Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gibsons Steps and 12 Apostles

Visitors are advised to check tide and ocean conditions before visiting Gibson Steps. This beach offers spectacular viewing opportunities in the right conditions. Park at the 12 Apostles car park and take the 1.2km trail to the top of the steps. 

Look at the view and clear water.

Prepare to be dwarved by the enormity of the cliffline and offshore stacks. The sheer scale of natural sculpting evident at this site is humbling. In local vernacular Gog and Magog are the names given to the two offshore stacks that may be viewed from both the viewing platform and (tide and sea permitting) and from beach level. These are not considered part of the 12 Apostles. The steps were carved into the cliff by local settler Hugh Gibson who worked on traditional access used by the original Kirrae Whurrong inhabitants.

The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction. Currently there are eight apostles left, the ninth one of the stacks collapsed dramatically in July 2005. The name remains significant and spectacular especially in the Australian tourism industry.

The apostles were formed by erosion: the harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 50 metres high. Now because of this erosion there are fewer than ten remaining. The site was known as the Sow and Piglets until 1922 (Muttonbird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, was the Sow, and the smaller rock stacks were the Piglets); after which it was renamed to The Apostles for tourism purposes. The formation eventually became known as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having nine stacks.

We drove there so it was much easier for us.

Great Ocean Road Route by section (not allowing for stops)

Melbourne to Torquay 1hr 30 minutes
Torquay to Lorne 1hr (total 2hr 30 minutes from Melbourne)
Lorne to Apollo Bay 45 minutes (total 3hr 15 minutes from Melbourne)
Apollo Bay to 12 Apostles 1 hr (total 4 hr 15 minutes from Melbourne)
12 Apostles to Port Campbell 10 minutes (total 4 hr 30 minutes from Melbourne)
Port Campbell to Peterborough 10 minutes (total 4 hr 40 minutes from Melbourne)
Peterborough to Warrnambool 50 minutes (total 5 hr 30 minutes from Melbourne)
Warrnambool to Port Fairy 30 minutes (total 6 hours from Melbourne)