A Guide to The Twelve Apostles, Victoria, Australia

Witness one of the famous, most iconic natural formations in the world, The Twelve Apostles. It is located 275 kilometers west of Melbourne. It took us 4 hours to drive along the Great Ocean Road. It’s connected to the mainland cliffs of the Port Campbell National Park a long time ago, because of waves and winds, the Twelve Apostles were formed. In 2016, there were 9 apostles; however, one of them collapsed making it a total of 8 apostles as of time.  

Getting to the Twelve Apostles

It’s a long drive from Melbourne City. If you’re more of an adventurous traveler, it’d be awesome if you’ll rent a campervan and spend the night in the caravan instead of paying for a hotel around 150-300AUD a night. There are a lot of cheap caravan rentals around Victoria, Australia starting 30AUDto 100AUD per day. It’ll be a great reduction from your budget if it’s a long drive from the city because you can stop wherever you feel tired of driving and take a short nap.   In our case, we thought of using our own car and decided to just have a day tour. We didn’t really plan on spending a night in Port Campbell; however, we realized that the Great Ocean Road has lots to offer so we decided to extend for another day. We tried to search for an affordable hotel in the area. All hotels/motels are fully booked that day since it’s a long holiday, except for one, the Southern Ocean Motor Inn. We paid around 265AUD for 4 adults. Bringing your own food in the hotel is allowed and there are a lot of restaurants, Fish and Chips stores, petrol station, and even a grocery nearby.  

Things To See During The Tour

One thing you shouldn’t miss when you go here is the sunset at the Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. The best time to visit is from November to January because of the Daylight Saving Time when the sun tends to set around 7 PM. We checked in to our hotel around 3 PM, but it didn’t affect our itinerary since we still have time to have our snacks and went to the Twelve Apostles. Check all the different rock formations along The Great Ocean Road and watch while the waves strongly hit the rocks along the coastline. Viewing decks/platforms are available in each area so you can stare at the beauty of nature. They are 500m-2.3km away from each other so it’s easier and accessible.

London Arch

  This formation was formerly known as the London Bridge. It happened on the evening of January 15, 1990, where the main arch connecting the two rock formations cracked and fell into the sea. Luckily, there’s no one injured.

Port Campbell National Park

This park has the greatest location because it has the nearest access to all the tourist attractions and the visitor center where you can have quick refreshments and buy some souvenirs. You can also see the majestic aerial view of the Twelve Apostles by riding a helicopter. The prices range from 50AUD-300AUD.

Bay of Islands

29 minutes away from Port Campbell is where you’ll find the Bay of Islands. Not all tourists go to this area because it’s too far away from the Port Campbell National Park. If you want a less crowded area, this bay is highly recommended.

The Grotto

Almost all the attractions in the Great Ocean Road have a parking lot so there’s no need to worry about your car. They even have a parking area for campervans. Roughly 10 minutes away from the Bay of Islands is the famous Grotto. There’s a viewing area so you can see the Grotto from the top. There’s a staircase leading to the beach-level view of the Grotto. This area is not recommended for those with limited mobility or for strollers or tourists with wheelchairs but they can still have stay on the viewing area for a spectacular sight.

Gibson Steps

My most-liked attraction! It’s 5.3km away from the Port Campbell National Park and 2 minutes away from the Twelve Apostles. This is the very first sight if you’re heading West along the Great Ocean Road. Prepare your legs for a long walk from the parking lot to the beach. It is a perfect landscape when you go down the stretch of beach and to appreciate nature. Don’t miss the time playing with seagulls because you can’t do this when you go back to the Philippines.   All our efforts were definitely worth it when we reached the shore. Walking, playing and taking a quick rest took off our exhaustion from having a whole day tour and driving.

The Cape Otway National Park

If you still have enough time, you can also visit the Cape Otway National Park which is roughly 30kms to the west of Apollo Bay.   Look out for koalas while you’re on your way to the lighthouse. They are just hanging on trees, sleeping and looking for food. They’re friendly and you can even see them playing with other koalas. Seeing this kind of lovely creature in the wild is special and an adventure which makes you think and realize how you can help to protect their habitat.  

Where to Stay?

Aside from using campervans, you can look for a hotel/motel in the area. Using a booking application can help you have the best deal. Remember to book your room in advance to make sure that you will get the best discount! Here are some hotels that I saw and recommend when we visited the Twelve Apostles.

Southern Ocean Motor Inn

This is where we stayed. This motel offers a spectacular ocean view. It’s located in Port Campbell area and very accessible with all the fantastic views and other tourist destinations in the area. It has one bedroom, 2 twin beds, and a queen sized bed. TV, fridge, kitchen, and bathroom stuff are inside which can make you feel more comfortable during your stay. It’s the first time that I experienced the express check out, where you’ll just leave the room key in a box located at the front desk.

Sea Foam Villas

A few blocks away from Southern Ocean Motor Inn is where you will see this hotel. This hotel has a great ocean view and accessible with what Great Ocean Road has to offer. It has non-smoking rooms and free Wi-Fi for all guests. You can relax on the balcony, or just stay outside and have a breath of fresh air.

Loch Ard Motor Inn

Right across the Sea Foam Villas is the Loch Ard Motor Inn. This hotel has the perfect location because it has the most accessible location of all the hotels/motels in the area. You will have an awesome ocean view, across the restaurants, and situated near the grocery, cafe, petrol station, fish & chips, etc.  

Where to Eat?

Food is not a problem when you’re in the Port Campbell Foreshore area. There’s lots of restaurants (fish and chips, Italian, etc.), grocery stores, and cafes that you can choose from.       Also, don’t forget to refill your petrol when going back to the City. There’s a lack of supply of petrol in the Foreshore so we weren’t able to refill our tanks which got us worried on our way home. Fortunately, our gas is enough for us to drive to the next gas station! Make your experience complete by taking landscape photos, selfies, and buying some items from the souvenir shop.

Maria Christine Bulado Domingo

I am Christine and I’ve been traveling since I was 21 years old. Traveling helped me improve my own self and helped me understand other culture and people. I am working as an internal auditor in the Philippines and doing some travels whenever I have time to escape from reality. Whenever I travel, whether locally or internationally, I make sure to document everything. I think I will travel for the rest of my life and will teach it to my future little ones.