The 12 Apostles

The ever changing sandstone stacks along The Great Ocean Road near Port Campbell, know as The 12 Apostles, are a photographer’s dream in almost any weather.  For the more adventurous there are opportunities to climb down into some of the coves.  Visit the interpretive centre opposite Loch Ard Gorge to better understand nature’s relentless work on these amazing rock formations.

Though the name says ’12’ there were 9 limestone stacks at most, and since the last collapse in 2005 there are currently 8.  The relentless work of waves and winds will inevitably lead to more collapsing stacks, but nature is working away at points under some of the cliff face. Take a helicopter ride along this coast and see the large caves created by these forces.  Eventually the caves form arches which later collapse to form new apostles.

This area is called the Shipwreck Coast for the large number of shipwrecks in the 1800’s.  Many of the ships that foundered along this coast had sailed from Europe bringing prospectors to the Victorian goldfields of Ballarat and Bendigo.  In competition to provide the fastest passage to Melbourne, shipping companies sailed south from Europe, skirting the ice flows of antartica, then sailing up the west coast of Tasmania headed for Cape Otway.  This meant navigating some of the wildest oceans on earth in search of that elusive cape.  In storms or fogs ships could easily lose their bearings and come up further west than planned.  Looking at the ocean crashing into the cliffs and sandstone stacks, one can easily imagine the terror of those on board a doomed ship.

There are viewing platforms and carparks all along this stretch, so it is a drive-stop-view-drive-stop-view experience unless you take the Gibson Steps to the beach.  Allow about 90 minutes for this stop (without the steps).

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Traveller Experiencing The 12 Apostles

These are photos and occasionally videos that people have uploaded to Instagram with #12apostles, while enjoying their holiday along the Great Ocean Road

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The 12 Apostles Port Campbell National Park