Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)
TITLE: The Sow That Became An Apostle
By Donna Powers
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Though our Lord called Peter “the Rock”, only in Australia are the rest of the Twelve Apostles also rocks.
Many who aren't familiar with the Land Down Under don't know about these Twelve Apostles: an unique group of limestone stacks standing just off shore in the Port Campbell National Park, in Victoria. The popular tourist site was originally called the Sow and Piglets; its modern name was coined in the 1950s in order to attract more tourists. The largest of the group is Muttonbird Island.
Each of the formations is formed from layers of limestone. They began as part of limestone cliffs on the mainland, about 10 to 20 billion years ago. The harsh waves and winds of the ocean eroded the cliffs and formed caves. The caves were further whittled away and became arches, which split and resulted in the forms which are currently seen.
Over time, all of the “twelve” have grown and been similarly eroded. Each has an unique shape and over time, their liquid “sculptor” has had its way with their shapes and sizes. It's easy to see their many layers; like the rings of a redwood tree, they stand as visible witnesses to centuries of geological history. In 2005 there were seven visible formations; the collapse of the eighth was widely reported in the media.
In order to see the Apostles, tourists can enter through their Visitors' Center. Here they can find brochures about the history of the site. Next, they can utilize platforms and boardwalks which were built to show off these amazing structures. From a bright sandy yellow in sunlight to a dark somber presence in the darkness, these distinctive structures are an ever-thrilling sight.
There are several places to stay and nearby attractions such as Loch Ard and Gibson Steps make this a destination worth seeking during an Australian vacation. A drive further along the Great Ocean Road is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.
And, just think, when you get home you can tell your friends you spent the afternoon with the Twelve Apostles.
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