Can you walk on the beach at the 12 Apostles?

Can you walk on the beach at the 12 Apostles?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 08/31/2022

Reading time: 4 mins

The Twelve Apostles are the main attraction along the Great Ocean Road, but can you walk along the beach where they are?

Gibson Steps

The Twelve Apostles are giant limestone rock formations that protrude out of the water. These breathtaking rocks have formed over years of erosion and can be seen from miles away.

While there are only seven apostles left, you can easily view them from one of the viewing platforms. Get in early though, as the Twelve Apostles are one of Australia’s most famous attractions, with thousands of travellers here every year.

When you think about the Twelve Apostles, you may not even know that there is a beach right below the viewing platform. But can you walk along this beach? Yes, you can, when it’s safe to do so and at low tide.

How to reach the beach

You can access the beach by going to Gibson Steps to access Gibson Beach, which is about a kilometer from the Twelve Apostles. Due to tides and safety, access is not guaranteed. But if you get lucky, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable view with the limestone stacks towering you. It is one of the most unique ways to understand the size of them!

The Gibson Steps are a series of 86 steep steps down to the beach, and there is parking right by the top of the stairs. If there’s no parking near the steps, you can walk safely along the Great Ocean Walk to reach this area. It is narrow though, so wheelchairs and prams are not advised!

Don’t miss seeing Gog and Magog

Two other rock formations, referred to as Gog and Magog, are best viewed from Gibson Beach. While they aren’t part of the Twelve Apostles, you won’t miss them near the steps!

I can get to the beach, but can I swim once I get there?

It is generally not advised at most beaches in the area directly surrounded by the Twelve Apostles.

Due to the quickly changing conditions, exposure to ocean swell, and lack of lifeguard patrols, the general rule of thumb is not to enter the water.

A great alternative is Port Campbell Bay, which is patrolled in the warmer months if you do feel like a refreshing dip!

Dogs are also not permitted at many beaches, and nowhere in Port Campbell National Park, including the Twelve Apostles. This is to protect the natural flora and fauna. It’s probably best to have a friend look after your furry friend for the day!

Beach access near the Twelve Apostles

Excluding the popular and more easily accessed Gibson Beach, there are a couple of other beaches you can access nearby.

While these beaches don’t have views quite like Gibson, they still offer unique, beautiful scenery and amazing photos.

Wreck Beach

Wreck Beach is not for the faint hearted, a rough track and 366 steps down is no easy feat to access a beach. If you can make it though, it’s worth it for the green sandstone platforms and the anchors of the Marie Gabrielle and the Fiji.

If you’re thinking about checking out Wreck Beach, ensure you only go at low tide.

Princetown Beach

Princetown Beach is accessed via a 600m walk along the banks of the Gellibrand River. The beach is by lush vegetation and is surrounded by cliffs.  Here you can even go swimming, enjoy a stroll along the sand, or at nearby waters you can try your shot at fishing or go kayaking.

Ready to head down to the Twelve Apostles?

Beaches aside, this part of the world is unmissable. Enjoy a Great Ocean Road day tour, and spend an unforgettable day with coastal cliff views, bushwalks, a nod to the history of the Great Ocean Road itself.

On the tour you’ll have the chance to explore one more hidden beach at Loch Ard Gorge. This beach is relatively calm, so there’s a chance you’ll be able to wander down here most days and learn about the famous shipwreck on Mutton Bird Island.

Previous article: Is the 12 Apostles a wonder of the world?

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.