Part of the Port Campbell National Park in Victoria, Australia, about 10 minutes from the Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge is a clear example of the process of erosion in action. Named after Loch Ard, a clipper ship that ran aground back in June 1878 on the nearby Muttonbird Island, Loch Ard Gorge is accessible via the Great Ocean Road.
Constructed stairs allow visitors to access the beach, which is otherwise undeveloped. The only other constructed sites nearby are a small museum that details the area’s history, a number of plaques detailing geological features, and a cemetery that houses many of the people that have died in the region.
The erosion that is discussed both on the plaques detailing the site and in any conversations about Loch Ard Gorge is noticeable in the arches. The arch on the nearby Island Archway collapsed back in June 2009. The two unconnected pillars have been named Eva and Tom after the two teenage survivors of the Loch Ard shipwreck, which ran aground on nearby Muttonbird Island. Of the fifty-one passengers and crew members aboard the Loch Ard, all on a three-month journey from England to Melbourne, only two managed to survive the crash back in 1878.
Loch Ard Gorge was the location for a number of scenes from The Pirate Movie, a 1982 film, and Journey to the Center of the Earth, a 1999 television series featuring Treat Williams.
Know Before You Go
There are three easy walks you can take to discover the area and get view points.
- Wikipedia: Loch Ard Gorge: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loch_Ard_Gorge
- Panoramic Earth: Loch Ard Gorge Beach: http://www.panoramicearth.com/1596/Great_Ocean_Road/Loch_Ard_Gorge_Beach
- Trek Earth: Loch Ard Gorge: http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Oceania/Australia/East/Victoria/Port_Campbell/photo1020764.htm
- Web Wombat: Loch Ard Gorge and Shipwreck Coast: http://www.webwombat.com.au/travel/articles/shipwreck-coast.htm