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The 12 Apostles – are they really worth a visit?

The 12 Apostles is probably one of the biggest natural tourist attractions in Australia (besides Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef) and a must see for every tourist along the great ocean road but is it really worth a visit?

Also check out Our Top 10 things to see and do on the Great Ocean Road (mostly free!) – This list also includes places to stay along the Great Ocean Road.

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Our Top 10 things to see and do on the Great Ocean Road (mostly free!)

Firstly tourists need to realise that there are no longer 12 apostles, due to erosion there are approx. only 8 “Apostles” left and from the main viewing point you can only see about 5 of them as the rest are scattered along the coast and are out of site from the main view area.

The best way to see all of the apostles is by helicopter however this is also the most expensive way to see them at a cost of $99 – $150 for only an 8 minute flight.

The viewing area was constructed by tourism Victoria and the national parks; they also built a large car park for all the tourist buses and cars, this makes it very easy to find a park. The visitors centre features a café, an information centre and public toilets.

A short walk away from the visitors centre is the first viewing platform of the 12 apostles.  All of these platforms are very well constructed and are situated in good a spot which offers large areas for tourists to take photos without having to be shoulder to shoulder, pushing and shoving to try and get to the front of the crowd for a good photo.

With that said we did go in winter –July- so it is possibly much busier on a summer’s day.

If you continue along the platform you are taken to another vantage point which is built out on top of a small bluff, it gives you a great view of the coast line. This area is a little smaller and a little more crowded with lots of people rushing to get into good photo spots.

Our Top 10 things to see and do on the Great Ocean Road (mostly free!)

Quick tip: Don’t forget to get your photo taken at the 12 apostles, don’t be a travel snob and think that is “too touristy” – You’re at the 12 Apostles!!

For some people this is a once in a lifetime experience! If you see a couple trying to take a “selfie”, please stop and offer to take a photo for them and they will most likely offer to do the same for you, if not there are always plenty of people around so I’m sure that someone will help out with a photo.

In conclusion “are the 12 Apostles really worth a visit”? Yes, yes they are! If you’ve travelled all the way to Melbourne and have the time (or make the time) take a day trip and see them or better yet plan to drive from Melbourne to Adelaide and take in ALL that the Great Ocean Road has to offer!

Article written by:

Hi, my name is Samantha, Finance Managing Guru by day, Travel Blogging Enthusiast by... well... day too! Haha! Travelling King is the destination hotspot for the wannabe traveller! Showcasing affordable, luxurious getaways for the budget conscious! With the combination of my financial knowledge and travelling experiences I aim to show you, with a little planning, the right budget and a realistic goal you can fulfil your travel fantasies and explore the world whatever your budget or desires may be!

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  1. Travelling King

    Thanks Luke!
    It was a little cold and rainy but that is winter for you haha!

  2. Gina - Our Global Adventure

    I agree! The 12 (or 8) Apostles are definitely worth a visit 🙂 The Great Ocean Road is a fabulous Australian Road Trip with so many interesting stops along the way, and the view… breathtaking!

  3. Travelling King

    Hey Gina!
    the GOR road trip is a must!
    had a fantastic time – although i think i would have preferred to do it in summer! Was a little chilly!

  4. Tam @Travelling Book Junkie

    I am currently planning a trip to Australia for next year so I have added this to my list as a must visit! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Sharon

    I agree – definitely worth a visit! I have been many times, as I take people who visit us in Melbourne from elsewhere. They always enjoy it and so do I 🙂 We have actually never had problems taking photos or found it crowded, so perhaps you were just unlcuky? I haven’t been in a couple of years though, so perhaps it has become more popular.

  6. Milene

    I feel like this is one of those sights that is just there to make a picture and then get out of the way. I always like to sit somewhere (on a rock preferably) and start dreaming away, thinking about what I´m seeing, taking my time. Of course I´ll take a photo but I´m not the typical tourist who takes a photo and then leaves to see another side of the attraction… However, I´m afraid that is not possible at the 12 apostles. Still I´d like to see them when I´m there and hopefully find a place where me and my musings can be alone for some time =)

  7. Graeme Voigt

    I feel so bad now that I haven’t even got myself there yet! (And I’m Australian)
    I’ll definitely make the effort now!

  8. Travelling King

    Hey Sharon,
    It wasnt “that” crowded the day we went but there was a bit of a crowd – i cant imagine what it would be like in summer or full tourist season.
    I would say there would have easily been over 100 people when we were there

  9. Travelling King

    Hey Tam!
    That’s ok – hope you enjoy your trip down under 🙂

  10. Jacqui

    Talk about timing – I just went there yesterday afternoon and this morning!! I was a bit unlucky with the weather as it was extremely windy and not sunny. In fact my pictures look just like yours! A few good spots to also see are just outside of Port Campbell.

  11. Michele

    It definitely is a beautiful part of the country along the whole Great Ocean Road. Some of the little towns are worth a visit too.

  12. frankaboutcroatia

    As I started reading your post, with a question you’ve asked in the mind, just seeing that first photo made me think: Hell yes, it’s worth to visit! Sad that the Apostles are disappearing – and since there are no longer 12 of them, I wonder if they should change the name of the site – kidding 🙂

  13. Gabor Kovacs

    We were also there at the end of winter, in a quite stormy weekend, and there were not many people. Twelve apostles or less it is an amazing natural landmark with stunning views. I agree with you, it is more than worth visiting them!!

