One of my favourite places in Australia is found along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. My first adventure without my family was to Port Campbell and as teenagers, we explored everything the area had to offer. I remember walking along the beach at Gibson Steps thinking that I would never experience anything more breathtaking. The 12 Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge – my first real taste of nature’s beauty at it’s best! The first of many Bucket List locations ticked off! Fast forward, 25 years and my visit to this coastline still gives me goosebumps and rates as one of my favourite places in Australia. (I’ll try and dig out some photos…)
These vivid memories constantly get re-lived through watching our community of Aussie Big Lappers exploring our country and On The Waugh Path recently captured their visit to Port Campbell National Park brilliantly.
This was their view & tips from Victoria’s slice of natural wonder…
LOCH ARD GORGE, GREAT OCEAN RD, VIC
After Apollo Bay we headed towards the 12 Apostles. First stop was Loch Ard Gorge. Loch Ard was a ship that departed England heading for Melbourne on 1 March 1878. It had 54 people on board and in June 1878 it hit a reef on the coast and sank within 10-15 minutes. There were only 2 survivors; Eva Carmichael and Thomas (Tom) R Pearce. Eva clung to a spar for 5 hours, and Tom to an overturned lifeboat. Tom made it to land before hearing Eva shouting and went back to the ocean to rescue her. They came ashore here at Loch Ard Gorge. Just around the corner, 2 rocks (obviously not part of the 12 apostles) are now called Tom and Eva. A great spot to watch the waves come in and also for a bit of soccer.
GIBSON STEPS , GREAT OCEAN ROAD, VIC
A short drive east from The 12 Apostles you’ll find Gibson Steps. These steps take you down to a stunning beach. From here you can view these 2 stacks that are often mistaken for some of the 12 apostles, but are in fact ‘Gog’ and ‘Magog’. The weather was perfect for it. We had a picnic, a walk, and of course played some soccer. Fun fact: Indigenous people carved this path from the beach to the cliff at least hundreds of years ago. Mr. Gibson owned the land at the top of these stairs in the late 1800’s. He wanted to be able to go fishing on the beach and receive shipments so he paid his workers to improve the stairs.
THE 12 APOSTLES, GREAT OCEAN RD, VIC
Obviously not needing any intro these stunning limestone stacks sit in The Southern Ocean off The Great Ocean Road. We were lucky enough to get some pics of them at both dusk and dawn which made for some beautiful and contrasting photos. This was our whole family’s first time here and something that we have wanted to do for ages. It did not disappoint and we managed to time our stop with the perfect weather . FUN FACT: There are only 7 of theApostles still standing. In fact at the turn of the 21st century there were only 9. 1 collapsed in 2005 and 1 in 2009.
Note: 2 on the east side are in fact ‘Mog’ & ‘Gagog’ and not part of The 12 Apostles
London Bridge The ArchThe Grotto, Great Ocean Road, VIC
West of Port Campbell on the Great Ocean Road are 3 points of interest close to each other. London Bridge is the most visited and has some pretty awesome views. Pre 1990 this was a double-spanning bridge connected to the mainland. The span closer to the shoreline collapsed unexpectedly on 15 Jan 1990, leaving two visitors, whilst uninjured, stranded on the outer span before being rescued by helicopter. Penguins call this place home so there is no beach access. The Arch and The Grotto are also worth a look but are not as spectacular as London Bridge, especially at sunset.
THANK YOU so much Danny, Ebony, Emerald & Ace from On the Waugh Path. Gorgeous photos and a ripper recap of Port Campbell National Park – home to the iconic 12 Apostles.
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