gorge
Just minutes from the famous Twelve Apostles, the wild coastal cliffs of Loch Ard Gorge are among the most notorious of the Shipwreck Coast. As well as affording spectacular views along the Great Ocean Road, it's also the site of the Loch Ard shipwreck, wrecked in 1878 off Mutton Bird Island.
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum
Learn more about the Loch Ard shipwreck at the nearby Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum, where the highlight is an evening reenactment of the infamous shipwreck, complete with dramatic sound and light effects.
Cape Otway Lighthouse
Australia's oldest and most important lighthouse was dubbed a "beacon of hope" for sailors and seafarers traversing the treacherous rocks of Cape Otway. Today, visitors can explore inside the historic lighthouse and radar station, take in the views from the top of the tower, or even spend a night in the lightkeeper's cottage.
Perched on the coast between Swan Bay and Port Phillip Bay, Queenscliff boasts a number of heritage buildings and historic fishermen's cottages, but the main reason for a visit is the Queenscliff Maritime Museum, home to an impressive collection of shipwrecks, maritime relics, and early diving equipment.