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History & heritage

Churchill Island

Discover important agricultural history at Churchill Island, the site of Victoria's first European settlement, and take home local delicacies from the thriving modern-day farmers' market.

Important history
Three years after George Bass and Matthew Flinders came across Churchill Island in 1798, Lieutenant James Grant constructed a simple cottage and planted crops with seeds supplied by his friend, the eponymous John Churchill, to create the first European settlement in Victoria. In 1872 the run-down island was purchased by Samuel Amess, who built the weatherboard homestead that you can visit today.

Explore the historic house and farm buildings, walk through the traditional herb and flower gardens and orchard, and see ranger demonstrations of traditional farming techniques. Enjoy morning or afternoon tea in the visitor centre.

Churchill Island by foot
Walking to the island from nearby Cape Woolamai reveals forest, wetlands, a tidal inlet and grazing Cape Barren geese. You can walk or cycle around a marked track on the tiny island, which measures just 57 hectares.

Market day
Head to Churchill Island on the fourth Saturday of each month for the farmers' market and pick up a wide range of local produce including cheeses, organic fruit and vegetables and free-range chicken products.

Content: Tourism Victoria