A drive down the Great Ocean Road is incomplete without a stop at The Twelve Apostles located in the Port Campbell National Park.
The Twelve Apostles are massive limestone rock stacks formed from erosion which jut out from the Southern Ocean and are best viewed from Loch Ard Gorge. The lookouts provide magnificent views of Victoria’s notoriously rugged coastline with many visitors enjoying sunrise and sunset at Victoria’s most iconic natural landmark.
ABOUT THE TWELVE APOSTLES
The Twelve Apostles are a collection of limestone stacks which jut out from the ocean on Victoria's rugged coastline. The Apostles are one of the most recognised natural attractions in Australia and a major point of interest along the Great Ocean Road.
TWELVE APOSTLES HISTORY
The Twelve Apostles were formed through a process of erosion over many thousands of years. The harsh weather conditions of Victoria's coastline slowly eroded away the limestone.
This created caves within the cliffs. These caves were further eroded to arches and eventually these too collapsed to leave what is known as The Apostles. The process of erosion continues, currently there are eight of the original 12 Apostles remaining.
The site was called Sow and Piglets until 1922 after which it was renamed The Apostles.
VISITING THE TWELVE APOSTLES
The Apostles are located in Port Campbell National Park roughly 275kms west of Melbourne. It takes approximately four hours to drive from Melbourne to Port Campbell.
Dusk and dawn provide the best viewing times as the rock formations illuminate under the light of a full low hanging sun. If your budget can stretch, why not take a helicopter ride which gives you the unique opportunity to see the Great Ocean Road coastline and The Apostles from up above.
ATTRACTIONS NEAR THE TWELVE APOSTLES
There are many attractions in the vicinity of The Twelve Apostles.
From Melbourne, just before you head to The Apostles be sure to take the Gibsons Steps down to the beach and take in the striking vertical coastal cliffs that tower above. From here you can walk along the wild beach to the Gog and MaGog rock stacks.
After you view The Apostles head west to Loch Ard Gorge located about a 10 minutes' drive at Port Campbell National Park. The Loch Ard Gorge is so named after the Loch Ard clipper ship disaster of 1878. Only two people survived the disaster and only four bodies were recovered.
To this day, you can walk across the jagged rocks to the cave where the survivors took shelter awaiting help. The Loch Ard was once a dramatic arch however this collapsed in mid-2009. The two now separate rock formations are nicknamed Tom and Eva after the only two survivors of the shipwreck.
Further along the coast is London Bridge. Originally this offshore rock formation was a natural archway however it collapsed in 1990 and is now known as 'the bridge without a middle'. Still impressive, the geological formation is best viewed at sunrise where the rock is lit up an irridescent sandy yellow.