A new lookout is coming to the Loch Ard blowhole as part of multi-million-dollar makeover

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A new lookout is coming to the Loch Ard blowhole as part of multi-million-dollar makeover

Loch Ard Gorge, Port Campbell. Credit: Vince Russell

The Victorian Government is investing $5.5 million to build The Blowhole Lookout, which will provide a new visitor experience at this tucked away site, nestled amongst native vegetation.

Visitors to Victoria’s south-west will soon have another place to view the dramatic scenery of Shipwreck Coast with tenders sought for a new lookout in the Port Campbell National Park.

The new lookout will bring visitors up-close to ‘The Blowhole’, a deep cutting in the land that fills with roaring water from the Southern Ocean when tides are strong.

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With $5.5 million in funding from the Victorian Government, the project on Kirrae Wurrung Country will be delivered as part of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan.

The Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation led the design of the lookout, ensuring the environmental and cultural characteristics of the site are respected. The lookout sits hidden in the landscape and curves around the edge of the blowhole without impeding the symbolic breathing of the whale.

The Port Campbell National Park is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape and is home to unique coastal vegetation, habitat and wildlife as well as some of Victoria’s most popular tourist spots.

“This lookout at the Blowhole allows visitors to get up close with nature and will improve the experience for the millions of people who visit each year,” says Minister for Major Events, Sport and Tourism Steve Dimopoulos.

Artist’s impression of the Loch Ard Gorge Lookout, Credit: Denton Corker Marshall

Improved access tracks curate the approach by concealing and revealing views so visitors experience the blowhole and native vegetation from a range of locations.

The former Blowhole Lookout was removed several years ago due to potential visitor risks posed by the natural erosion of the limestone rock. Geotechnical investigations and extensive community and industry engagement have informed the approach for the new Blowhole Lookout.

Another new lookout is also underway at the nearby Twelve Apostles to be completed this summer. The lookouts are being delivered as part of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan and will be complemented by the $108.15 million Geelong City Deal – Twelve Apostles Precinct Redevelopment.

Other recent upgrades include a 60-metre suspension bridge at Port Campbell and an 11-kilometre water and sewage pipeline to the Twelve Apostles Visitor Centre to service the growing tourist population.

Stage One of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan is expected to support around 120 ongoing jobs, add $12 million to the regional economy and increase the annual visitor spend by $14 million.

Across the state, the Labor Government’s Visitor Economy Recovery and Reform Plan is investing $633 million over four years to strengthen Victoria’s tourism offering by developing new experiences, products and infrastructure.

Works on the Blowhole Lookout are expected to start next year. For more information on the forthcoming lookout, head here