The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia’s most iconic road trips. A winding drive along 243 kilometres of Victoria’s coastline, featuring dramatic rock formations. The most famous of which is the 12 Apostles.
Actually, there are now only 7 apostles remaining. The very forces of nature which caused the natural erosion that created these formations are slowly destroying them.
It amazed me to realise that our old “holiday snaps” have actually become historical documents. A permanent record of these landmarks before the Southern Ocean reclaimed them.
Located near Peterborough in the Port Campbell National Park, London Bridge has long been a popular tourist attraction. Visitors were once able to walk and even drive across the formation for a great coastal view of the 12 Apostles and also to watch the colonies of little penguins returning each dusk. In fact if you look closely at the photos below, you can see tourists walking along the bridge.
In fact, we’ve walked across these arches many times, the last being around 1985. The holiday snaps below aren’t of particularly high quality, but they are now of historic significance.
The inner span of London Bridge collapsed in January 1990, leaving two tourists stranded for several hours, before being rescued by helicopter
Now two viewing platforms have been erected, where tourists can view the remaining formation in safety. Today you can still watch little penguins returning to shore from one of these safe viewing platforms
London Bridge Peterborough Vic
Loch Ard Gorge
Loch Ard Gorge is quite an eerie place. On a still day it can be deceptively calm, yet it has claimed many lives over the years. Back in 1878, the clipper ship, Loch Ard beached on nearby Muttonbird Island, with only two of the 54 passengers and crew surviving.
We captured this photo of the Island Archway, at Loch Ard Gorge in around 2000.
The archway collapsed in June 2009, leaving two “new apostles” with the remaining side supports. These were named “Tom and Eva” in honour of the survivors of the Loch Ard Shipwreck. Taken from a different vantage point, the second photo gives a dramatically different picture of how treacherous the southern coastline can be.
The “Sow and Pigs” is probably one of the best known shots of the Twelve Apostles. This is the sight tourists flock from all around the world to see. This shot was also taken around 2000. The Southern Ocean looks calm and inviting, doesn’t it?
Yet this is what the combined forces of the Ocean and the wind achieved. The formation in the foreground collapsed without warning in July 2005 and is now the pile of rubble you see today.
12 Apostles Victoria
Is there a natural attraction you’ve been planning to see “one day”? Perhaps you should make the effort while it is still there. And don’t forget to take a photo.