How to Visit the 12 Apostles

Just outside of Melbourne City, the Great Ocean Road languishes out along the stunning coastline, bringing visitors an eclectic selection of natural attractions and manmade landmarks. The unique structure of the 12 Apostles is perhaps the most popular sight in the area, featuring a collection of limestone stacks that shoot skywards just beside the Port Campbell National Park.

At the moment, only eight apostles remain after the ninth collapsed back in 2005, but it still promises a stunning sight – especially if you visit at sunrise or sunset.

12 Apostles

How the 12 Apostles Were Formed

The Apostles were created through twenty million years of erosion. Where the harsh weather and sea spray across the Southern Ocean cut away at the soft limestone cliffs of the coast. This slowly led to the caves and cliffs nestled by the shore region. Over time, these caves were also chipped away, until the arch ceilings finally collapsed, leaving behind massive rock stacks that soared up to 50 metres into the sky.

Although their name suggests only twelve stacks, Interestingly enough, the formation has only ever had nine stacks despite its name. Today, only eight rock stacks remaining because of the continued erosion that takes place on the coast. Before it was ever known as the 12 Apostles, it was nicknamed the Sow and Pigs. With Muttonbird island being the sow, and the massive rock stacks being the pigs. However, the name was changed mainly for marketing purposes, which had a better ring to it.

Soon, all these stacks will disappear into the crashing waves, but it may not be the last apostles of the region. With the continuation of the clifftop erosion predicting that there will be some brand-new apostles’ stacks emerging from the coast in the near future.

How to Get to the 12 Apostles

Getting to the 12 Apostles is easy if you’re travelling from Melbourne. Simply pick up the Great Ocean Road from Melbourne and cruise past the stunning sights for around four and a half hours via Geelong. On the way back, you can always hop on the inland route via the Princes Highway to save time.

Top Tips for Visiting the 12 Apostles

Want to make the most of your time visiting the 12 Apostles? Here are some top tips:

  • See the Brilliant Colours of the Rocks

    12 Apostles

    The 12 Apostles is always a crowded tourist spot, with herds of families, couples, and solo guests roaming about the area. During the day, the stack’s shine out of the sparkling sea, with the multicoloured rock sections creating a brilliant contrast amongst the deep blue. However, once the sun starts to go down, the rocks face and the feel alters. With sunset (or sunrise) lets you see the 12 Apostles with the fiery glow of the sun as a picturesque backdrop. The golden glow enhances the rock colours, creating brilliant flecks of rose and red. Another great bonus is typical during the sunset and sunrise, the tourist number is low. Giving you plenty of room to wander around and take that perfect photo sans people.

  • Take to the Skies

    12 Apostles View from Sky

    To see the stacks from a unique perspective, take to the skies on a scenic helicopter flight for a bird’s eye view. If you have some extra cash to spend, this experience can turn your average trip into an unforgettable one, seeing the incredible rock formations from above the crashing waves and amidst the clouds. The journey is usually only a 15-minute long flight, but it is more than enough time to experience the perfect scenery from this height.

  • Walk around the Region

    Take a stroll along the Great Ocean Walk, which ends at the 12 Apostles to see more of the rugged landscape and to turn your visit into more of an adventure. Make sure you set aside enough time to explore the dramatic coastline that surrounds the 12 Apostles.

Discover the Nearby Wonders

It’s not just the 12 Apostles that bring the herds of tourists to Great Ocean Road, for the region is bursting with wonders.

  • Great Otway’s National Park

    Trade in the sea and sand for lush greenery and cascading waterfalls. With the Great Otway’s blooming with bright flora and unique fauna. It is a spectacular rainforest, stretching out along the coastline of the Great Ocean road. Home to many wondrous plants, spectacular animals, and countless walking paths and outlook points. Spend a morning, afternoon, or even a full day in the thick bushland, discovering hidden treasures. While you swim in the freshwater, climb up the mountaintop, or enjoy a picnic in the soft grass. surplus of nature. Victoria’s wildlife is iconic, with some of the most beloved animals Australia has to offer littering the trees and grassland.

  • Lord Ard Gorge

    For a bit more human history of Great Ocean Road, no place is better than the Lord Ard Gorge. With an entire section of the road’s coast famously nicknamed the ‘Shipwreck Coast’. All due to the 700 ships which have fallen to their doom in the coast’s shallow waters. Although there are hundreds of stories, the most famous is Lord Ard, which met its demise in 1878. The Lord Ard ship was bound for Melbourne, hitting a thick wave of fog when passing the Bass Strait. Due to this, none of the crew or captain saw the imminent cliffs off Mutton Bird Island. Out of the 54 passengers and crewmembers, only 2 survived. The first was crewmember Tom Pearce, who made it to the beach, before heading back out to save the screaming Eva Carmichael. The beach the two eventually washed up on was named Loch Ard Gorge to honour the fallen vessel. Now a tourist favourite for its tragic history and beautiful scenery.

  • Apollo Bay

    If you are after a quick bite to eat or a place to stay, Apollo Bay is the perfect beach holiday spot. Featuring the small-town charm along with beautiful rainforest and beach views, Apollo Bay has a little something for everyone. As it is only around an hour from the 12 Apostle’s, you can enjoy the sunset at the 12 Apostles before heading back for a delicious dinner and relaxing sleep.

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s best-loved attractions, and the 12 Apostles only exacerbate this. If you’re in the area, make sure you visit to catch a glimpse of one of the country’s most incredible natural wonders.

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