Average Gradient: 21.6%
Elevation gain: 84 meters
Traffic: Light traffic
Here is a link to the Strava segment here:
Lorne is a breathtaking seaside town where the bush meets the beach. It is situated in the Ottway Ranges on the Great Ocean Road. It is a stunning place to visit with its winding coast line, and mountain ranges. All of the roads in the township of Lorne are very steep, and offers some of the state’s toughest climbs
This is Victoria’s hardest climb. With gradients that push close to 40% this is one scary climb. What makes it extra difficult is the fact the road is little over a car length wide. You don’t have much space to zig zag up. On the steepest section there are a couple of rough patches which make traction difficult. Near where the climb peaks at 40% there is a technical corner. This is very difficult to negotiate. Often you will find loose gravel on the corner. This can be very difficult to dodge when the gradient is sitting over 30%. As well as the slow speeds I guarantee that you will be doing.
Is Francis Street climbable?
Francis Street is purely for the hill junkies. Virtually everyone who has attempted this climb has failed. You would get major bragging rights to getting up this climb in one piece. A climb like this should not be attempted unless you are comfortable with climbing gradients around 20%.
Whether you’re staying overnight or just passing through. Take time out to wander down Lorne’s main shopping strip filled with boutique gift stores. Cellars, eateries and galleries. Relax with a latte at a sidewalk cafe. Picnic under the trees on the foreshore. Or dine on freshly caught seafood at a local restaurant.
Make sure that you visit the Lorne surf beach, the only patrolled beach in town. Cool off in the sparkling waters of Loutit Bay or take a stroll up to Shelley Beach to explore the rock pools. The nearby Great Otway National Park is a nature lover’s playground with misty waterfalls, giant ferns and ancient forest. Discover the Erskine Falls cascading into a beautiful fern gully, one of ten waterfalls within ten minutes of town.
For those keen on a bit of fishing during their holidays, the Lorne Pier is a great place to cast a line for trevally, barracuda and whiting. Keep an eye out for migrating whales between May and September. Lorne is one of the best spots along the Great Ocean Road to see these giants of the deep as they make their journey along the coast.