The 12 Apostles is one of Australia’s famous landmarks. Sitting just off the Great Ocean Road you’ll find the limestone rock stacks jutting 45 metres from the Southern Ocean. The popular site has its own facilities too. They now feature a visitor centre and paved walkways to the viewing platforms.
How many of the 12 apostles are left in 2019?
There are currently seven rock stacks still standing at the 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road. One of the limestone stacks is further away from the other six that you can see from the main viewing platform.
At 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, there were never 12 rock stacks, to begin with. There were nine at the beginning of the 21st century. One of them collapsed on 3rd July 2005, and another in 2009. This leaves the remaining seven Apostles.
Due to the way the limestone rock is eroding, it is expected that there will be new apostles forming. The new rocks will form from the headland in the future.
Why are the 12 Apostles called the 12 Apostles?
No one really knows why they’re called the 12 apostles as there were never 12 anyway. The site was previously referred to as the Sow and Piglets until 1922.
The name change was likely due to tourism.
When did the 12 Apostles collapse?
There are two known limestone rock stacks at the 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road, that have collapsed. The first happened on 3rd July 2005 and the second is believed to have collapsed on 25th September 2009.
How are the 12 apostles changing?
Due to the sedimentary limestone rock that makes up the coastline, each of the Apostles can be eroded by a couple of centimetres each year. This is largely down to the Southern Oceans waves eroding the rock, aided by windy conditions and the occasional storm.
Over time the remaining Apostles will collapse into the ocean. As the headland is eroded, new caves and arches and eventually complete rock stacks will form. The rock formation at the London Arch is an example of the process that creates the rock stacks like those at the 12 Apostles.
Things to do at the 12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road
As I mentioned before, the site now has a range of facilities for visitors. Given that, from Melbourne, it’s a 4.5-hour drive (275 kilometres) down the winding Great Ocean Road, or a 3.5-hour drive along Princes Highway, the on-site facilities such as toilets are very welcome.
There are a couple of viewing platforms that you can get around to angle for different views of the 12 Apostles. You’ll find the lookout spots approximately 500 metres from the visitor centre.
The 12 Apostles and Great Ocean Road are extremely popular amongst tourists and locals alike. If you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon. This way you’ll avoid the tour groups passing through.
If you want to try to take a perfect postcard photograph you’ll need to be a little patient. The crowds can often be oblivious to others, so you may need to wait to grab the ideal spot to take your pictures.
As always, make sure you have plenty of water to drink and enough sunscreen to last the day. It can be much hotter at the 12 Apostles than you realise due to the cooling wind blowing from the ocean.
Remember to keep us posted on how many of the Twelve Apostles are still standing!