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Most people have heard of the Great Ocean Road and the 12 Apostles, these famous coastal rock formations are an iconic landmark in Australia. But there are many other locations along the Great Ocean Road which are equally worthy of visiting and are possibly even more breathtaking.
Tom and Eva Lookout is one of those. I had heard of it but knew little about it. It wasn’t until I’d parked up and walked over that I realised what an underrated part of the Great Ocean Road this lookout is.
This guide includes everything you need to know about visiting the Tom and Eva Lookout, the history behind it, how to get there and where to stay nearby.
You might also like:
Great Ocean Road Day Trip from Melbourne: a self-drive itinerary
How to get to Tom and Eva Lookout on the Great Ocean Road
The Tom and Eva Lookout is located on the Great Ocean Road and can be accessed from the same car park area as Loch Ard Gorge.
This car park is clearly signposted as Loch Ard Gorge along the Great Ocean Road, so follow these signs as you won’t see any for Tom and Eva lookout. The parking area is just a 5 minute drive from the 12 Apostles Viewing Area, or an 8 minute drive from the town of Port Campbell.
The car park is free and there are several viewpoints accessed from here, including Loch Ard Gorge, Mutton Bird Lookout, the Razorback and Island Arch Lookout.
To get to the Tom and Eva lookout, instead of heading to the right towards Loch Ard Gorge, follow the path left (opposite the car park entrance) along a gravel path and you’ll quickly reach the viewing platform less than 100 metres from the car park. A lot of people miss it and walk straight past it on their way to Razorback, but this view is worth stopping for!
The History of Tom and Eva Lookout on the Great Ocean Road
The history behind the Tom and Eva Lookout is quite a sad one. The two rocks are named after Tom and Eva, the only two survivors of a shipwreck. The Loch Ard clipper ship was sailing from England to Melbourne in 1878 when it ran aground in the shallow waters along this coastline.
There were 54 people on board and only two survived. 19 year old Tom was an sailor’s apprentice, he jumped from the ship as it sank and swam to the shore. When he made it to land, he heard a woman shouting for help. Eva was in the water so he jumped in and dragged her to shore. She was an Irish woman emigrating to Melbourne with her family.
Tom climbed out the gorge and fetched help. The alarm was raised and local men tried to save those on board the ship, but were ultimately too late. The rest of the ship’s passengers and crew died, including Eva’s family.
Tom was called a hero and as the news spread in Australia, many people assumed Tom and Eva would marry. That was not the case. Tom continued his calling as a sailor and Eva returned to England 3 months later where she later married.
The gorge was named after the two survivors of the Loch Ard ship. And the neighbouring gorge was named Loch Ard Gorge after the ship and those lost to the shipwreck.
How the Tom and Eva view has changed
Unbelievably there used to be an arch that joined the two stacks together. But like much of the limestone rock formations along the Great Ocean Road, erosion has taken it's toll and in 2009, the archway between the two stacks collapsed into the ocean.
What to see and expect at Tom and Eva Lookout
Accessibility: the path is levelled and compacted so access should be easy for all, including young children or those with mobility issues.
Walking distance: less than 100m from the car park
Access hours: 24 hour access
Best time to visit: the Great Ocean Road is extremely busy at peak times. I would recommend visiting before 10am to avoid the biggest crowds. Weekdays or winter season (May - August) are quietest but the weather can be unpredictable in the winter months, so be cautious of strong wind and rain.
The viewpoint can be different on any day you visit. For me, it was sunny and calm with clear blue sea. It can also be dramatic and stormy or misty, or soft pinks and oranges at sunrise or sunset. Whenever you visit, make sure to stop at this view point before you continue on to Lock Ard Gorge or the other viewpoints in this area.
Where to stay near Tom and Eva Lookout
There aren’t many places to stay along this stretch of the Great Ocean Road. The closest Town to the Tom and Eva Lookout is Port Campbell which is 8 minutes drive away. There are many accommodation options in Port Campbell, click here to browse or see below recommendations split by budget.
Budget Port Campbell accommodation options:
Port Campbell Hostel- perfect for budget travellers. $58 AUD per person per night for a 4 bed dorm with shared bathroom.
Port Campbell Parkview Motel and Apartments - great for budget travellers or couples who don't want to stay in a hostel. Rooms for $77 AUD, for 1 night for 2 adults.
Mid-range Port Campbell accommodation options:
Port O'Call Motel - a super chic, boho vibe hotel but for a great price. $109 AUD per night for 2 adults.
Loch Ard Motor Inn - great value, tastefully decorated and in an amazing location. $103 AUD per night for 2 adults.
Splurge Port Campbell Accommodation options:
Anchors Beach House - a beautiful 5 bedroom apartment with a sea view. Entire place to yourself. From $430 AUD per night for 2 adults.
Southern Ocean Villas - beautiful private villas with garden patios. Perfect for couples. From $171 AUD per night for 2 adults.
I hope you find this guide to Tom and Eva Lookout useful and be sure to include it in your stops along the Great Ocean Road!
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