Gibson steps 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland Great Ocean Road Victoria Australia

Naming the 12 Apostles

From Piglets to Apostles. Early charts refer to the 12 Apostles as the Sow and Piglets. The Sow refers to Mutton Bird Island which is viewable from Loch Ard Gorge and the Piglets were the surrounding rock formations to the east. When Superintendent C.J. La Trobe passed through this area in 1846, his chart reflected this name.

The rocks are collectively known as the 12 Apostles and are not individually named after the biblical Apostles. The formation was renamed in the 1930's at a time when visitors were travelling along the Old Coach Road from Port Campbell to Princetown to view the formations. A collapse in 2005 reduced the number of stacks that are viewable from the main viewing platform from "8" to "7".

How many Apostles are there?

At first glance you will see seven rock stacks to the west of the main 12 Apostles viewing platform with the rest hidden by headlands and obscured by other stacks. To the east at the southern viewing area are a further 2 rock stacks referred to in local vernacular as Gog and Magog. These two rock stacks are viewable from beach level 1.1 km to the east of the Twelve Apostles. Visitors should note that while there is a small car park at Gibson Steps it is often at capacity and visitors are advised they can walk safely via the Great Ocean Walk on a 1.1 km (2.2km return) trail that leaves from the south side of the Twelve Apostles Visitor Facility.

12 Apostles 12 Apostles Coast and Hinterland Great Ocean Road Victoria Australia