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Collins Settlement Historic Site

Victoria, Australia

Collins Settlement Historic Site

Nearby VIC destinations
• Melbourne
• Mornington Peninsula NP
• Sorrento

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Collins Settlement Historic Site - Cities, Towns and Localities
It was at the beginning of the 19th century that the then British government decided to establish a settlement at Port Phillip, with Sullivan Bay being chosen because of its strategic location being near the entrance of the Bay. This settlement was significant, as it was the first attempt to settle Europeans permanently in what is now Victoria.

The ‘Collins Settlement Historic Site’ is just east of Sorrento and is the place where Lieutenant Colonel David Collins, accompanied by civil officers, marines, free settlers and 229 convicts landed in October 1803.

The 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 not enough marines, the settlement was vulnerable to attack. Collins decided to abandon the settlement and move on to Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) in January 1804. Today, there is little evidence that the settlement existed, with just four graves on the eastern headland, and parts of barrels, leg irons, bottles and other items being all that remain. These items can be seen in the Sorrento Museum.

The Aborigines had used the site for centuries on a seasonal basis, collecting shellfish, with shell middens on the cliff tops evidence of their activities.

Access to the historic site is off Point Nepean Road at Sorrento.

Source: Parks Victoria - Collins Settlement Historic Site

In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

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Parks Victoria Information Centre
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