Port Campbell National Park

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Port Campbell National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Nearest town or city Port Campbell
Coordinates 38°39′02″S 143°03′46″E / 38.65056°S 143.06278°E / -38.65056; 143.06278
Area 17.5 km²
Established 1962
Managing authorities Parks Victoria
Official site Port Campbell National Park

Port Campbell is a national park in Victoria, Australia, 190 kilometres south-west of Melbourne.


Port Campbell National Park Coast Line

The Port Campbell National Park is a protected national park in Victoria, Australia, 190 kilometres south-west of Melbourne; featuring an array of sheer cliffs overlooking offshore islets, rock stacks, gorges, arches, and blow-holes.[1] As part of the Shipwreck Coast,[2] it hosts several tourist attractions; including The Twelve Apostles, the London Arch (formerly London Bridge), Loch Ard Gorge, the Gibson Steps, and The Grotto.

The park is subject to salt-laden air, and the cliff-tops are particularly exposed to the harsh weather conditions from the Southern Ocean. However, fragile grasslands and heath-lands are still able to develop, supporting plant species such as sun orchid and spider orchid. In protected areas, plant life includes beard-heath, bower spinach, coast daisy bush[disambiguation needed], daisies and cushion bush. The wilder terrain hosts an assortment of she-oaks, dogwoods, correa, messmate, trailing guinea-flower, woolly tea-tree and scented paperbark.[1]

The fauna in the park is largely ornithological; and includes honeyeaters, southern emu and fairy wrens, swamp harriers, rufous bristlebird, peregrine falcons, pelicans, ducks, black swans and egrets. Penguins, terns and dotterels are located along the shoreline, with hooded plovers nesting in exposed locations. Australasian gannets, wandering albatrosses and short-tailed shearwaters live out at sea. Land animals in the park include southern brown bandicoot, swamp antechinuse and echidna.[3]


The Port Campbell National Park was dedicated in 1964 (with 700 hectares) in order to protect the limestone formations on and near the coastline adjacent to the Great Ocean Road. By 1981 the park had grown to 1,750 hectares; extending from the eastern side of Curdies Inlet at Peterborough to Point Ronald at Princetown.[1] In 2002, the Port Campbell Professional Fishermen's Association unsuccessfully attempted to block the creation of a proposed marine national park at the Twelve Apostles location,[4] but were satisfied with the later Victorian Government decision to not allow seismic exploration at the same site by Benaris Energy;[5] believing it would harm marine life.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Port Campbell". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. 8 February 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "A vision splendid". www.smh.com.au. John Fairfax Holdings. 23 November 2002. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  3. ^ "Port Campbell - Places to See". The Age. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  4. ^ "Port Campbell bid to block marine national park". www.abc.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 April 2002. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Fishermen welcome decision against national park seismic exploration". www.abc.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 17 October 2003. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  6. ^ "Otway Basin seismic survey work set to start". www.abc.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 October 2003. Retrieved 17 June 2010.