Loch Ard Gorge panorama, July 2005
The Loch Ard Gorge is part of Port Campbell National Park, Victoria, Australia, about 10 minutes drive west of The Twelve Apostles. It is a visible example of the process of erosion in action.
The gorge is named after the clipper ship Loch Ard, which ran aground on nearby Muttonbird Island on 1 June 1878 approaching the end of a three-month journey from England to Melbourne. Of the fifty-four passengers and crew, only two survived: Tom Pearce, at 15 years of age, a ship's apprentice, and Eva Carmichael, an Irishwoman immigrating with her family, at 17 years of age. According to memorials at the site, Pearce was washed ashore, and rescued Carmichael from the water after hearing her cries for help. Pearce then proceeded to climb out of the gorge to raise the alarm to local pastoralists who immediately set into plan a rescue attempt. After three months in Australia Carmichael returned to Europe. Four of her family members drowned that night. Pearce was hailed as a hero, and continued his life at sea. He drowned several years later in another shipping accident.
The arch of the nearby Island Archway collapsed in June 2009. The feature now appears as two unconnected rock pillars. They have since been officially named Tom and Eva after the two teenage survivors of the Loch Ard shipwreck.
The gorge is accessed via the Great Ocean Road, several kilometres past The Twelve Apostles. Stairs allow visitors access to the beach which is otherwise undeveloped. There are numerous plaques and a small museum detailing the sites history, as well as a rest area, and cemetery housing many of the people that died.
This was the location for a number of scenes of the 1982 film The Pirate Movie and also the 1999 TV series Journey to the Center of the Earth with Treat Williams. The uncommon Rufous Bristlebird (Dasyornis broadbenti) is often observed around the Gorge.
The Island Archway before the arch collapsed in June 2009
Great Ocean Road panorama
Loch Ard Gorge Informational Sign
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Coordinates: 38°38′S 143°04′E / 38.633°S 143.067°E
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