Sitting on one of these picnic tables, looking across Port Phillip Bay, it’s hard to comprehend that this is the very spot where over 200 years ago, the very first Europeans to ever set up a settlement on the southern coast of Australia – did so, right here, back in 1803 . . .
The location is beautiful, the water so inviting. One can barely imagine what it might have been like back then, in its natural state. Over four hundred settlers (including convicts, garrison, support staff, ships crews, surveyors, etc.) were transported to this lonely outpost, only to pack up and leave less than four months later. Their drinkable water was obtained from sinking wooden casks into the sand, and then there were the dangers of the sea:
” . . . Sullivan Bay, 20th Oct. 1803.
Parole—Delivery. C. Sign—Dispatch.
This bay and the harbour in general being unfortunately full of voracious sharks and stingrays only, it is recommended to the convicts not to go into the water without the utmost precaution, and they are positively prohibited from bathing in front of the encampment . . . “
Source: Excerpt – “Historical Records of Port Phillip . . . ” – edited by John J. Shillinglaw – published 1879
Today, this stunning picnic area leads straight onto the beach, which is a very safe place to swim and enjoy the warm, clear waters of the bay.
– Located some 2.1 km South-East of Sorrento – obtain Directions here
– For a list of Points of Interest regarding the ‘Collins 1803 Settlement’ – click here
– Pets are permitted at various times during various seasons of the year
– A Car Park is available at the Site
– Facilities available at Sorrento include:
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