Lorne – Gateway to Great Ocean Road
While the Great Ocean Road actually starts at Anglesea, the seaside town of Lorne known as the gateway due to the Memorial Arch. Lorne is a popular spot for surfers, with thriving shops and cafe culture. There is an arts community, Qdos ARTS, with a gallery and sculpture park at Lorne. In addition, Teddy’s lookout, the Memorial Arch, and many waterfalls are just out of town.
The Memorial Arch
The Great Ocean Road was built in memory of Australians who lost their lives in World War One. At 240km long, the road is officially the world’s largest war memorial. The current arch is the fourth iteration of the arch. It spans the road at Eastern view – the site of the original toll booth that helped fund construction costs. It was rebuilt in 1974 after a truck hit the arch and demolished one side. 1983 saw the Ash Wednesday bushfires destroy the arch again, leading to a new metal arch built to resist fires. In 1990 a storm brought the arch down once more, resulting in the last rebuild.
Surprisingly the original “great ocean road” sign has survived the fire, storm and truck. It has been rehung over the arch each time the arch was rebuilt. A sculpture to the left of the arch depicts two men working on the road alongside two plaques added for the 50th and 75th anniversary of the road.
Teddys Lookout is located at 53 George St, Lorne, Teddy’s lookout gives one of the best views of the road where the St George River empties into a small cove. Park at the end of George St, and then it’s a short walk to the two lookouts.
Where: Erskine Falls Access Road, Lorne
A 10km drive out of Lorne will bring you to Erskine Falls. Two lookouts on this well-known waterfall offer scenic views of water cascading 30 metres down into a gully. A short walk from the carpark brings you to the first lookout. You can take the 310 steps down to the lower lookout if you have a good fitness level.
Lorne beach has two distinct sections. The surf beach and the Main Beach. The sheltered 2km Main beach is located on the coast of Louttit Bay near the Lorne Swing Bridge. The main beach is the only part of the coastline that Life-Saving Victoria patrols during the summer months. The surf beach is on Mountjoy Parade.