A wet and windy weekend in Lorne was not going to deter my intention to see the Twelve Apostles.
For many years we had been regular visitors to Melbourne and had often made the trip to Lorne to enjoy our friend’s hospitality but never had we gone further than this. The wedding we were here for didn’t start until four o’clock so there was plenty of time for a quick trip to Victoria’s number one tourist attraction. The locals thought we were mad but off we went- it was now or never!
Even though the clouds were dark and threatening, the views along the Great Ocean Road were stunning. The road twists and turns along the coast before disappearing inland, then emerging again just before the turn off to the car park for the Twelve Apostles.
It doesn’t matter how many photos you have seen of the Twelve Apostles, they are even better in reality. The first view that you see is the most spectacular…even on an overcast day!

The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
Dark clouds were threatening but the view was still stunning

 
The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
The rocks in the foreground are where the last stack stood before it crumbled

 
The world’s tallest limestone stacks stand close to the cliff that hugs the coast. Only eight remain but don’t try to count them as some are hidden behind the rocky headland and others have disintegrated. Waves create caves in the headland, arches form and then collapse leaving behind these ancient pinnacles.
The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
The coastal cliffs

 
The walkway leads you to another viewing platform where you can see the eastern view as well.
The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
The view to the east

 
The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
Rock formations and the sign warning of death should you fall !!

 
Not far from here is Loch Ard Gorge, named after the ship, the Loch Ard, that sunk in 1878 with only two survivors. Walk around the cliff top to enjoy many more stunning views. The latest collapse was in 2009 when the Island Archway lost the arch connecting the two pillars.
The remains of the Island Archway
All that remains of the Island Archway

 
The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
Rock formations seen from Loch Ard Gorge

 
The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
Striations can easily be seen in the rocks

 
The Twelve Apostles, Victoria
Another view

 
The clock was ticking and it was time to head home. After leaving the coast, the drive takes you through the beautiful Great Otway National Park. Ferns start to appear and the vegetation slowly gives way to rainforest. The Otways receive Victorias highest rainfall so it is no surprise to see this temperate rain forest flourish.
Stop at Maits Rest and take the thirty minute rainforest walk. I was only allowed a ten minute stop but it was enough to know we had to return. A beautiful wonderland awaits under the canopy of the incredibly tall trees.
Maits Rest in the Otway National Park
Ferns flourish at Maits Rest in the Otway National Park

 
Maits Rest in the Otway National Park
Part of the walk

 
Maits Rest in the Otway National Park
More ferns!

 
Maits Rest in the Otway National Park
Stunning trees!

 
Another stop you must make is at Kennett’s River where in Grey’s Road opposite the Koala Cove General Store, you can often see koalas sleeping in the gum trees. This little one was well hidden so look closely and you will usually find one of  these beautiful creatures still enjoying  their natural habitat.
Koalas at Kennett River
Sleeping peacefully

 
Next trip, we plan to spend a couple of nights at Port Campbell so we can watch the sun set over the Twelve Apostles and have a whole day to explore the coast. This will then give us time to enjoy a leisurely drive back along the Great Ocean Road with a stop at Maits Rest to walk through the rainforest of the Great Otway National Park. Can’t wait!!
 
 
 
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