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FAQs about the 12 Apostles Australia
There are numerous questions about the 12 Apostles, most of which are answered below. If you have other questions, please post them in the Comments section at the end of the page.
What are the 12 Apostles?
The 12 Apostles are twelve rock stacks made up of limestone and other softer rock materials that jut out from the Southern Ocean along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Over the years they have become the highlight of a visit to the Great Ocean Road and a natural wonder that draws millions of tourists from Australia and around the world.
12 Apostles History
The 12 Apostles started off life with a much less prestigious title, ‘the Sow and Piglets’. The Sow was Mutton Bird Island viewable from Loch Ard Gorge and the Piglets were the other formations following along down the coast to the east. When C.J. La Trobe passed through in 1846 he recorded this name.
However, the local population always knew that our stacks had a lot more glamour than your average farm animal. Locals have used the ‘12 Apostles’ name for as long as memory serves. We are glad to say that the world has agreed with the locals and has adopted ‘12 Apostles’ and given the stacks all the dignity they deserve.
How were the 12 Apostles formed?
Differing densities of limestone interspersed with softer mudstone (marl) and calcareous clays make up the cliffs and stacks of the 12 Apostles. Port Campbell limestone is harder in its top layers than it is in its bottom layers. The softer base layers allow the initial undermining that creates overhangs, arches and eventually new stacks.
The erosive forces of waves, wind and rain have over the years cut and chiselled these limestone stacks to create the formations you see today. Surviving rock stacks like the 12 Apostles are generally comprised of “harder stuff” than areas surrounding them.
How old are the 12 Apostles?
Although the limestone that makes up the 12 Apostles dates back 15-20 million years, the formations itself that you can see have been formed in the last 6,000 years.
How many of the 12 Apostles are left?
You have never been able to see 12 stacks from the current viewing platform. So, if you are counting less, you are counting correctly! To the West there are 7 stacks that are clearly visible. The rest are hidden by headlands and obscured by other stacks.
Where are the 12 Apostles located?
The 12 Apostles are located in Port Campbell National Park located near Princetown along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.
Closest town to 12 Apostles
12 Apostles Map
How to get to the 12 Apostles?
The 12 Apostles are closer than you think and easy to reach, no matter how you choose to travel. The closest city to the Apostles is Melbourne.
Melbourne to 12 Apostles
Melbourne to 12 Apostles distance – 228km
By Car: Car touring is the best way to reach the 12 Apostles. From Melbourne, the Westgate and Princess Freeways lead you to the Geelong Ring Road and on to Great Ocean Road in an hour. The 12 Apostles is located 7km east of Port Campbell and just outside the town of Princetown. The shortest route (3 hours total) is inland on the Princess Freeway (A1) to Colac, and then on Irrewillipe Rd (C156) on to Princetown. However, the more scenic route is via the Great Ocean Road from Geelong (4.5hrs total).
By Train: Regular trains run from Melbourne and Geelong to Winchelsea, Colac, Camperdown and Warrnambool.
By Bus: Public Transport Victoria runs V/Line buses several times a day along the Great Ocean Road from Geelong to Apollo Bay. Buses run 3 times a week from Apollo Bay to Warrnambool stopping at Princetown along the way. Visit ptv.vic.gov.au for details.
Tickets are also available at the Lorne Visitors Centre and Great Ocean Road Visitor Information Centre in Apollo Bay.
Lorne to 12 Apostles
Lorne to 12 Apostles distance – 129km
By Car: Head along the Great Ocean Road or inland via Colac which will save you 30 mins.
By Bus: Take a V/Line bus to Apollo Bay and change for a bus to Warrnambool stopping at Princetown along the way. See above for details.
12 Apostles Address
Great Ocean Rd & Booringa Rd,
Tell us what you think. If you’ve been to the 12 Apostles before, how did you see it? What was your experience of this natural wonder? Please leave your comments below.