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Port Campbell National Park

Coordinates: 38°39′02″S 143°03′46″E / 38.65056°S 143.06278°E / -38.65056; 143.06278
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Port Campbell National Park
Port Campbell National Park coastline
Port Campbell National Park is located in Victoria
Port Campbell National Park
Port Campbell National Park
Nearest town or cityPort Campbell
Coordinates38°39′02″S 143°03′46″E / 38.65056°S 143.06278°E / -38.65056; 143.06278
Established5 May 1964 (1964-05-05)[1]
Area17.5 km2 (6.8 sq mi)[1]
Visitationcirca 2,000,000 (in 1998)[1]
Managing authoritiesParks Victoria
WebsitePort Campbell National Park
See alsoProtected areas of Victoria
Aerial views of Port Campbell National Park and Twelve Apostles Marine National Park.

The Port Campbell National Park is a national park in the south-western district of Victoria, Australia. The 1,750-hectare (4,300-acre) national park is situated approximately 190 kilometres (120 mi) south-west of Melbourne and approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Warrnambool. The park is located adjacent to the Great Otway National Park and the Bay of Islands Coastal Park.


The Port Campbell National Park was dedicated on 5 May 1964 (1964-05-05),[1] initially with 700 hectares (1,700 acres), 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 (4,300 acres); extending from the eastern side of Curdies Inlet at Peterborough to Point Ronald at Princetown.[2] 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,[3] but were satisfied with the later Victorian Government decision not to allow seismic exploration at the same site by Benaris Energy;[4] believing it would harm marine life.[5]


The Port Campbell National Park features an array of sheer cliffs overlooking offshore islets, rock stacks, gorges, arches, and blow-holes.[2] As part of the Shipwreck Coast,[6] it hosts several tourist attractions; including The Twelve Apostles, the London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge, the Gibson Steps, and The Grotto.

The park is subject to salt-laden breezes, and the cliff-tops are particularly exposed to the harsh weather conditions from the Southern Ocean. However, fragile grasslands and heaths 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, 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.[2]

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.[7]

Loch Ard Gorge

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Port Campbell National Park and Bay of Islands Coastal Park management plan" (PDF). Parks Victoria (PDF). Government of Victoria. September 1998. pp. 3–5, 26. ISBN 0-7311-3133-9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Port Campbell". The Sydney Morning Herald. 8 February 2004. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
  3. ^ "Port Campbell bid to block marine national park". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 April 2002. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Fishermen welcome decision against national park seismic exploration". Australia: ABC News. 17 October 2003. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  5. ^ "Otway Basin seismic survey work set to start". Australia: ABC News. 21 October 2003. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  6. ^ "A vision splendid". The Sydney Morning Herald. 23 November 2002. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
  7. ^ "Port Campbell – Places to See". The Age. Retrieved 17 June 2010.

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