Great Ocean Road Upgrade

Transport Pillar

The Need

The National Heritage listed Great Ocean Road is the critical underpinning infrastructure that supports the Great Ocean Road region’s $2.1 billion tourism industry. Stretching for 243 kilometres, the Great Ocean Road is regarded as one of the world’s greatest coastal drives and provides an iconic driving experience, while also linking the numerous tourism villages and destinations along the coast.

The Great Ocean Road requires both maintenance and improvement to maintain the structural integrity of this icon, creating a showcase that reflects the road’s important role not only as an international and domestic tourist destination, but also out of respect for its status as the world’s largest war memorial. The year 2012 marked the 80th anniversary of the road that was built by returned World War I soldiers and dedicated to casualties from that war.

The Great Ocean Road is a significant economic driver in the G21 region. Its importance to the region’s economy cannot be overstated, with visitors accessing it from many locations including Avalon, Princes and Hamilton Highways and Queenscliff via road, ferry and rail; further highlighting its regional economic value. It is essential that the road is maintained and developed to meet current and forecast usage. This would include being redeveloped with premium road surfaces, shoulder sealing and improvements to link other roads to the Great Ocean Road.

The Great Ocean Road has fallen into disrepair and is subject to high risk of intermittent closure due to drainage issues and rock falls. Landslips and erosion has forced the temporary closure of some sections of the Great Ocean Road in recent years, seriously impacting the local economy and traffic management.

Project Aim

Improvement to the Great Ocean Road and Link Roads to ‘Showcase’ standard, with its inclusion in the National Land Transport Network, recognising it as a road of critical importance to national and regional growth.

Further, ongoing investment should be provided to fund:

  • increased safety measures including an increase in bypass opportunities,
  • remedial works to landslip risk areas,
  • improvement to the road surface,
  • improved drainage,
  • wider sealed shoulders for cyclists,
  • general maintenance, pruning of trees & grooming vegetation,
  • vegetation and facilities improvements to road reserves.

G21 and Geelong Otway Tourism in January 2013 launched a 'Fund the Road' campaign in support of the project objectives.  Go to the OMGreatOceanRoad! campaign page for details.

Project Champion

Roger Grant, Executive Director, Geelong Otway Tourism.

Benefits for Victoria and the G21 region

Maintenance and improvement of the Great Ocean Road:

  • links to the Federal Government’s ‘Great Ocean Road World Class Tourism Investment Study’ which identifies world class tourism and infrastructure/tourism development projects that will attract a greater proportion of higher-spending and experience-seeker tourists to the Great Ocean Road region,
  • will provide significant economic opportunities throughout the G21 region. Current evidence indicates that as well as supporting a $2.1 billion tourist industry, maintenance of the Great Ocean Road would directly and indirectly result in 212 additional jobs and $18.6 million in wages and salaries in the G21 region,
  • is critical for the future security of the Great Ocean Road region as a key tourism destination. Road improvements will significantly improve domestic and international tourists’ travelling experience,
  • is an important link between coastal and Otway communities for social and commercial interaction, and vital to the economic and social wellbeing of people in the region,
  • will further enable local events such as the Great Ocean Road Marathon, which attracts over 4,000 people, as well as the Great Victorian Bike Ride and the Herald Sun Tour to occur, safely creating sporting experiences in the G21 region.

What has been committed

  • The State Government has committed $25 million over five years to upgrade the Great Ocean Road.
  • The Federal Government has committed $25 million over five years to upgrade the Great Ocean Road.


Project Funded