"Visitors to this coast are humbled by a seascape that is both ancient in design and dynamic in form. The bone jarring slaps of leviathan waves an aural reminder of a distinct lack of permanency."
Contemplate this spectacular theatre of stone, sea and sand from a network of
Limestone is a sedimentary rock. It forms in layers with the youngest rock closest to the surface. When you look at a cliff in this National Park you are looking at a vertical geological record of millions of years.
Port Campbell Limestone is generally dated at 15-20 million years old it is a common misconception that visitors are viewing an ancient seascape. The formations they are viewing have formed in the last 6000 years (the time that sea levels have been at their current height) Dr Eric Bird surmises that the evolution of a rock stack from headland to arch to stack and eventual collapse can take place in just 600 years on the Port Campbell coast.
The spectacular variety of seascape in the Port Campbell National Park and Bay of Islands Coastal Park is not due to a large inconsistency in the erosive forces. It occurs largely because of a range of inconsistencies in the density and durability of the strata. The Port Campbell National Park cliff line and offshore stacks are comprised of differing densities of limestone interspersed with softer mudstone (marl) and calcareous clays.
" Port Campbell Limestone is harder in its top layers than it is in its bottom layers. The softer base layers allow the initial undermining that creates overhangs, arches and eventually new stacks."
The erosive forces of wave, wind and rain have in effect found their own “path of least resistance.” Surviving rock stacks like the 12 Apostles are generally comprised of “harder stuff” than areas surrounding them.
Factors affecting hardness of limestone are silt depositions (making it softer) and a higher concentration of calcium carbonate (which makes it harder) Calcium carbonate is provided by skeletons and shells of marine creatures deposited on the old ocean floor. Limestone only forms where ocean has once covered.
For further information visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
Staying overnight in the region means you can partake in the ultimate Great Ocean Walk 12 Apostles experience. It's simple and free! Stay midweek - Park @ the 12 Apostles - Catch the express to Pri...
The Princetown Boardwalk restores an historic link from the township to the recreation reserve and river mouth. It also connects the town to a lovely picnic area and fishing platform near a bridge ...
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 a...
It is the sheer scale of the offshore stacks that are most breathtaking at this point. Many of you will have seen countless photos and images; nothing will prepare you for the grandeur of this icon...
Let the others rush be sure to take your time at Loch Ard Gorge. It is impossible to walk these trails and not be moved by the powers of nature that have shaped and the shipwreck history that defin...
An attraction in its own right! Port Campbell’s weathered jetty juts defiantly into the bay, dwarved by limestone cliffs and frequently by waves on the offshore reef.
The walk traverses cliff top and dense low coastal heath. It offers wildlife viewing opportunities and unobstructed viewing east to Sentinel Rock and the 12 Apostles. Look out for wildlife around ...
The angle of Port Campbell Bay and the offshore reefs that provide its protection are beautifully captured from this viewing platform.
This site is often spectacular in the afternoon when the formations to the east are bathed in a warm golden light.
For many people the publicity surrounding the collapse of London Bridge frames a point in time.
Many a visitor holds a special memory of their visit to the Grotto. Spray from waves can cast a fine mist over the low viewing area; sunshine does the rest filling the air with rainbow delights.
The car park to the south of town offers views looking east across the wreck sites of the Schomberg and the Newfield.
A wonderful cliff top trail from Peterborough Golf Course to the Bay of Martyrs car park which provides access to some spectacular beaches and coves, a favorite local dusk and dawn haunt.
Are the stacks martyred; sentinels guarding the land from the bold affront of the Southern Ocean or is reference made to the despicable events of nearby Massacre Bay where local aboriginals were he...
The pale limestone of this section of coast reflects a different quality of light and offers superior photographic opportunity in overcast conditions. Highly underrated!
Anybody who has ever backed a trailer needs to have a look at this ramp. Lots of offshore stacks viewable in this sheltered bay.
Childers Cove, Sandy Cove and Murnanes Bay offer wonderful seascapes and an impression of relative isolation even in peak times.