Carving the 12 Apostles

Carving the 12 Apostles

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 National Parks trails and lookouts.

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. More about this here!

Whilst the Port Campbell Limestone and the lower older calcareous clays (Gellibrand Marl) exposed in the lower layers range from 7 – 15 million years old, it is a common misconception that visitors are viewing an ancient seascape.

Current research and bathymetry indicate that at the end of the last ice age (18 000 years ago) the regional coastline would have been 70km south west of where it is today. With the ocean currently acting on the softer grey Port Campbell limestone there is a constant undermining of the younger, more brittle, yellow Port Campbell limestone that sits above it.

Dr Eric Bird surmises that the evolution of a rock stack from an intact headland, to a headland with arches, to free standing rock stacks, and eventual collapse would happen in the range of 1 000 – 2 400 years.

This wonderful natural gallery will continue to evolve and refresh it’s exhibitions!

So the spectacular variety of seascape in the Port Campbell National Park and Bay of Islands Coastal Park is the sum of 7 – 15 million years of limestone and clay formation and the variables of climate, rain, wind, wave and a rising sea level over the last 18 000 years 

And all of that my friends has resulted in something very unique and very beautiful. 

Find out more amazing geological facts about Port Campbell National Park

Find out the best places to view geological features

Accommodation Nearby

Things To Do Nearby

Places To Eat & Drink

Port Campbell Takeaway

Port Campbell

Barrels Bar

Port Campbell

Port Campbell Hotel

Port Campbell

REAL Pizza Pasta Salads

Port Campbell

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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.