Sitting right on hills behind one of the longest beaches on the Great Ocean Road is the small but mighty settlement of Eastern View.
Although the official start to the Great Ocean Road is in Torquay, Eastern View is where the tourists think it starts and where the road then moves to the edge of cliffs. From here to Apollo Bay the road is carved into the hills, winding its way forward through towns that were only accessible by sailing through the rough ocean or walking through dense forest until the Great Ocean Road was built.
Construction first began on the Great Ocean Road on the 19th of the 9th, 1919. There was a walking track connecting Eastern View to the rest of civilisation and it was turned into a road and population dramatically grew. Now, Eastern View is a beautiful and sought after spot for a holiday home and has dozens of incredible villas in the hills.
Looking west on Eastern View Beach
Looking to the east
Toll gate to memorial arch
As construction commenced on the Great Ocean Road, Eastern View only had four households living here, although over 3,000 men set-up camp.
The workers set up a military type camp where they had rows of tents, a mess hall and vegetable garden. It took them about 3 months to build the first 1km of road heading west from Eastern View. Once construction had advanced, they packed up the camp and moved it further west.
In 1922, the road from Eastern View to Lorne had been built and cars were allowed to travel along this part of it. A toll gate was set-up in Eastern View with the money being used to fund further development of the Great Ocean Road.
In 1936, the Government took over ownership of the Great Ocean Road and demolished the toll gate, replacing it with a memorial arch dedicated to those who built the road.
Eastern View Memorial Arch
Eastern View is now a popular tourist destination, not only for international tourists stopping in to take a photo on the beach or at the arch, but also for people from Melbourne and Geelong where they’ll buy a second home here that’s their ‘beach house’.
Driving along the Great Ocean Road past Eastern View, you’ll see some incredible and huge houses sitting on the hills with a view out to Bass Strait. Most of these places can be rented as short-term holiday accommodation and are easy to find online.