  14. Samantha @mytanfeet

    I wouldn’t miss that – it looks gorgeous! Hopefully it won’t keep continuing each year and go down to 6 apostles…5 apostles.. that would be sad. I’d love to see that from helicopter but that’s a bit out of my budget!

  15. Jonny Jenkins

    How long ago were there 12 apostles? And… perhaps more to the point, how long (in your geologically professional opinion) will those last 8 continue to stand?
    Looks beautiful… though, I’ll be trying to pick a somewhat warmer day to go see them perhaps 😉

  16. Kelly Dunning

    I don’t think I would pay $150 for an 8 minute plane ride. As cool as that would be, I just don’t think it would be worth it in my opinion. However, I would like to see the 12 Apostles from the viewing platform. Australia is somewhere that I would love to travel one day. 🙂

  17. Chris Boothman

    Of course they are worth the visit! At least that’s what they look like after reading your review of them. This landscape and scenery really reminds me of the Needles off the Isle of Wight coast in England (probably not as famous as the 12 Apostles but equally as impressive).

    We love taking scenic drives along coastlines and this looks like the perfect spot to take an adventurous road trip whilst taking in some amazing landscape. We are considering heading back to Oz at the end of 2014 so maybe we will have time to taken in this awesome attraction.

  18. Mrs. Chasing the Donkey

    Brrrrr, you guys looked cold. But what a view huh! As an Aussie who has STILL never seen these, I am so glad to read about it, it’s on my list.

  19. Ashley of A Southern Gypsy

    This looks gorgeous! I’d love to go 🙂 It’s definitely going on my list for Australia!

  20. Travelling King

    that said I have been here for 14 years and have only just gotten around to seeing them 🙂

    make the time – they are worth it 😉

  21. Travelling King

    NOt a problem Tam – enjoy yourself!

  22. Travelling King

    Hey Milene
    there are places to sit and relax and take in the view – maybe not secluded spots but nice spots 🙂

  23. Travelling King

    hey Michele!
    Very true – Port Fairy, Campbell town, Torquay are all beautiful places!

  24. Travelling King

    hey Frank!
    Very good point – i guess they will always be the 12 apostles -even when there is only one

  25. Travelling King

    hey Gabor!
    I think seeing the 12 Apostles during any season is good – They are beautiful in any light!

  26. Travelling King

    Hey Marie-Carmen.
    Interesting thought – have seen a few photos of beautiful cliffs in Ireland – would love to visit one day!!
    yes sadly they disappear by (from memory) 2cm per year.

  27. Travelling King

    Hey Samantha!
    i dont think we will loose too many more any-time soon – i think from memory they erode by about 2 cm every year.

  28. Travelling King

    Hey Jonny,
    No idea to both your questions – cant say im an expert 😛
    I have heard they recede by 2cm every year so who knows how long they will last?

  29. Travelling King

    Hey Kelly,
    I agree $150 for an 8 min flight is pretttty expensive!
    I wish it was cheaper – would love to see them from the air!

  30. Travelling King

    Hey Chris!
    the Great Ocean Road is a beautiful coastal road – fantastic scenery all the way!
    Its so nice to see the 12 Apostles in “real life” instead of in a picture

  31. Raphael Alexander Zoren

    I’m not really a big fan of cliffs and rock formations but I really think that the name and the setting of the 12 Apostles make it worth visiting 😀

  32. Travelling King

    It was pretty chilly but we had lots of llayers on and a waterproof jacket so we were toasty warm 🙂
    Come back and see them sometime 🙂
    Lists are hard – they grow too often!

  33. Travelling King

    Hey Ashley,
    Should “pop” past on your SEA trip!

  34. Silvia

    Great post – really makes me want to go! Sometimes it’s awesome to just embrace being a tourist 🙂

  35. Bob R

    Glad you mentioned the Ocean Road at the end because I was going to ask if there is a good coastline road trip you could suggest. 🙂

  36. Travelling King

    Hey Silvia.
    Its always one of those places “to see” on people’s bucket list.
    and its fun to embrace your tourist side – nothing wrong with it

  37. Travelling King

    Oh yes the Great Ocean road is certainly a good coastline trip!

  38. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs

    Helicopter tour sounds like sth I would enjoy! And I would love to see the sight, generally I would love to visit Australia!

  39. Travelling King

    I wish i had taken the Helicopter tour now, but give the time you are in the air compared to the price of the flight – not sure if it was worth it!

  40. Katie Featherstone

    For me, just because there were so many tourists there, I preferred other places along the Great Ocean Road. They are some really amazing rock formations though, so if you can schedule your visit to not be at a peak time then it’s definitely worth it!

  41. Lyn Barden

    I love the views along the great ocean road, it is an awesome drive along the coastline. My next visit to Melbourne is in November so am hoping the family will take me to vist the 12 Apostles again. The lookouts are so well positioned and historical stories of the different spots make it all so interesting.

  42. Charlie

    Great post. I was there in summer and at sunset. It was pretty packed, but still great fun. If you fancy reading about it, check it out here

  43. Tony

    There’s never been ’12’. The name was applied to the stacks in the middle of last century (from memory), when it was decided to change their name from the ‘Sow and Piglets’ (a little hard to market that…) to simply ‘The Apostles’. Somewhere along the way someone’s whacked ’12’ in front of that, which is their contemporary name. (Get the good oil about all that from John McInerny from Port Campbell Touring Company. He’s a local legend around the coastline. What he doesn’t know about them has yet to be discovered).

    And they’ll be around for hundreds of years yet – no need to worry about them collapsing into the ocean in our lifetimes.

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