The Shipwreck Coast Master Plan is a comprehensive and visionary program to protect the fragile coastline between Princetown and the Bay of Islands, improve opportunities for visitors, and strengthen the local economy and employment opportunities through sustainable tourism.
A key project in Stage One of the master plan is development of the ‘Saddle Lookout’ at the Twelve Apostles visitor precinct on Kirrae Wurrung Country.
Parks Victoria partnered with Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation on the design, which was also discussed during community consultation in 2018.
The new lookout will replace existing viewing areas that no longer cater for visitor numbers, providing a superior, safer and more accessible experience that will support the regional economy and help future-proof this iconic destination.
In addition to this project is the $108.15 million Twelve Apostles Precinct Redevelopment. Being delivered by Regional Development Victoria, this investment will change how visitors experience the region. It will provide streamlined access to nature’s greatest attractions, while protecting the environment and cultural history at this spectacular location.
It will be safer and easier to enjoy the areas’ stunning natural assets, draw domestic and international visitors, and encourage visitors to stay longer, transforming a day visit into an overnight stay in the Shipwreck Coast region. For more information visit: www.rdv.vic.gov.au/grants-and-programs/twelve-apostles-precinct-redevelopment
The Twelve Apostles is one of Victoria’s most popular destinations. This project will provide a better, safer and more accessible experience for millions of visitors that will come to this iconic location into the future.
The coastal environment of the Port Campbell National Park is spectacular but fragile. The new Saddle Lookout will ensure the landscape is protected while allowing visitors to enjoy the incredible coastal views.
Nature-based tourism is an important contributor to local businesses and the regional economy. This project is part of Stage One of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan which will create jobs and bring millions of dollars to the region.
The construction phase of the Saddle Lookout project is expected to directly generate 25 jobs. Stage One of the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan is expected to support approximately 120 ongoing jobs, add $12 million to the regional economy and increase the annual visitor spend by $14 million.
Plans for the new lookout have been developed in collaboration with the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation.
Located on Kirrae Wurrung Country, the lookout design expresses the resilience of the broader Eastern Maar Nation. The two “clapsticks” of the structure are the colours of Ngayook (Sulphur Crested Cockatoo) and Ponponpoorramook (Red Tailed Black Cockatoo), which are primary totemic species to the Eastern Maar peoples.
Comprised of two long rectangular sections, one resting on the terrain’s ‘saddle’ and the other cantilevered towards the horizon, the design will momentarily conceal the coastline as visitors enter, before it is revealed as they continue further along. The lookout will be connected to the existing path network and Visitor Centre by a new concrete path and boardwalk.
Extensive and detailed geotechnical investigations were undertaken as part the detailed design of the new lookout, with controls in place to take into account the coastal landscape, geology and processes of erosion.
Above: Artist’s impression of the new lookout.
Above: Steel frames being installed last year - completing the first section of the project.
On-site works started in September 2021.
Subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions, the lookout is expected to be completed this summer.
From 14 September 2021, to ensure public safety, public access was restricted to the Castle Rock and Saddle viewing areas.
During the course of this project visitors will continue to enjoy the other lookouts, boardwalks and visitor areas at the Twelve Apostles and the other spectacular visitor sites in the Port Campbell National Park.
The shaded area below represents the current area of restriction.
The Victorian Government is providing $9.2 million to build the lookout, part of a $24.5 million investment in Stage One of the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan.
Environment and cultural heritage management
This project has received a permit from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and a cultural heritage management plan has been approved. A planning permit has also been received from Corrangamite Shire Council.
- Controlled action summary information (July 2020) (PDF)
- Annual EPBC Compliance Report 2021-22 (PDF)
- Annual EPBC Compliance Report 2022-23 (PDF)
- Media release - New Twelve Apostles Lookout to Deliver Stunning Experience
- Media release - Construction begins on Port Campbell Bridge for the Shipwreck Coast Master Plan
- Media release - New lookout shaping up at Twelve Apostles
- Media release - Twelve Apostles lookout a boost for regional tourism
- The Loch Ard Blowhole Lookout
- Twelve Apostles Precinct Redevelopment
Why is a new lookout being built?
Projects being delivered as part of the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan will improve opportunities for visitors and strengthen the local economy, providing employment opportunities through sustainable tourism.
The new Saddle Lookout will provide a better experience at this spectacular part of the Port Campbell National Park, improving accessibility, ensuring visitor safety and protecting the fragile environment.
When will the project start/finish?
This is a complex project on challenging terrain. Subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions, the lookout is expected to be completed this summer.
Was there community consultation on this project?
During 2018, Parks Victoria sought public feedback on the concept designs for the lookout, in addition to another lookout at The Blowhole (Loch Ard Gorge precinct), and a pedestrian bridge at Port Campbell.
How is the environment being protected during construction?
Environmental controls have been established for this project following permit approval from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. These controls will ensure minimal impact on the surrounding landscape.
How have you considered factors like coastal erosion when planning this lookout?