If you’ve read any guide book or article about the best places to visit in Australia, The Twelve Apostles in Victoria has no doubt been high on the list! Located approximately four hours from Melbourne in Port Campbell National Park along the Great Ocean Road are these incredible limestone rock stacks standing tall in the Southern Ocean. It took me 24 years to get down to the Twelve Apostles and I can not believe I hadn’t ventured down their earlier.
Living in Victoria it is easy to forget about the beautiful locations in my own state. Some of them are a three to four hour drive away, so I really want to dedicate a whole day or weekend to getting down to them and back to the city so I don’t have to rush my way through them! There are so many amazing places to visit along the Great Ocean Road, but the Twelve Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge have got to be my absolute favourites! They are the kind of sites that live up to your expectations and exceed all the pictures you’ve seen on postcards and travel books. Here is some more information about The Twelve Apostles.
The Twelve Apostles were created due to constant erosion of the limestone cliffs on the mainland, beginning around 10 to 20 million years ago. The waves of the Southern Ocean and strong winds have gradually eroded the softer limestone, forming caves in the cliffs. The caves eventually became arches and when they began to collapse they left rock stacks, up to 45 meters high, standing in the ocean and creating some of Victoria’s most dramatic coastline. The continuing erosion means that several have fallen since their discovery, leaving eight apostles standing.
There are a few different places to stop around The Twelve Apostles and Port Campbell National Park. Make sure you keep an eye out for the London Bridge, Loch Ard Gorge, The Arch, The Grotto and Bay of Islands. Another definite is Gibson Steps, which allows you to take the 86 steps down to the beach to be dwarfed by the 70 meter limestone rock stacks in the water. Unfortunately access to the beach is dependent on the weather and it was closed on the day that we visited, but I will definitely be back to experience the rocks from down on the beach.
How to get there
The Twelve Apostles are located 275 kilometers west of Melbourne, approximately a four-hour drive along the Great Ocean Road. If you don’t have a car or you’re not interested in driving, the best way to explore this part of Victoria would be to sign up for a day tour from Melbourne’s city centre, as trains and buses can be extremely difficult getting all the way down the coast. Whether you’re a tourist to Australia for the first time or a born and raised Victorian like myself, the Twelve Apostles are a must see for everyone!
12 Apostles Visitors Centre
Great Ocean Road & Booringa Road
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