The Twelve Apostles (Victoria)
|Location||Near Port Campbell, Victoria|
|LGA||Shire of Corangamite|
The Twelve Apostles is a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. Their proximity to one another has made the site a popular tourist attraction. There are eight Apostles left, the ninth having collapsed dramatically in July 2005. The name remains significant and spectacular, especially in the Australian tourism industry.
Formation and history
The apostles were formed by erosion: The harsh and extreme weather conditions from the Southern Ocean gradually eroded the soft limestone to form caves in the cliffs, which then became arches, which in turn collapsed; leaving rock stacks up to 50 metres high. Because of this erosion, there are fewer than ten remaining. The site was known as the Sow and Pigs (Muttonbird Island, near Loch Ard Gorge, was the 'Sow', and the smaller rock stacks were the "Piglets"), the Pinnacles or the Twelve Apostles. The formation eventually became known as the Twelve Apostles, despite only ever having nine stacks.
In 2002, the Port Campbell Professional Fishermens Association unsuccessfully attempted to block the creation of a proposed marine national park at the Twelve Apostles location, but were satisfied with the later Victorian Government decision not to allow seismic exploration at the same site by Benaris Energy; believing it would harm marine life.
The stacks are susceptible to further erosion from the waves. On 3 July 2005, a 50-metre-tall (160 ft) stack collapsed, leaving eight standing. On 25 September 2009, it was thought that another of the stacks had fallen, but this was actually one of the smaller stacks of the Three Sisters formation. The rate of erosion at the base of the limestone pillars is approximately 2 cm per year. Due to wave action eroding the cliff face existing headlands are expected to become new limestone stacks in the future.
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- La Canna, Xavier & Murphy, Mathew (4 July 2005). "Ninth Apostle crumbles". The Age.
- "Port Campbell bid to block marine national park". www.abc.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 15 April 2002. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "Fishermen welcome decision against national park seismic exploration". www.abc.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 17 October 2003. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "Otway Basin seismic survey work set to start". www.abc.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 21 October 2003. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- "Apostles lose one of their own". CNN. 4 July 2005.
- Hunter, Thomas (28 September 2009). Sister, not apostle, crumbles into sea. The Age.
- (At a destructive rate of 2-3 cm per year)
- Porter, Geoff (2006). Little Bites of Australia. Pegasus Elliot Mackenzie Pu. p. 203.
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