Twelve Apostles and Port Fairy

On Friday morning we left Apollo Bay and were looking forward to seeing the famous Twelve Apostles. They are a scenic group of sea stacks (rocky pillars along the coast) that are one of the most popular tourist sites in Australia. They are much taller than I expected and with the clear, bright blue water I must admit this coastline is even more scenic than Oregon or California.

The famous Twelve Apostles

The famous Twelve Apostles

Twelve Apostles

Twelve Apostles

Look at that blue water!

Look at that blue water!

Another attraction at the Twelve Apostles is a penguin colony. We could see their tracks in the sand far below and we plan to return in a couple days to see them return from the sea after sunset.

Penguin tracks in middle of this beach

Penguin tracks in the middle of this beach

Near the Twelve Apostles is the Loch Ard Gorge, so named for the ship the Loch Ard which ran aground nearby in 1878. Only two people survived the wreck and there is a cemetery nearby with the remains of many of the shipwreck victims.

Stone arch near Loch Ard Gorge

Stone arch near Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge Beach

Loch Ard Gorge Beach

Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge

Cemetary for shipwreck victims

Cemetary for shipwreck victims

While walking along the foot paths in the area we saw a couple really large lizards. They’re harmless skinks, but they reminded me of the size and coloring of Gila Monsters of the desert southwest.

A big lizard (about a foot long)

A big lizard (about a foot long)

Our next stop along the coast was London Bridge. This small island used to have a natural bridge connecting it to the mainland, but that land bridge collapsed back in 1990, briefly stranding two people on the newly formed island.

The gap is where London Bridge used to be

The gap is where London Bridge used to be

Eventually we reached Port Fairy where we are staying in another hostel. The hostel is located in a historic building and our room is actually in a section of the refurbished barn’s hayloft. As dusk approached we walked to a nearby colony of shearwater birds. They return to their nests after sunset and we really enjoyed standing nearby as darkness fell, watching the silent birds fly all around us. It was too dark to get any decent photos, but it was a wonderful experience.

The next day we took in more scenery and wildlife at nearby Tower Hill Reserve. This is an old volcano crater which has some shallow lakes and a variety of birds and wildlife. We had barely pulled into the park when we saw our first emu. While walking around we saw another one walking in front of us.

An emu that walked in front of us for a while

An emu that walked in front of us for a while

Superb Fairy-Wren

Superb Fairy-Wren

While hiking back from a viewpoint we saw a wallaby up close. It was rather tame and didn’t mind that we got close enough for some good photos. We had seen one the night before at dusk, but we got a better view of this one during the day.

A wallaby at Tower HIll

A wallaby at Tower HIll

Can you see its long eyelashes?

Can you see its long eyelashes?

Later that day I struck up a conversation with a couple girls at the hostel. Lena is German and Rebecca is Swiss. We invited them to join us as we drove back to Tower Hill at dusk. We’d been told that is a good time to see wildlife at Tower Hill. Sure enough, just after we drove into the park we spotted a family of Kangaroos near the road. We saw more kangaroos near the visitor center and we watched them grazing on the grass as night fell.

Kangaroo family at dusk

Kangaroo family at dusk

Kangaroo dad and joey

Kangaroo dad and joey

Sunset at Tower Hill Reserve

Sunset at Tower Hill Reserve

The 'roos are pretty active at dusk

The ‘roos are pretty active at dusk

Lena, Caroline, and Rebecca

Lena, Caroline, and Rebecca

 

Geotag Icon Show on map

One thought on “Twelve Apostles and Port Fairy

Leave a Reply