Christmas Eve traffic changes at Twelve Apostles
Thursday 17 December, 2020
Visitors to the Twelve Apostles over the summer holiday period are encouraged to plan ahead, with traffic management being implemented from Christmas Eve.
While there will be no international travellers this year, Parks Victoria is still anticipating large numbers of domestic visitors to the iconic site this summer. Last year, daily visitor numbers during the Christmas week reached 15,000.
To reduce congestion and manage pedestrian safety, speed limit reductions and roadside barriers will be in place on the Great Ocean Road between Gibson Steps and Loch Ard Gorge. Message boards and traffic controllers will help manage the flow of vehicles and additional parking space will be available at the Twelve Apostles.
Victoria Police will also have an increased presence, undertaking safety patrols to ensure speed limits and traffic directions are observed.
With COVIDSafe Summer restrictions in place and people being asked to physically distance, practise good hygiene and wear a mask when required, Park Rangers will be monitoring the narrow boardwalks and lookouts at the Twelve Apostles. If public health directions are not being maintained, a queuing system for access to lookouts may be implemented.
To support visitors, Park Rangers will be onsite providing information and guidance, physical distancing signage will be installed and cleaning will be increased at toilets and in public areas.
Visitors to all parks and reserves across the state can stay safe this summer by washing their hands regularly, carrying a face mask, coughing and sneezing into their elbow, and staying home if unwell. Visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au for the latest public health information.
The plan to reduce congestion and improve safety on the Great Ocean Road was developed and is supported operationally and financially by Regional Development Victoria, Regional Roads Victoria, Victoria Police, Corangamite Shire and Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism.
The level of traffic management in place is subject to visitor numbers and can be scaled down and up as required. Subject to visitor numbers, traffic management is also expected to be in place for Chinese New Year and the Easter long weekend 2021.
Traffic and road safety changes
24 December 2020 – 3 January 2021, then weekends through January.
- Roadside barriers: To prevent illegal roadside parking, barriers will be installed along the Great Ocean Road, from approximately 200 metres west of the Twelve Apostles visitor centre to 300 metres east of Gibson Steps, and 200 metres each side of the Loch Ard Gorge carpark entrance.
- Speed limit reductions: To ensure the safety of pedestrians and drivers, the speed limit will be reduced to 40kms along the Great Ocean Road, from approximately 200 metres west of the Twelve Apostles visitor centre to 300 metres east of Gibson Steps, and 200 metres each side of the Loch Ard Gorge carpark entrance. The speed limit will rise to 60kms in these locations outside of operational times (approximately 11am-6pm).
- Traffic control: Signage and dedicated traffic control staff will direct vehicles on the Great Ocean Road and in car parks to ensure safe and smooth traffic flow into and around the precinct
Quotes attributable to Parks Victoria, Area Chief Ranger, Michael Smith:
“While 2020 has been a very different year, we’re still expecting high numbers of visitors to the Twelve Apostles during the Christmas and summer holiday period.”
“For the benefit of our staff and other visitors, we’re asking people to continue physically distancing and wearing masks when required, and of course follow the directions of traffic controllers and Park Rangers.”
“To get the most of your trip and support local businesses and communities, I’d encourage people to visit early in the day and then explore more of this beautiful part of Victoria.”
“Nearby are many natural attractions like the Bay of Islands, Bay of Martyrs and London Bridge, as well as accessible towns like Port Campbell, Timboon, Princetown and Cobden.”