The 12 apostles; the famous sandstone stacks near Port Campbell are without doubt the most famous icon along the Great Ocean Road.
These striking natural sculptures are the result of many thousands of years of erosion. The soft sandstone that makes up this section of the Victorian coastline disappears at a rate of 1cm per year.
The 'Good old Days' The twelve apostles were different then. I don't mean the actual rock stacks (although there were more of them then), I mean the experience was different. It was raw, rugged. There was no visitor centre; there was minimal parking, and you were less restricted than visitors are today (you used to be able to walk out along the cliffs past the southern viewing deck). The experience today is a good middle ground between conservation and visitor enjoyment (but as a photographer I get a bit frustrated when I think back to the freedom once enjoyed). I think Parks Victoria have done a great job to ensure that many generations to come will be able to experience these wonderful natural sculptures. The amenities are certainly a lot better now!
A 'Bird's Eye' View If you really want to get the best out of your experience, then you should consider shelling out for a helicopter flight over the whole area. There's simply no better way to see everything the national park has to offer. Helicopter flights are available across from the visitor centre and start from $95.
You'll also get the best views of nearby Loch Ard Gorge, Muttonbird island (or island arch), Gibson Steps and London Bridge (now called London Arch).
Do yourself a favour and go for a drive along the Great Ocean Road, and be sure to visit the Twelve Apostles.