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Ths author is a Chartered Professional Engineer, providing specialized consultancy services in International Broadcasting Engineering. He is graduate of the Royal Melbourne Instiutute of Technology.and holds the rank of Member, Institution of Engineers Australia . he is a recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for Services to Shortwave Radio, and was employed by the PMG's Dept/ATC/Telecom Australia from 1956 until 1997...

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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Corinella - Westernport Bay


Corinella is an idyllic seaside town, about 110 km SE of Melbourne, on Westernport Bay. It's a small peninsula of land surrounded on three sides by water, and reached from the Bass Highway, along the Corinella Rd.

Corinella is blessed with panoramic picturesque views of the sea and islands along with a very pleasant year-round climate and has ideal access to the bay for most types of boating craft.

A lovely blend of rural grazing and farming land surrounds the Corinella peninsula with a broad range of agricultural production, including prestigious thoroughbred racing horse farms, beef and dairy cattle, red deer farming, flower and herb growers, winery viticulture and many more, all prospering in this ideal seaside climate.

Corinella is a very important historic town, and is one of the first towns settled in the state of Victoria, indeed Australia.

Its historic significance to Australia's settled history is very important and is not widely recognised or advertised. Most historical talk of Australia's settlement birth is always focused on Sydney and NSW; however Corinella was actually the site of the first Government House in Victoria and was a town at federation.

One of the first British settlements in what is now Victoria was established here, albeit briefly, in 1826.

In that year, a French vessel under Dumont d'Urville examined Westernport, arousing apprehensions about French colonisation of the southern coastline. Coupled with this was the favourable report of the Westernport district made by explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell who believed that their 1824 overland journey from NSW had terminated at Westernport.

Unfortunately they were mistaken, having actually completed their trek at Port Phillip.

On the basis of their comments, Governor Darling decided to forestall any prospective French plans by establishing a military and agricultural settlement at Westernport.

Captain Wright was dispatched with troops, 21 convicts and William Hovell. Wright established a small military settlement at the present-day site of Rhyll on the north coast of Phillip Island and called it Fort Dumaresq. However, fresh water proved a problem and the outpost was moved to Corinella which was called Settlement Point.
The above information is sourced to the "Visit Corinella" website, at http://www.visitcorinella.com, and used with acknowledgement.

I visited Corinella for the first time on April 1, 2009, and my exploration took me to Settlement Point, the walking track to the lookout and the jetties.

I found the historical cairn on the hill at the end of Jamieson St, which marks the site of the original settlement, from which a walking track took me to good views of the Bay.

I also visited the nice beach at nearby Coronet Bay.

Two beautiful pelicans were near the jetties - several small fishing boats were in the main channel, and the Corinella to French Island ferry was chugging its way across the Bay.

See the full set of Photos of my visit!

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