Lorne Historical Society and history centre

Beautiful Lorne, on Victoria’s picturesque Surf Coast is known internationally for its stunning beach, view over the majestic Southern Ocean and access to the Great Otway National Park and its natural splendour.

But while Lorne is famous today as a tourist destination, it also has a rich history, overflowing with stories from its original indigenous inhabitants and traditional custodians through to tales of European settlement, timber harvesting, shipwrecks and visionary post-war employment initiative, The Great Ocean Road, now one of the world’s most scenic and iconic routes.

The story of Lorne is also the story of the Lorne Historical Society, which has a clear and definite charter:

  • To foster interest in historical knowledge particularly but not exclusively in the district of Lorne.
  • To collect, preserve and display artefacts and items of historical interest.
  • To store, compile and publish historical records relating to the history of the Lorne district.

From its beginnings in 1969, the Lorne Historical Society has documented the history of the township and surrounding district, gathering facts, photographs and assorted merchandise from the region’s rich past. Various publications and books about Lorne’s history are the work of historical society members who have also played a leading role in a heritage walk which tracks the town’s indigenous and European heritage and historic landmarks and the tales that accompany those landmarks.

Lorne would not be what it is today without the efforts of numerous families which have their roots in the coastal village, and The Great Ocean Road has opened Lorne up to the rest of the world, carrying a ceaseless stream of visitors from across the nation and overseas. The incredible story of The Great Ocean Road, recognised on the Australian National Heritage List, is the centrepiece of The Great Ocean Road Heritage Centre.