By Graeme Kemlo

While Victoria’s best known international attraction, the Great Ocean Road (GOR), is still looking to interstate visitors, as micenet reported last month (you can read about it here), major new infrastructure projects should secure its longer-term future.

The GOR region has seen an increase in interstate and Victorian visitors with the recent lifting of COVID restrictions, but it is still well below its annual eight million visitors, missing 800,000 international day trippers, and it needs to convert its day visitors into overnight guests.

The state planning minister has given planning approval for a $350 million Cape Otway Road Australia (CORA) development for an elite sport and tourism hub at Modewarre, south west of Geelong. It will include performance sports training, tertiary education, health facilities, lodge-style student accommodation and a 128-room residential hotel and retail village. Building is scheduled to commence on the 220-hectare site in the first quarter of next year and it will create 1000 jobs and draw 350,000 visitors a year.

An $85 million eco-resort is also proposed for Cape Bridgewater at the western end of the GOR. There has been local objection to this development of an 88-room hotel with 18 villas and capacity for 238 guests on a headland overlooking the ocean.

The government regards the Cape Bridgewater area as second only to the Twelve Apostles coast. And the industry sees it as providing an opportunity to extend the GOR experience and enhance regional business and leisure tourism.