September 2019 marks 100 years since the construction of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.

The iconic road is the biggest war memorial in the world; built by WW1 returned servicemen as a means of paid work.

They bore, dug and chipped away by hand at the South West coastline to create a purpose built tourist route - the vision of Geelong Mayor, Howard Hitchcock.

  • Today, the road carries 23 million travellers each year who want to explore the region's beaches, rainforests, waterfalls, volcanic plains and the wildlife within. 
  • They come from all over the world to caravan, camp, lodge or stay in luxury in and amongst the dozens of villages and towns between Torquay and Portland, near the South Australian border.

The centenary of the Great Ocean Road is a big deal and there's a month-long party planned to commemorate the road's construction and what it has brought to visitors for decades past, as well as local communities.

If you love history, this is the time to visit, because these events will never happen again.

Here's why you should come and party with us!

1. Get a discounted room at Mantra Lorne 

Our friends at Mantra Lorne are offering a 10% discount on all bookings from September 16, 2019 to October 7, 2019.

The complex is built around the heritage-listed Erskine House (the oldest guesthouse in Victoria), so there will be some amazing photo opportunities.

It's a great place to base yourself as you enjoy the festivities, so stay and play!

2. See an exclusive screening of a new doco

Film lovers and history buffs will be privvy to a brand new documentary called 'The Story of the Road', that will be screened just THREE TIMES during the celebration.

  • Wednesday, September 18 @ 6.30pm - Lorne Theatre Get tickets.
  • Thursday, September 19 @ 5.30pm and 8.30pm - Apollo Bay Mechanics Hall. Get tickets.

The night screenings will have music by the Sugarfoot Ramblers, Pricky Moses beer made from an old recipe and Great Ocean Road gin in a decadent 'French 75' cocktail.

If you love a good dress up party (1920s style!), grab the crew and make a night of it!

All ages are welcome to all screenings.

3. Sit and reflect with public art

There's so much to think about during the centenary; the sacrifice soldiers made so can enjoy our beautiful country, and the tremendous challenge workers faced to carve out the road for the innovative tourist attraction.

With the South West coast boasting a thriving arts community, it made sense to draw from local artists to create special places for visitors to sit, reflect and take in the views...and the history.

Circular seating structures will feature artwork by local artists Norm Jurrawaa Stanely, Sisca Verwoert and Karlijn Sas.

Whilst sitting on the seat, there will be a QR code that you can scan with your smart phone, which will take you to a web page with information (and augmented reality) about that particular location.

Find the seats here:

  • Point Danger Torquay
  • Loveridge Lookout Anglesea
  • Lorne Foreshore
  • Wye River Foreshore
  • Kennett River
  • Apollo Bay Foreshore

4. Find a quirky pop up cinema

Imagine finding a random 1920s style cinema on the Great Ocean Road where you can go in, be transported back in time, and learn the stories of the road with a 10-minute screening. 

We have five shipping containers decked out in plush art-deco styled themes, where small groups of 5-12 people can enjoy a short film relating to the past and present history of the relevant locale.

The pop up cinemas will be active from September 30 to October 6 from 9am to 5pm daily.

They are free to get in, but, because they are going to be HUGELY popular, it's best to register.

5. Follow a QR trail

If you're planning to travel any part of the Great Ocean Road this September/October, keep an eye out for QR codes along the way.

Scan the code and learn about the location you're currently in through words, film, pictures and augmented reality.

The QR codes will be featured on the public art seats (see above) as well as other key (and random) locations. Here's a map to help you find them.

Don't forget to tag us on Instagram!







About the Blogger



Beth lives and works on the Great Ocean Road and is part of GORRT's marketing team.

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