Visit the Twelve Apostles and Port Campbell
At the very start of the eastern end of the Shipwreck Coast and about a 1.5 hours drive away from Apollo Bay stand the Twelve Apostles.
The Twelve Apostles are giant rock stacks that rise majestically from the Southern Ocean and are the central feature of the rugged Port Campbell National Park. They have been created by constant erosion of the limestone cliffs over many millions of years.
The stormy Southern Ocean and blasting winds gradually eroded the softer limestone, forming caves in the cliffs. The caves eventually became arches and when they collapsed, rock stacks up to 45 metres high were left isolated from the shore.
There is a well equipped visitor centre nearby and many viewing platforms to take full advantage of the panorama.
The Shipwreck Coast is named after the many ships and lives that were lost in this area in the 19th century before lighthouses were built to guide the mariners safely through the Bass Strait.
On the way to the Twelve Apostles from Apollo Bay, why not visit the Cape Otway Lightstation which is the oldest surviving lighthouse in mainland Australia. The light, which has been in continuous operation since 1848, is perched on towering sea cliffs where Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean collide. For thousands of immigrants, after many months at sea, Cape Otway was their first sight of land after leaving Europe.
Next stop on the road is Johanna beach to see some big waves crashing ashore. This beach hs been used as an alternative during the world surf championships when Bells Beach conditions are unsuitable.
After visiting the Twelve Apostles a stop in Port Campbell is worth considering as it has a good range of dining and shopping options. Beyond Port Campbell and close to Peterborogh is the magnificent Bay of Islands Coastal Park that stretches over 30km towards Warrnambool. You can return to Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road head back inland through the lakes district of Colac and on to Apollo Bay through the Great Otway National Park.
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