Our driver guide said that the Loch Ard Gorge was usually the last stop in the Great Ocean Road Bus Tour but since we still had time, he took us over to Gibson’s Steps. It was just a short, 5-6 minute drive from the gorge. In fact, Gibson’s steps is actually on the opposite side of Twelve Apostles, as compared to the Loch Ard Gorge, so we were actually covering it on the return part of Great Ocean Road tour.
There is actually a walking track directly from the Twelve Apostles to the Gibson’s Steps lookout. It’s a short 15 min walk and, left to ourselves, we would have preferred the walk.
Unfortunately, when we reached Gibson’s Steps, the steps were barricaded so we couldn’t actually go down to the lush beach at the bottom of the steps.
Our driver guide said the steps had been closed for the last three weeks. The parking here was too small for commercial use so he had just stopped here for a few minutes, mainly to give all of us an opportunity to click pictures at this beautiful point.
We certainly didn’t waste the opportunity 🙂 The car park led directly onto the viewing platform and the steps below. The surrounding landscape was stunning.
The steps, which were originally cut out by the Kirrae Whurrong local tribe hundreds of years ago, have over time been sculpted and honed by the prevailing weather conditions into a spectacular natural wonder (though now strengthened and supported by metal railings).
Gibson’s Steps got their name only in 1869 when they were named after Pioneer Hugh Gibson, who regularly used the carved steps to access the beach below. Gibson became famous for his role in the Loch Ard shipwreck. The two survivors, Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael, had recovered at Gibson’s homestead.
From the viewing platform at the top of the steps, you can see two jutting limestone stacks, very like the Twelve Apostles but not considered their part, in the ocean nearby. These are known as Gog and Magog.
The enchanting Gibson Beach kept tempting us.
If only we had come here three weeks earlier!
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