Ocean Road west of Anglesea
Popular seaside resort at the eastern end of
the Great Ocean Road
Located 113 km south west of Melbourne at the
northern end of the Great Ocean Road, Anglesea
is an interesting mixture of an attractive
seaside resort town and a piece of urban sprawl
which spreads for about 5 km along the coast and
includes such un-seaside dimensions as the
Anglesea industrial estate. However, from Point
Roadknight in the south around Soapy Rock to the
main surfing beach and Coogoorah Reserve it is
very much a beach resort town.
Anglesea was originally known as Swampy
Creek. Subsequently it was known as Anglesea
River. The name was eventually changed to
Anglesea which is a well known town on the west
coast of Wales.
The region was settled in the 1830s by
squatters attracted to the freshwater creek and
the grazing land which lay behind the sand
dunes. Most notable was the arrival of William
Roadknight (the local point is named after him)
who brought sheep across from Tasmania in 1836
and settled near Ceres Bridge, west of Geelong.
William and his son Thomas pioneered a track to
the Cape Otway lighthouse in 1846.
Anglesea developed as a convenient stopover
for the mail coaches which plied the southern
coastline in the 1850s. In 1865, sporting
parties with a taste for adventure came on
horseback through dense ironbark forests to
reach this isolated seaside location. The sleepy
hamlet changed after the government of the day
surveyed land into convenient blocks.
For many years, Cobb & Co. ran a mail coach
service in from Geelong on unformed tracks. They
called at nearby Mrs Murray's post office and
tturned around at Jackson's Anglesea Hotel.
Passengers for Aireys Inlet then changed to
James Hasty's four-horse wagonette for the
remainder of the journey.
Today Anglesea is a popular holiday
destination because it combines a good beach
(rare in these parts) with plenty of holiday
activities. The fishing is excellent in the
local area. So too is the surfing, sailing and
windsurfing. Not surprisingly the town's
population increases dramatically in the summer
Things to see:
Great Ocean Road
Anglesea is the official start of the Great
Ocean Road which runs for 320 km west along the
coast offering some of the most beautiful
coastline anywhere in Australia. Most of the
major attractions - the Twelve Apostles, London
Bridge etc - are at the western end but beyond
Anglesea there are some particularly lovely
vistas across the southern ocean from the road.
Attractive headland which protects the Anglesea
beach from the full force of the southern ocean.
It is an attractive vantage point and has good
protected swimming below.
Anglesea Golf Course
The Golf Course has achieved fame because of the
grazing kangaroos which take advantage of the
well watered fairways in the early morning and
Coogoorah Reserve ('coogoorah' is an Aboriginal
word reputedly meaning 'swampy reed creek') lies
on the western side of the Anglesea River on
either side of the Great Ocean Road. It is an
interesting combination of bushland islands
linked by boardwalks and bridges. It has good
picnic and barbecue facilities as well as a
range of activity-based equipment for the
children. The boardwalk offers excellent
opportunities to experience the flora and fauna
of this interesting wetland. The park achieved
some infamy when the 1983 bushfires set the peat
alight. It was subsequently necessary to diver
the Anglesea River to put the slow burning fire
Anglesea Heathland Cliff Walk
To the north of the Anglesea River is a pleasant
coastal walk which starts at Purnell Street
(just east of the Bowling Club). It passes
through coastal forests and along the cliffs.
There is a map available at the Tourist
Information Office. The walk takes between 45
minutes and an hour.
Turn off the Great Ocean Rd 7 km north-east of
Anglesea and it's 3 km to the carpark. A walking
trail lead to the beach. The Point is popular
with hang-gliders as well as surfers and
swimmers. The Koorie Cultural Walk, a 1-km
loop-track, leads through the Ironbark Basin, a
nature reserve with a profusion of birdlife.
Go Ride a Wave offer learn to surf classes in
the area, tel: (03) 5263 2111.
There are two excellent books on the Great Ocean
Road which we strongly recommend to anyone
planning to spend extended time in the area.
Explore The Great Ocean Road has very
detailed information on all the attractions and
excellent maps of the towns and the coastline.
It is an ideal companion if you are going to do
some bushwalking or you want to reach beyond the
regular tourist destinations. See
for more information.
Great Ocean Road: A Travellers Guide has been
written by a photographer consequently the
pictures are excellent and his focus has been on
providing detailed information on the
accommodation and attractions in the area. It
has a comprehensive listing of all the Bed and
Breakfast and Guest Houses along the road with
photographs and prices. Very handy if you are
planning to stay somewhere other than a motel or
caravan park. See
for more information.
Both can be ordered from the Walkabout Books
and Maps location