Saddle Lookout

Project status

 

  • The project is nearing completion. The paths connecting the new lookout with the other viewing and visitor areas are being completed.
  • Cladding continues to be applied to the lookout structure ahead of full completion in autumn 2024.
  • The above timeline is a projection and subject to assessments, on-ground and construction industry conditions. .

Last updated: January 2024

 

Background

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 Keerray Woorroong 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 

 

Project benefits

Visitors

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.

Environment

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.

Community 

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. 

Economy

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.

The Project

Plans for the new lookout have been developed in collaboration with the Eastern Maar Aboriginal Corporation. 

Located on Keerray Woorroong 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.

An artists impression of the new Saddle Lookout

Above: Artist’s impression of the new lookout.

Above: Steel frames being installed last year - completing the first section of the project.

 

Above: Steel frames being installed earlier this year.

Above: The lookout taking shape - October 2023.



Project timeline

Subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions, the lookout is expected to be completed autumn 2024.

 

Access changes

To ensure public safety during construction, the below shaded area is closed to public access.

Visitors can 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.

A map showing the location of the new Saddle Lookout

Project funding

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.

Related information 



FAQs


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 in autumn 2024.

 
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?

Extensive and detailed geotechnical investigations were undertaken as part the detailed design of the new lookout. The investigations examined the soil and rock formations that support the Saddle Lookout and the adjacent cliffs. The geology and processes of erosion in the area are clearly understood and the lookout has been designed to allow for them. 


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