How many of the 12 apostles are still standing?

Listed as the ultimate tourist attraction along the Great Ocean Road, but are the Twelve Apostles even twelve anymore?

12 apostles

One of the Great Ocean Road’s number one tourist highlight is the Twelve Apostles. Glorious limestone stacks emerging from the choppy seas, scattering along the coast for a breathtaking sight. The apostles formed millions of years ago, but sadly over time, the number of stacks have dropped. With the continuous erosion of sea water and weather slowly cutting them away until these apostles will eventually cease to exist.

The Formation of the Twelve Apostles

The Twelve Apostles formed over twenty million years ago all from what we call erosion. Back then, the land stretched out further, with the apostle’s stacks being one with the Great Ocean Road’s landscape. However, years of rough storms and salt water waves beating against the cliff tops slowly cut the rock away, battering against the pillars until small hollow sections and eventually, caves started to emerge. After a while, the caves sections started to waver, with the arched rock above the hollow eventually caved in from lack of support, leaving behind large rock pillars significantly separate from the mainland cliffs.

What’s Left of Them

Although their name suggests there were once twelve stacks, the region only ever had nine stacks. Before it was known as the 12 Apostles, known as Sow and Pigs, as the Muttonbird island was the sow, and the stacks were the pigs. The reason for the region being renamed to the 12 Apostles is completely due to marketing purposes, as the name had a better ring to it. Nowadays, there are only 8 apostles left, with others slowly cutting down further and further until there will be more. But due to the continuing erosion that effects not just the limestone stacks, but the coastal land, the current cliffs are expected to eventually become rock stacks. So even if we do lose the remaining of the twelve apostles, we might have some brand-new ones in the near future.

Is it Still Worth Seeing?

Even though not all the twelve remain, the twelve apostles are still a breathtaking sight. Trek up to the cliff tops to marvel at the breathtaking views before you, seeing the crashing waves below and the massive rock structures looming beyond. As well the area has not just stunning scenery, it has a rich history to discover. Around the shores, you can also escape the sand and the sea to explore the charming towns that populate the coast. many visit the region during when the sun is shining against the stacks and sparkling sea, with both sunrise and sunset a stunning time to see the multicolored rocks which light up brilliantly in the soft glow of orange, pinks and red. You can even see these natural rock formations from a bird’s eye view! Taking flight on one of the heicopter tours offered here, guving you 20 minutes of pure joy as you zoom in the clouds over the stacks and sea! Regardless of your interests, we guarantee you’ll enjoy a visit to this epic attraction.