The Twelve Apostles is a collection of spectacular limestone stacks that rise up to 45 meters, 7 kilometers off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, in Victoria, Australia. Situated by the side of the iconic Great Ocean Road, it is one of the most well-known highlights of the scenic route that begins approximately 97 kilometers southwest of Melbourne and winds 150 miles along the picturesque coastline.
This beautiful site was originally famous as the Sow and Piglets until 1922 Mutton bird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, was the Sow, and the lesser rock stacks were the Piglets, after which it was renamed to The Apostles for tourism purposes. The formation ultimately became famous as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having nine stacks. One of them fell in 2005, leaving behind only eight.
The Twelve Apostles were shaped by erosion of the original coastline, which started 10 to 20 million years ago. Persistent action of the sea on the limestone gradually wore down the rocky cliff, gradually leaving these pillars. The cliff is still being eroded at a rate of about 2 cm each year, and in the future is expected to form more ‘Apostles’ from the other rocky headlands that line the Victorian coastline.