On Tour! Discovering the Great Ocean Road Memorial Arch
An Australian icon, the Great Ocean Road is one of the most famous and well-loved coastal drives in the world! There’s so much to see as your journey stretches 243 kilometres along Victoria’s south coast.
The attractions don’t stop with the 12 Apostles; the road is also home to the Great Otway National Park, Loch Ard Gorge, and most importantly, the Memorial Arch, the gateway to the Great Ocean Road. The Great Ocean Road was built in memory of the Australian’s that lost their lives in the first world war and Memorial Arch was built to honour the 3000 service men that worked on and Built the road from 1919 to 1932.
The current arch is the fourth version that has been built. It was one of the original toll points where money was collected from those travelling along to reimburse the cost of the construction. They took the toll point down once costs of building the road were paid off and made the second version out of mostly wood.
This version of the arch was burnt down in the terrible 1983 Ash Wednesday bush fire tragedy. Shortly after, a 3rd version was constructed out of metal to prevent its destruction in the event another destructive fire occurred.
Finally, a solid arch had been built that was said to last the test of time…. unfortunately, the bad luck got worse. A truck drove straight through this version and mostly destroyed it. This led to the fourth version being constructed which is still there today.
The good news is that with all of the rebuilds and tear downs, the original sign still sits on the top of the arch, for all to see.
Where to find it?
The Arch is easily accessible with a car park on the ocean side only a short drive after Airey’s inlet and the famous pole house. Be sure to take the opportunity to stop at the designated carpark to take a photo with the arch and the statue, commemorating your adventure!