The 12 Apostles are a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park on the southern coast of Victoria, 275 kilometres west of Melbourne. The name is a little curious as there were only ever 9 stacks. There are now 8 left after one collapsed in 2005.
We drove along the spectacular Great Ocean Road to reach the 12 Apostles. The coast is rugged and beautiful and the countryside dramatic. I would show you more, but almost every time we stopped the car to take photos it began to rain.
A howling wind greeted us as we stepped onto the viewing platform. I could barely stand, let alone hold the camera still, but I managed a few photos.
The Apostles are created by erosion. The harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually erode the soft limestone cliffs to form caves, which then become arches. These then collapse and leaving rock stacks up to 50 metres high.
It is possible to see the effects of erosion on the nearest stack. The rate of erosion is about 2 centimetres a year. Wave action and wind is likely to produce more stacks in the future.
The cliffs were certainly taking a beating the day we visited.
The viewing area is very well set up. There is an enormous car park beside the highway with an information centre. Access to the platform is via an underpass, making the car park a discrete distance from the 12 Apostles.
The Great Ocean Rd is an Australian National Heritage listed 244 kilometre stretch of road along the south east coast of Australia between Torquay and Allanford.
It was built by approximately 3,000 returned soldiers between 1919 and 1932 and dedicated to soldiers killed during WWI. Construction was done by hand; using explosives, pick and shovel, wheel barrows and some small machinery. It is difficult to drive along the road without thinking of the soldiers and the hardships they endured.