There were only ever nine ‘Twelve Apostles’, and they were originally called the Sow and Piglets. They were renamed the Twelve Apostles in 1922.
They are limestone stacks about 45-50 metres high. They were formed by the erosion of the shoreline leaving the stacks. Further erosion is expected to create new stacks in the future. Some very recent discoveries – March 2016 – of some more limestone stacks about 5 kilometres offshore and underwater are testing the theory of how the Twelve Apostles was formed.
On 3 July 2005, a 50-metre-tall stack collapsed, leaving eight. On 25 September 2009 another stack collapsed, but this was actually one of the smaller stacks of the Three Sisters formation.
Joe Mortelliti‘s life long love, from when he was first given a Brownie camera as a boy, was photography. It was the focus of his work life for many years. He loved to travel with his wife Marion to as many parts of Australia as he could. He had the ability to ‘see’ the beauty of our land in such a way that he could photograph it for the delight of others. These photos are a legacy that he has left us. Used by permission and with appreciation.
In 1969 I drove up the dirt to the cliff edge, got out took a few paces, and photographed the sunset on the Twelve Apostles. The transformation that has occurred at this viewing site is extensive with dramatic cliff hugging board walks. Access is by walking through a tunnel under the road from the car park. These facilities are impressive, designed for tourism, but I’m glad to have enjoyed it when it natural.
This is the scene from the main viewing point, captured in the beautiful morning light, which was low and crisp.
On 3 July 2005, the 50-metre-tall stack in the foreground of this picture collapsed, leaving eight. See pic below.
The Twelve Apostles, Great Ocean Road Victoria Australia. These structures are one of the most photographed in Australia. We were here in the early morning light, and for this shot featured the sand and wave patterns on the beach as part of the scene.
On 3 July 2005 one of the Twelve Apostles, a 50-metre-tall stack collapsed, leaving just eight. Compare this pic with the two previous pics and you can see where the stack was, leaving just a pile of rocks.
Dark stormy clouds backdrop the scene, rough seas stir up spray, and a beam of light spotlights two of the structures of the Twelve Apostles. This area certainly is spectacular.
Bright sunlight picks out the two stacks of the Twelve Apostles east of the lookout. This is a wild and rugged coastline, rightly feared by the old time sailing ships.
Looking east a soft twilight of pink tones settled on two of the twelve. Turning 180 degrees and you see the sun setting beyond the Twelve Apostles.
London Bridge is to the left out of the picture. The beach here is not accessible and wave action is normally very rough. We have found that this beach and Sherbrooke Beach put on the best ‘wild seas’ spectacle.
The main arch of London Bridge collapsed in 1990. A number of people had to be air lifted off the remaining structure by helicopter some hours after the collapse.
Wave action slices and shapes the limestone rock at London Bridge. We have visited this spot many times and found the waves to be very powerful on this beach, thundering and crashing to shore and on rocks. We have noted that this beach and Sherbrooke beach put on a great show of powerful waves.
We headed down a dirt track to the edge of the cliffs to capture this scene. The track in is a bit rough and not the sealed access to be found at most viewing points. We spent a long time here without any other tourists arriving, but we could see them zipping along between Port Campbell and the Twelve Apostles. I used a long lens, and you can see huge waves crashing on rocks at Sherbrooke Beach. In the background are the Twelve Apostles.
Port Campbell was first settled in the 1870s, with the Port Campbell Post Office opening on 19 March 1874. It was renamed Port Campbell West Post Office in 1881 when a new Port Campbell Post Office opened near the wharf which was built in 1880. There has been quite a bit of growth in recent years, almost doubling from 372 in the 2001 census, to 599 in the 2006 census. The population rises during the holiday times. Port Campbell is on the Great Ocean Road, roughly halfway between Apollo Bay and Warrnambool.
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