Collins Settlement Historic Site
Address: Nepean Rd, Sorrento, Victoria 3943
At the beginning of the 19thcentury, the British government decided to establish a settlement at Port Phillip and Sullivan Bay was chosen because of its strategic location near the entrance of the Bay. The settlement is significant because it was the first attempt to settle Europeans permanently in what is now Victoria.
A small part of Collins Settlement Historic Site was acquired in 1982 by the State Governement, with the help of public donations. Friends of Collins Settlement Sorrento Inc. assist with managing the area.
Things to see and do
- Explore the revegetated area and absorb the history of Victoria's first settlement
- Visit the Nepean Historical Society Museum in Sorrento
Before you go
Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.
Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.
Collins Historic Settlement Site and Sorrento Pier are accessed off Point Nepean Road at Sorrento (Melway ref: 157 C7).
Additional business information
Collins Settlement Historic Site, Sullivan Bay, just east of Sorrento, is the place where Lieutenant Colonel David Collins, accompanied by civil officers, marines, free settlers and 229 convicts landed in October 1803. For centuries before Collins landed, Aborigines used the site on a seasonal basis for collecting shellfish. Shell middens on the cliff tops contain evidence of their activities. The new colonists quickly discovered that water was scarce, and suitable timber could not be found. The treacherous entrance to the bay made the site unsuitable for whaling and with few marines, the settlement was vulnerable to attack. Collins decided to abandon the settlement and move to Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) in January 1804. Little evidence of the settlement exists. Four graves on the eastern headland, and parts of barrels, leg irons, bottles and other pieces are all that remain. These can be seen in the Sorrento Museum, Melbourne Road, Sorrento.
Looking after the park
* Take your rubbish with you * All native plants, animals and historic artefacts are protected.
Activities and attractions