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Great Ocean Road : 22-April-2012
Great Ocean Road : 22-April-2012

Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The lookout at Mount Defiance was erected in memory of Howard Hitchcock (1866 - 1932) who initiated the building of the Great Ocean Road. The lookout was erected in 1934 and the plaque was unveiled at the lookout in 1935. 

Howard Hitchcock CMG OBE  was mayor of the City of Geelong in Victoria, from 1917 to 1922, and a member of the Victorian Legislative Council for South Western Province from 1925 until 1931. He was also a philanthropist who organised the funding and construction of Australia's Great Ocean Road. 

In 1918, the Great Ocean Road Trust was formed as a private company, under the helm of president Hitchcock. The company managed to secure £81,000 in capital from private subscription and borrowing, with Hitchcock himself contributing £3000. Money would be repaid by charging drivers a toll until the debt was cleared, and the road would then be gifted to the state.

Hitchcock died of heart disease on 22 August 1932, before the road was completed in November 1932.

Following a visit of inspection last week by Mr. W. T. B. McCormack, chairman of the Country Roads Board, and Mr. C. R. Herschell, honorary managing director of the Great Ocean Road Trust, the directors decided to proceed immediately with the building of the memorial to the founder of the road, the late Mr. Howard Hitchcock. This will take the form of a parapet or wall, the design of which is being prepared by officers of the Country Roads Board, It will be 140 leet in length, built of rock and cement, and is to be erected at Mount Defiance between Lorne and Wye River.

In the centre of the wall there will be a raised platform or lookout, and the road at this point will be widened to 30 feet to allow of car parking so that tourists may alight and obtain comprehensive views both ways of the gigantic and majestic scenery, with the waves lashing the rocks 191 feet below. A tablet will be erected to the memory of the men of the A.I.F. for whom the road was built, to provide employment and as a memorial. On the Big Hill between Eastern View and Lome another lookout is to be erected at Cinema Point, and a tablet erected to the memory of the late Capt. E, Morley, M.L.A., who for many years was secretary of the trust. From this point a wonderful panoramic view of forest, river and ocean scenery is obtained.
Age (Melbourne), 28 July 1934.  



Address:Great Ocean Road, Mount Defiance Lookout, Mount Defiance, 3234
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -38.587224
Long: 143.933936
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Local
Actual Event Start Date:04-August-1914
Actual Event End Date:28-June-1919


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 4th April, 1935
Front Inscription


This Lookout Was Erected
       In 1934
To The Memory Of
 The Honourable
C.M.G., M.L.C., J.P.
Who Founded
The Great Ocean Road Trust
         In 1918.

Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au