Longitude: 144.739361 Latitude: -38.339355
Metres above Sea Level: 20.5 m
Area: 7.08 km² Perimeter: 15.5 km
View Sorrento’s Statistics & Demographics
Sorrento is in fact the location of the very first attempt at settlement by Europeans in the Port Phillip Bay area. Lieutenant Collins arrived with a fleet of ships in the year 1803, landing at Sullivan Bay, Sorrento where the settlement’s claim to fame includes:
” . . . the first marriage celebrated in the colony was on the 27th November, 1803, by the Rev. Robert Knopwood, chaplain of the Collins’ Expedition — and the happy pair were Richard Garrett and Hannah Harvey. The interesting event happened at Sorrento, a fact which ought to tell favourably for that popular watering place, as an auspicious retreat for the proverbial Hymeneal pastime of honeymooning. It is remarkable that Sorrento was the locale of the first mortuary and of the first Lucinean (a poetic allusion to Lucinea, Goddess of Child-bearing) rites, for the first man who died in the colony was cook of the “Calcutta” (one of the Collins’ ships), and he was buried there on the 16th November, 1803, whilst on the 25th of the same month the wife of Sergeant Thorne (also a member of the Expedition) presented her husband with a son, and the little stranger was christened, with all the honours, at Sorrento, on Christmas Day following . . . “
Source: Excerpt – ‘Illustrated Australian News’ (Melbourne, Vic) – Article “A Holiday Tour Round Port Phillip” – published 18th December 1886
Sorrento is one of the only Mornington Peninsula towns that has retained its stunning historical charm. The beautiful limestone buildings that line the steep incline – enjoy magnificent views of Port Phillip Bay. Much of the peninsula at this point is only around 1.5 km in width, making the surf and bay beaches within easy reach of each other. The suburb includes historic Point King, the 1803 Settlement Site, stunning bay beaches and breathtaking surf beaches. The ‘Mornington Peninsula National Park’ lines the coastline of Bass Strait featuring remarkable landscapes accessed via the many well maintained walking trails. The seaside village is abuzz sporting many eateries, places to stay and boutique shopping – all within easy walk of each other. The pier provides access to the Ferry service to Queenscliff, whilst the beaches support all manner of water sports. Remnants of the historic tramway provide reminders of the dreams of one man, Mr George Coppin.
” . . . The “cups and saucers” country we passed over on the way might be interesting geologically, and even artistically; but on any dry, hot summer day the look around might not be enlivening to a new arrival. None the less, Sorrento has since arisen there — a considerable, lively, and pretty watering-place, as I hear, for which the colony’s good friend, Mr. George Coppin, has provided, amongst other benefits to it, a regular steam communication. This steam route includes another like wonder of progress, Queenscliff, which, at the time I speak of, only possessed a lighthouse, but is now a breezy and lively crowded and fashionable retreat from the great dusty city of business and cares to the north . . . “
Source: Excerpt – ‘Personal Recollections of Early Melbourne & Victoria’ – by William Westgarth – published 1878
This beautiful seaside village was once described, less than a century ago:
” . . . An exceedingly popular watering-place on S.E. of Port Phillip bay and 40 miles (60 postal) S. of Melbourne, with trams to back beach. Three hotels, State school, church open to all denominations, post and money-orders office, telegraph station, savings bank, mechanics’ institute (with library), excellent pier and commodious baths. In summer large steamers run several times a week between Melbourne and Sorrento returning same day. It has a settled population of 24 persons, which in summer is fluctuating, but averaging about 100. Rail to Mornington 30 miles ; then coach, 24 miles. Formation – limestone. Mrs. Smith, postmistress . . . “
Source: Excerpt – ‘Mornington Standard’ – Article “Flinders & Kangerong Shire” – published 18th November 1897
Sorrento remains an idyllic and stunning location with something for everyone. Be sure to allow plenty of time to explore its natural beauty, history, stunning architecture, shopping, dining, and of course, the beaches !!!
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