Gibson Steps – We took the 86 steps down to the beach to be dwarfed by the 70m high vertical cliff line and the enormous offshore stacks. Visitors can walk in both directions along the sand. The beach below Gibson Steps is popular for onshore fishing and surfing. Local hazards include rip tides, undertows and the occasional shark. This is a sandy beach, and access is via the steep, narrow steps cut into the limestone cliffs. There are no amenities or life guard on the beach.
The two rock stacks are called Gog and MaGog.
The Twelve Apostles are giant rock stacks that rise majestically from the Southern Ocean and are the central feature of the rugged Port Campbell National Park. They have been created by constant erosion of the limestone cliffs of the mainland that began 10–20 million years ago. The stormy Southern Ocean and blasting winds gradually eroded the softer limestone, forming caves in the cliffs. The caves eventually became arches and when they collapsed rock stacks up to 45 metres high were left isolated from the shore.
The Bay of Martyrs – an ideal place to see the stunning rock stacks of the Bay of Islands. They are particularly beautiful at sunset when the islands and Massacre Point are backlit by the sun. The Bay of Martyrs according to some locals rivals the 12 Apostles. The beach is perfectly safe for swimming and with no one as far as the eye can see.
Bay of Islands – stacks that tower from the ocean create a haunting natural landscape.
Loch Ard Gorge - it contains some equally breathtaking scenery, including the Island Arch, Muttonbird Island, the Razorback and the Dumpling Pots, all magnificent rock formations. Inside the gorge itself are some caves and stalactite formations. It is named after the three-masted clipper ship, the Loch Ard, that was wrecked there in 1878 with the loss of the lives of 52 people, on the last night of its voyage from Gravesend in England to Melbourne. Two 18-year-olds survived, and their amazing ordeal can be followed along the numerous walking trails around the gorge.
Standing on top of the cliff, you’ll be amazed at the sheer size of the cliffs and the narrow opening out to sea at the Loch Ard Gorge.
We saw this strange looking alien-like face on one of the rocks and had to take a snap!
Taken from the viewing platform overlooking Island Arch and the surrounding bay. It is amazing that while the whole of the surrounding area has been eroded so deeply, the arch in the middle of the bay is still standing.
London Bridge – Historically the London Bridge formation was a natural archway and tunnel in an offshore rock formation caused by waves eroding away a portion of softer rock. However it collapsed in 1990 and became a bridge without a middle.
The Grotto – one of the jewels of the Shipwreck Coast. Unfortunately, not a lot of tourists get to see it as it is just west of Port Campbell. This geological formation was created when sinkholes in the limestone cliffs met with a receding cliff line. The still, clear water of the Grotto is in stark contrast to the boiling waters of the Southern Ocean directly behind it.
The famous Island Archway, otherwise known as Mutton bird Island is a rock formation made of limestone rock. It is home to thousands of wedge-tailed shearwaters, also known as muttonbirds. A large section of the iconic rock formation succumbed to the elements and crumbled into the sea last year in June 2009.
The Arch - A natural rock formation formed through erosion. It is best seen during rough seas when the waves crash in and around the arch. The platform has excellent views back towards the 12 Apostles.
Sandy Cove near Childers Cove in Bay of Islands Coastal Park
This post is one of an 11 part entry of our trip to Victoria, Australia.
See all the places we visited on this trip below:
- Dandenongs – Sherbrooke, Puffing Billy, Sassafras
- Geelong – Wool, Waterfronts, Bollards
- Great Ocean Road – Gibson Steps to Bay of Islands
- Great Ocean Road – Lorne, Apollo Bay, Cape Otway Lightstation
- Melbourne – Gardens, Aquarium, Gaol
- Melbourne – MCG, Yarra River, Southbank, St Kilda
- Melbourne – QVM, City Sights and Streets
- Mornington Peninsula – Dolphins, Mazes, Vinyards
- Phillip Island – Chocs, Koalas, Penguins, Nobbies
- Phillip Island – Churchill Island
- Yarra Valley – Healesville Sanctuary, Wine, Cheese