Situated right at the end of Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles are a set of eight rock formations—there used to be twelve—jutting out of the Southern Ocean. These limestone pillars were once connected to the nearby cliffs but have been eroded away into caves, pillars, and arches from the harsh conditions of the ocean.
A majority of the tours to the Twelve Apostles are full-day tours leaving from Melbourne in the early morning. There are many stops and photo opportunities along the way as you drive down the Great Ocean Road, such as Loch Ard Gorge, Apollo Bay, and Port Campbell. Discover the native wildlife, such as koalas and kangaroos, and learn about the local indigenous culture. For those who want a bird’s-eye view, take a helicopter tour over the Victorian coast.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Twelve Apostles can be viewed from the viewpoint above or down on the beach, reached via the Gibson Steps.
- The Great Ocean Road can be very chilly due to the strong winds from the Southern Ocean, so it’s best to dress in layers.
- The Twelve Apostles Visitor Facility, located across the B100 highway, has an information center, restrooms and a drinking fountain (with wheelchair accessibility), a large parking area, and a small cafe.
How to Get There
For those who would like to road trip on their own, drive along the coastal B100 highway to reach the Twelve Apostles. Visitors can also rent a bike or book a cycling tour to explore the Great Ocean Road at their own pace. For the truly adventurous, the 65-mile (104-kilometer) Great Ocean Walk from Apollo Bay to the Twelve Apostles may be of interest.
When to Get There
The Twelve Apostles is one of Australia’s most popular attractions. Avoid the large crowds from tourist buses by getting to the rock formations in the early morning or late afternoon. Alternately, if you drive inland to get to the sight, and then take the Great Ocean Road back to Melbourne, it's generally a less crowded route.
The Shipwreck Coast
The Bass Strait was once a very busy shipping route, bringing supplies and immigrants to Melbourne from all over the world. But the waters were quite treacherous during bad weather. This resulted in upwards of 700 ships meeting a bitter end along this coastline, some of which can still be seen today between Port Fairy and Cape Otway.