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12 Apostles: The Mesmerizing Australian Rock Formations Carved by the Sea

Arranged in a row as if protecting the cliff, meet The Twelve Apostles in Australia.

By: Jonathan Moreno (El Souvenir)

The Twelve Apostles are an impressive collection of rock formations carved by the sea, located in the state of Victoria, Australia. Their proximity to each other makes them more than spectacular. These stone giants have become a very important tourist site, and not for less; their unreal beauty is admired even by the most demanding travelers who come to this corner of the world.

How Were They Formed?

Just imagine the hundreds of years it took for the tide to mold some caves in the cliff that would later become arches, which would eventually collapse, leaving only huge piles up to 45 meters high. Sometimes it seems that we do not dimension how amazing Mother Nature is. Just feel the rain falling on your hands, or think about the miracle of liters and liters of water floating over our heads in the form of clouds, and that we rarely stop to appreciate them.

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But to feel amazed by nature, sometimes it is necessary to observe monumental wonders to remind us of it, such as these giants that watch over the coast like lighthouses standing on the sea in the south of the Australian continent.

Twelve Giants in Front of the Sea

But if you are looking for a religious meaning to these formations, I regret to inform you that it is only a publicity stunt to give them a harmonious meaning. At first, this natural wonder was called the Pinnacles and the Sow and Pigs, but in 1922 it changed its name for more tourist purposes.

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You should know that there are not twelve formations, but nine large rocks that, just by being there to admire them, will make you forget to count them carefully. Something spectacular in the place is that you can access the beach using stairs that go down the cliff cautiously as if they did not want to wake the apostles from their trance.

All the astonished travelers approach and take pictures trying to understand how the formations keep each other company in their solitude. It is a moment of peace and reflection for everyone who makes the effort to get there. Some people have become fond of the formations and have even named them Razorback, Island Archway, Thunder Cave, Sentinel Rocks, Grotto, and Bakers Oven Rock.

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Surrendering to the Fury of the Sea

Unfortunately, the giants also get tired and give up their battle. This happened in 2005 when one of the apostles fell shatteringly whipping all its fury against the waves and surrendering to the sea that formed it hundreds of years ago. Thus, the rest of them are still standing, but wearing away at a rate of two centimeters per year, without no one being able to do anything, just waiting for their tragic end.

These giants are located inside Port Campbell Park; to get there you must take the Great Ocean Road, a highway that winds along the coast of the Antarctic Ocean. The ride is not easy because the road is accompanied by gale-force winds, rough seas, and fog. At times it gives the impression that you are approaching the end of the world.

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Arriving at the National Park

But fortunately, it is not like that, it is only the preamble; in the end, you will find wonderful scenery that not only has giants in the sea but also has recreational activities to spend unforgettable moments.

Throughout the National Park, there are bike stations that you can rent for a few hours or a whole day. You can also hike and observe wildlife with a nature guide who will show you up close animals such as kangaroos, wallabies, and deer. Although swimming at the beach is prohibited, there are other activities you can do, such as visiting historic bridges, meadows, or lakes where fishing is allowed.

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Finally, if you wish, you can have another perspective of the Twelve Apostles flying over the sea and the area in a fifteen-minute helicopter ride. From the heights, you will be able to appreciate these enormous rocks and take unique and unrepeatable photographs.

Get your Luggage Ready

If you want to stay for a couple of days, there are several lodging options suitable for all budgets, from comfortable hotels to apartments and camping areas. If you go in December or January, you should book in advance because there is a lot of tourist demand.

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Remember that the Twelve Apostles are waiting for your visit before surrendering in front of the sea. It is time to plan a trip to the end of the world to appreciate this meeting of giants.

Story originally published in Spanish in Cultura Colectiva

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