The Twelve Apostles region features some of the world’s most spectacular coastal scenery. The 3 coastal townships of Port Campbell, Princetown and Peterborough are ideal bases for a thorough exploration of the Western Otway Ranges rainforest, Great Ocean Road and Shipwreck coast.
Take advantage of a comprehensive system of boardwalks, paths and viewing platforms to witness the spectacle of the Southern Ocean’s “work in progress”. The combined Port Campbell National Park and Bay of Islands Coastal Park covers 65km of pristine coastline. Take time to explore more than the big 3 (Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge). The depth of diversity in this park is a major reason for its international acclaim. “The Great Ocean walk” expected to be completed in December 2005 will link Glenample Homestead in Princetown with Apollo Bay. Visitors will be able to enjoy the whole walk or take advantage of short routes along its length
Penguins are visible year round from the main viewing area at the Twelve Apostles. Hang about after sunset to catch the comical social behaviour of Little Penguins returning to their burrows on the beach below where there is a penguin population of around 3000. Take your binoculars, but rest your camera and leave your torches at home.
Mutton-birds (short tailed shearwaters): Every evening from September until April you can witness the incredible spectacle of thousands of these birds returning to their roost on Mutton Bird Island at Loch Ard Gorge.
Boat trips depart from Port Campbell pier,weather permitting, and get you close enough to the formations to fully showcase their incredible scale. The sunset cruise proves most popular; the sight of the limestone cliffs blazing against a darkening sky is not quickly forgotten. For the more intrepid scuba and snorkelling trips allow a view into the rich and fragile world of The Twelve Apostles Marine National Park.
From above, the Great Ocean Road resembles a narrow black ribbon wefting and wending in a precarious dance with the cliff tops. Watch Southern Ocean waters boil and fizz around the remaining stacks that dare oppose its dominion. Both jaw dropping and inspiring, a flight over the Twelve Apostles is highly recommended.
For the Foodies
Local restaurants and cafés meld international cuisine with fresh ingredients from the regions productive primary industries of fishing and farming. The area is fast gaining a reputation for its gourmet cheeses, ice cream, berries and a highly rated winery. Take advantage of a Food, Wine and Vistas drive to fill your hamper for a sunset picnic on the beach.
An attraction in its own right the town of Port Campbell allows the National Park to flow right in. The town wraps itself around a small natural cove, skirted by a cliff top Discovery walk. A crane on the town’s pier provides the only point of entry for the local cray fishing fleet. Coloured paving and street scaping compliments the towns growing strip of sidewalk cafés, gift shops and restaurants. In summer visitors flock to the patrolled swimming beach and even in winter make good use of the elevated lawns to stretch out and relax. Be sure to visit the local history and shipwreck displays for an insight into a remarkable near history.
Ahhh! Peterborough of the craggy cliffs warm sunset hues and the ever-present tang of salt in the air. Bay of Islands Coastal Park, cliff top golf and walks, sheltered coves, a friendly pub and the wide sweep of the Curdies Inlet (a favourite with anglers) will keep you coming again and again. Find your own space on unspoilt beaches in and around town and at the Childers Cove Region, a short drive west.
Princetown is a virtual island in the midst of an expansive wetland. Escape a south westerly by taking a walk along the Gellibrand River Estuary, grab a bite to eat with a view, throw in a line or bring out the binoculars for a bird-watcher's smorgasbord. Bordered by Port Campbell and Otway National Park, Princetown has much to offer lovers of nature. Completion of a wetland boardwalk will do much to enhance the amenity of this coastal gem.
Lakes and Craters region
Follow meandering roads north for lakes, stunning volcanic vistas, charming historic towns and warm country hospitality. Enjoy your stay in the townships of Cobden, Timboon, Camperdown or Terang.
Short Trips East
Melba Gully rainforest walk, Otway Fly Treetop walk, Triplet Falls, Cape Otway Lightstation and Moonlight Head (check road conditions) to name a few.
Short Trips West
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum, Lake Pertobe adventure playground, Tower Hill, Logan’s Beach whale watching platform and Port Fairy.
Call into Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre for national parks, local and regional information and souvenirs to help you make the most of your stay. Open 9-5pm 7 days a week. 26 Morris Street Port Campbell 3269 Ph: 03 5598 – 6089 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Port Campbell Visitor Information Cent wrote this article