Sister, not apostle, crumbles into sea

One of the Twelve Apostles has risen again. The Great Ocean Road rock formation that collapsed into the sea last week was not one of the famous towers, but a sister stack.

One of the 'Three Sisters' sea stacks crumbled into the ocean on a weekend of high winds and punishing seas.

It was earlier thought the rock formation which collapsed was one of the Twelve Apostles, but a Parks Victoria spokesperson confirmed it was one of three smaller pillars sitting behind an outcropping known as the Razorback.

"They are not part of the Apostles," said Port Campbell National Park ranger Natasha Johnson.

"The are located east of the Razorback visitors' site which is in the Loch Ard Gorge precinct. It was a fairly small rock stack compared to the Twelve Apostles or some of the other rock stacks in the area.

"There have been big swells over the past few months and we've also had quite a lot of heavy rain, and that has possibly contributed to the collapse.

"But being limestone, it erodes very quickly compared to other hard rocks like granite. It obviously had quite a few weaker areas and that lead to the collapse."

Ms Johnson said the Southern Ocean soft limestone cliffs are a work-in-progress, with nature constantly redefining the shape of the coastline.

Earlier this month, a large section of cliff fell into the sea about a kilometre from the lookout at the Twelve Apostles. In June this year, the Island Archway near Loch Ard Gorge collapsed leaving two stone pillars jutting from the ocean. In 2005, the Twelve Apostles were reduced to eight when a large stack crumbled into the sea.