Twelve Apostles – One of the most dreamy sights I have seen so far. Mere sight of it invigorated me on the misty and cloudy afternoon. (Check out more Dreamy posts here) Part of Great Ocean Road which was constructed in 1930s and traces its roots to the great Victorian Gold Rush, these tall limestone pillars, formed due to wind and water erosion, look so imposing, rising up to 150 foot. Though the name refers twelve, there exists now only eight such structures as rest of them collapsed, unable to withstand the pressure of strong sea waves at their foundations and winds of Southern Ocean. (Note: Linking this post, written earlier in Oct 2014, with this week’s (May 2015) photo challenge so that you can view more relevant photos on the topic of Forces of Nature)
When you are in Melbourne, you simply cannot miss to drive along one of the most scenic and breathtaking coastal roads in Australia, stretching from Geelong to Portland. Once you hit the small quintessential town of Torquay, you sense the feel of nature’s beauty. Torquay is very popular with the sea surfers. This place heralds the beginning of the most scenic part of the drive.
One of the best ways to enjoy these apostles is by flying over them. Take a helicopter ride and see the entire Shipwreck Coast and Port Campbell National Park, where these apostles are located.
Walk down the steps at the Loch Ard Gorge. Take a leisurely stroll along the coast and with the waves. Let the water wash your feet, while you stretch your hands and look up the heaven, thanking the almighty for such an awe-inspiring creation of nature. Not to be missed is a photograph with another iconic structure – London Arch – very close to the apostles. (Enjoy an interesting photo clicked on Great Ocean Drive)
You can listen to countless stories of tragic shipwrecks occurring on this coast. It is not only cemetery to several shipwrecks, but also home to many instances of valor and sacrifices.
Twelve apostles is part of Port Campbell National Park, which has been developed for the preservation of unique marine life of Victoria State. It is mentioned that these apostles are “standing as sentinels over an underwater paradise”. As much spectacular it is above, it is outstandingly beautiful below the water as well. This marine park houses some of the spectacular underwater scenery, with rich invertebrate communities and dramatic underwater arches, canyons and reefs. Beneath the cooler turquoise water, stands towering walls, covered in colorful seaweed and sponges that support reef fish.
While I was standing on the edge of these rugged cliffs, looking at the distant apostles rising up majestically from the water, far away cliffs were shrouded in the clouds, fabricating a mystic and dreamy spectacle, belying our eyes. It was an indelible experience, undoubtedly.
How to Reach: You can book a day tour with Friendly Group (starts from AUD 79) which I would recommend. Alternately, drive 275 km west of Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road, approximately four-hour drive, to reach the apostles.
Admission Fees: Free. Yes, you heard it right – entrance to the park absolutely FREE, except for the helicopter ride.
Best Time to Visit: Morning sunrise and evening twilight are the most picturesque, and of course the most photogenic as well.