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Overview

Maritime history

A journey along Victoria's 2,000 kilometres of coastline evokes a rich maritime history that includes mysterious shipwrecks and significant international events.

You can take in spectacular views and envisage sailors of yore setting off to sea from historic lighthouses dotted throughout coastal villages. Or you can take a tour or follow a touring route to learn more about our watery history.

The Shipwreck Coast

Unsurprisingly, some of Victoria's most intriguing seafaring history can be found along the breathtaking Great Ocean Road. This historically treacherous section of coast has claimed more than 180 ships. Follow the Shipwreck Discovery Trail and visit the many shipwreck sites along the coast.

Learn about the tales of dozens of wrecks and their resting places such as Loch Ard Gorge, where you can discover the history of the Loch Ard, wrecked in 1878 and Wreck Beach. Dive underwater to see where many shipwrecks lie, including the wreck of the SS Casino off the shore at Apollo Bay, the shipwreck Fiji at Moonlight Head, and the shipwreck Labella in Warrnambool.

Get a taste of the Bellarine Peninsula's sea stories at the Geelong Maritime Museum, or visit The Rip at Point Lonsdale, the notorious entrance to Port Phillip Bay that creates one of the world's most dangerous stretches of water. Dive deep off Queenscliff to explore the long-wrecked ships lying deep underwater.

Victoria's naval history

The waters were also perilous over on the Mornington Peninsula, where the Cape Schanck Lighthouse was erected in the 1850s to halt the destruction of ships on the coastline. This side of Port Phillip Bay played a vital role in naval history. You'll find the gun that fired the first shots in both world wars amid the labyrinth of tunnels and fortifications that is Point Nepean.

Gippsland's spectacular coastline has its own stories to tell. Port Albert was Victoria's first established port and the town's lovingly restored building's set the scene, while Point Hicks Lighthouse puts you right at the spot where Captain Cook first laid eyes on the Australian continent.

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Maritime history

Maritime history

Split Point Lighthouse Tours Aireys Inlet

Come and climb Split Point Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet. The views are simply breathtaking. You will spot her as you travel the Great Ocean Road. Don't...

Tour operator

Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Tours

Visit the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse and take part in a tour, exploring the lighthouse lantern and admiring the spectacular views over the entrance to...

Museums

Queenscliffe Maritime Museum

Sea, sand and sail are the key to Queenscliff’s history. Visit Queenscliffe Maritime Museum to discover the treasures of its rich maritime heritage,...

Maritime history

Geelong Maritime Museum

Geelong's early story is of the sea with passenger arrivals and departures or trade, scientific and naval activities. The Geelong Maritime Museum at...

Maritime history

Queenscliff Harbour

Queenscliff Harbour is a destination in itself & being a working harbour there is always something to see and do. The 250 berth marina is home to the...

National parks & reserves

Point Hicks Marine National Park

Point Hicks Marine National Park is located alongside Croajingolong National Park in East Gippsland. The granite cliffs of Point Hicks beautifully...

Beaches & coastlines

Loch Ard Gorge

Stand on top of the cliff and you'll be amazed at the sheer size of the cliffs and the narrow opening out to sea at the Loch Ard Gorge.

Museums

Gippsland Regional Maritime Museum Port Albert

The Gippsland Regional Maritime Museum Port Albert is located in Gippsland's first port, Port Albert, discovered in 1841 by the survivors of the...

Maritime history

Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village

By day or by night Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and Shipwrecked Sound and Laser Show is a must do - and winner of Victorian Tourism Award Hall of...

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Towns & villages rich in maritime history

Destinations

Sorrento

Join in the good life amid Sorrento's historic buildings, whether you're dining al fresco, browsing galleries and boutiques or swimming with dolphins.

Destinations

Flinders and Cape Schanck

Breathe the world's cleanest air in Cape Schanck and hide away for a retreat around tranquil Flinders with its designer homes and gourmet eateries.

Destinations

Apollo Bay

Base yourself in Apollo Bay at the foothills of the Otways to explore the Great Ocean Road region, 12 Apostles or stopover on the Great Ocean Walk.

Destinations

Point Lonsdale

Witness ocean and bay waters collide at the notorious entrance to Port Phillip Bay, then enjoy more peaceful pursuits along the foreshore.

Destinations

Geelong

Explore Victoria's second largest city, Geelong, the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road with a diverse range of activities.

Destinations

Warrnambool

Wonder at the beauty and terror of the Shipwreck Coast, catch a glimpse of a southern right whale, and explore the vibrant community of Warrnambool.

Destinations

Port Albert

Retreat to the coastal Gippsland town of Port Albert, Victoria's first established port. The town is a renowned recreational and commercial fishing spot.

Destinations

Queenscliff

Be charmed by the historic seaside village of Queenscliff with its elegant Victorian-era buildings, art galleries, shops and great places to dine.

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History and heritage

Uncover Victoria's proud history, from preserved goldmining relics, Murray River paddle steamers, bushrangers' lairs and ancient Aboriginal artefacts.

History & heritage

Lighthouses

Explore grand, historic lighthouses standing sentry along Victoria's dramatic coastline, guiding the way from Gippsland to the Great Ocean Road.

Architecture

Heritage buildings

Discover Melbourne's rich history with a visit to one of the numerous historical buildings and monuments around the city.

Nature & wildlife

Beaches and coastlines

Drag yourself away from the Great Ocean Road with its dramatic rock sculptures and soaring views, and discover more of Victoria's stunning coastline.