In 1919 the construction of the Great Ocean Road commenced. Over the following 13 years almost 3000 men, young veterans of the First World War and others manually toiled with only picks, shovels, wheelbarrows and explosives to carve the road through some of the world’s most hostile terrain.
The road opened up Victoria’s spectacular west coast, unlocked remote isolated coastal villages and brought international recognition to the region. But above all, for them, the road symbolised a living war memorial to their fallen comrades and a lasting testament to a generation that sacrificed their future for our today. The Great Ocean Road is recognised as an iconic tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors from across the globe.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Great Ocean Road, a series of commemorative bronze plaques were cast from 2007. Hand sculptured by Dr Ross Bastiaan, and weighing 85 kilograms, the plaques features information on the broad history of the road, a central detailed relief map of the area and information specific to the site they occupy. This traveller’s guide to the Great Ocean Road is designed to follow the trail of these plaques along the world’s largest war memorial.