Tales of shipwreck and marine misadventure are woven into the very fabric of the region and a vibrant pastoral history,
rich volcanic soils and philanthropic benefactors have left a legacy of cultured street scapes
and magnificent historic buildings just north of the coast
Cape Otway Lightstation
Cape Otway Lightstation is Australia's most important lighthouse. The light established in 1848 is perched on towering sea cliffs 90 metres above where Bass Straight and Southern Ocean collide.
There are approximately 638 known shipwrecks along Victoria’s coast, although only around 240 of them have been discovered. Call into Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre and discover the wrecks of the region.
Made up of a collection of artifacts recovered from wrecks along the Shipwreck Coast. Come and see our display at the Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre, admission is Free!
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village
Both a living historical village that displays the life of a 19th century port and town, and holder of Victoria's largest maritime shipwreck collection. It occupies a beautiful site, tumbling down the bluff towards Lady Bay.
From early childhood I spent much of my time with my late Grandfather, who taught me much about our cultural history of the Kirrae Whurrung Tribe. Pop was an expert at wood carving and showed me and my brother Crispian how to use the tomahawk and rough rasp to make spears, boondi’s, carved snakes and boomerangs’ Pop not only showed us how to carve – he told us stories and the cultural significance of the wood carvings – precious memories that continue to inspire my carving, paintings and songs.
Camperdown Botanical Gardens
The Gardens feature three species of trees on the Significant tree registry - The African Holly, an avenue of nine Linden trees and two Himalayan Oaks. The impressive canopy also includes Elms, Cedars and Pines.
Camperdown to Timboon Rail Trail
The completed 34km Camperdown to Timboon trail is a wonderful family adventure, dotted with statuesque trestle bridges and spellbinding scenery.
Heytesbury Settlement Historical Park
The Heytesbury Settlement Historic Park is located on the banks of Simpson Lake and commemorates the development of the Heytesbury Settlement Scheme. This was a major land clearing exercise focused on creating soldier settlement farms in the 1950's.
Mount Eccles National Park
Mount Eccles (Budj Bim) is a long dormant volcano. Budj Bim is the source of the Tyrendarra lava flow which extends over 50 kilometres to the southwest. It is central to the history of the Gunditjmara people.
Heytesbury & District Historical Society
Visitors can view artefacts and displays connected to local settlement and shipwreck history. Shop for local arts and crafts, talk to our wonderful volunteers and view an extensive photo library capturing topics as diverse as local surf culture and historic farming methods.
Camperdown & District Historical Society
Visit the Camperdown & District Heritage Centre in Manifold Street. You will find family and local history information and guided tours of Camperdown and district.
Cobden Pioneer Park
Cobden Pioneer Park is open to the public on the third Sunday of each month from 11am to 4pm. It is also available for hire for special events. Featuring the exceptional Harold Lamb vintage buggy and carriage collection.
For tips on how to make the most of your visit, gifts and warm local hospitality be sure to call into Courthouse Camperdown, located in Manifold Street.
The Cobden Story
The Cobden Story is a series of signs that interpret key buildings, people and places around town. Pick up a map and see them all!
Dry Stone Walls
The dry stone walls along and north of the Princes Hwy between Pomborneit and Terang are an integral part of our inland landscapes providing a direct link to the Anglo-Celtic settlers of the 19th Century. The walls worked with the landscape fulfilling the dual purpose of clearing paddocks and creating aesthetic and effective rabbit proof fencing.
This dry stone wall network is the largest of any outside of Europe. Call into Camperdown Courthouse Information and Arts to pick up a brochure and get directions to the best places to view the walls.
Alan Marshall Discovery Trail
Invoke, warm nostalgia and a flood of schoolyard memories on the Alan Marshall Discovery Trail. Visitors can immerse themselves in the settings that form the rich period landscape of Marshall’s 1955 novel “I Can Jump Puddles.” Take a walk up Mount Noorat and explore sites in the district pertinent to Marshall’s formative years including Lake Keilambete to the North West of Terang.
Camperdown Heritage Car Tour
The delightful period architecture and well preserved buildings of Camperdown come to life on this well presented tour. The accompanying brochure brings to life a prosperous and industrious town full to the brim with colourful characters. Enjoy the tour on foot or drive from point to point. Pick up a map and commence your journey at Camperdown Courthouse Information and Arts directly opposite the Clock tower in Manifold Street.
Visitors, wedding guests, conference delegates are welcomed to explore this elegant homestead and follow in the footsteps of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (later King Edward Vlll). Glenormiston's story begins back in the 1840 when Scottish pastoralist Niel Black acquired the property. Black began building the historic homestead in the 1850's.
Forever tied up with the story of the Loch Ard, the historic Glenample Homestead is currently closed to visitors.
Loch Ard & Glenample Homestead
In June 1878, Glenample Homestead and owners Hugh and Lavinia Gibson came to national attention through a significant association with the Loch Ard disaster and the subsequent sheltering of the survivors, direction of salvage operations, and burial of the dead. The Loch Ard was a three-masted square rigged iron sailing ship which left England bound for Melbourne on the 2nd March 1878 under the command of twenty nine year old Captain Gibbs. At 3am on the 1st June 1878, Captain Gibbs was expecting to see land or the Cape Otway lighthouse but fog obscured his view. When the fog lifted, Gibbs was alarmed to find his ship much closer to shore than expected. Despite his best efforts the Loch Ard struck a rocky reef at the base of Mutton-bird Island and the ship was wrecked. Of the 54 crew and passengers on board, only two survived, Tom Pearce, an apprentice crewman, and a young woman passenger, Eva Carmichael who lost all her family in the tragedy. Pearce survived by clinging to a capsized lifeboat before eventually swimming into the gorge which now bears the name of the ill-fated ship. Eighteen year old Eva Carmichael spent five hours in the water until she too was swept into the gorge. Tom Pearce rescued the exhausted girl from a reef and brought her to a cave onshore. A few hours later Tom Pearce scaled a cliff in search of help and came by chance upon two men from the Gibson’s Glenample Homestead. Pearce returned to the gorge while the two men rode back to the station to get help. Tom Pearce and Eva Carmichael were taken to the station to recover. Eva stayed at Glenample for six weeks before returning to Ireland. The bodies of Eva Carmichael’s young brother and sister Evory and Raby Carmichael were recovered and buried in a cemetery near the head of the gorge. Tom Pearce went to Melbourne where he was presented with the first gold medal of the Royal Humane Society of Victoria and a £1,000 cheque from the Victorian Government.
For more information about any of the historical sites, contact the Port Campbell Visitor Information Centre