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Great Ocean Road



Community, Business and Visitor Guide

Great Ocean Road Local History

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The Great Ocean Road is a 243-kilometre long stretch of road running through Victoria's southwestern coast. The road connects Torquay to Warrnambool, passing through scenic coastal towns and landmarks. The region has a rich history that dates back to thousands of years, and the road itself has an interesting story behind its creation.

Indigenous History

The Great Ocean Road region has been home to the Gadubanud people for over 60,000 years. The Gadubanud people lived off the land and sea, hunting, fishing and gathering food. The region was a vital part of their culture and beliefs. The Europeans' arrival led to significant changes in their way of life, and by the late 1800s, their population had decreased significantly.

European Settlers

The first European settlers arrived in the late 1800s, primarily drawn by the region's rich timber resources. The timber industry fuelled the region's development, providing employment and infrastructure. The early settlers also began farming the land and establishing small fishing communities along the coast.

The Great Ocean Road's Story

During World War I, returning soldiers needed work, and the idea of building a road that would connect isolated coastal towns was conceived. The idea was taken up by the State Government in 1918, and construction began in 1919. The road was to be built by hand, and the workers were primarily returned soldiers. The construction crew faced challenges, including difficult terrain, limited resources and severe weather conditions. Despite these challenges, the construction team worked tirelessly, and the road was completed in 1932.

The Road Today

Today, the Great Ocean Road is a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors from all over the world. The region's natural beauty is the primary drawcard, with the 12 Apostles being the most popular attraction. The region is also home to numerous small coastal towns, each with their unique charm and character. The local area boasts a thriving food and wine industry, with many wineries and gourmet food producers dotted throughout the region.


The Great Ocean Road region has a rich and fascinating history that has shaped it into the region we know today. From the region's indigenous heritage to the establishment of early European settlers and the construction of the road, the history of Great Ocean Road is worth exploring. The region continues to attract visitors, offering a unique and charming coastal experience that is not to be missed.

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The Twelve Apostles
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