The Twelve Apostles are one of the Great Ocean Road’s most iconic attractions. They are a group of limestone rocks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, and are located just a short drive from Alkina Lodge. Any trip to the Great Ocean Road is not complete without witnessing the rugged splendour of these magnificent rock stacks that rise up from the Southern Ocean on Victoria’s dramatic coastline.
How to get to the 12 Apostles
Alkina Lodge is in fact the closest luxury accommodation option to the Twelve Apostles. Taking the scenic route from Moonlight Head Road and then along the Great Ocean Road, the Twelve Apostles Visitor Facility and viewing platforms are just 20 minutes away, making a visit to this iconic attraction an easy half day trip.
History of the 12 Apostles
The Twelve Apostles were formed by constant erosion of the mainland beginning 10-20 million years ago, with the harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroding the soft limestone cliffs to form caves. These caves then became arches, in turn collapsing and leaving rock stacks up to 50 metres high.
There are currently eight apostles left, with the ninth collapsing dramatically in 2005. The rate of erosion at the base of the limestone pillars is approximately 2cm per year. However in saying that, due to the wave action that is eroding the cliff face, existing headlands are expected to become new limestone stacks in the future.
Viewing the 12 Apostles
There is a Twelve Apostles Visitor Facility located at the site of the Twelve Apostles, and comprises an orientation area, viewing areas, interpretation displays, kiosk (which sells basic refreshments), toilets and a carpark. Access to the viewing areas is via a short tunnel under the Great Ocean Road. You can view the Twelve Apostles at any time, however the kiosk is only open for several hours during the day.
There are several viewing areas from where you can view the Twelve Apostles. The main designated viewing area is quite long and makes for a relaxing stroll. There are also rest benches along the way to relax and take in the magnificent view.
A smaller designated viewing area is located approximately 180 metres further along the main path, with a third, known locally as ‘The Saddle’, providing views of the Twelve Apostles in the north west and the Gibson Steps beach in the south east. The fourth designated viewing area of the Twelve Apostles is known locally as ‘The Bunker’, and includes bench seats for you to sit and take in the scenery.
When to visit the 12 Apostles
The best time to visit the 12 Apostles is at either sunrise or sunset, dawn or dusk, with those times providing the best photography opportunities due to the light. There will also be fewer people around at that time of day, meaning you can have a more intimate experience taking in the beauty of one of Australia’s most beloved icons. Another reason to wait until dusk to visit the 12 Apostles, is to catch a glimpse of the little penguins returning ashore. Sightings vary, but generally they arrive 20-40 minutes after sunset. It is recommended you bring binoculars with you.
After a morning or afternoon visiting the 12 Apostles, enjoy the tranquillity and luxury that Alkina Lodge offers, as the closest luxury accommodation option to the attraction.