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Apollo Bay and the west Otway Region


a brief history

  • the Gadubanud or Katabanut known to the Europeans as the King Parrot People are the traditional owners of the Apollo Bay area and much of the Otways
  • 1790: sealers operated in Bass Strait
  • 1800: Apollo Bay coast sighted by Lt Grant on the Lady Nelson
  • 1830's?? Henty Brothers set up a whaling station at Pt Bunbury where the current golf course lies
  • 1836: Gellibrand and Hesse are the first white men to penetrate the Otway Ranges. They disappear without trace the following year while still in the Otways.
  • 1845: Apollo Bay named by Capt Loutitt after he sheltered here in his vessel Apollo on a voyage from Melbourne to Port Fairy
  • 1845: George Smythe was engaged to survey the coast down to Cape Otway
  • 1845: Superintendent Charles La Trobe (later Governor) succeeds on his 3rd attempt to reach Cape Otway to determine a site for a lighthouse
  • 1845: William and Thomas Roadknight establish an overland route from Birregurra to Cape Otway which is just 1.2m wide
  • 1848: Cape Otway lighthouse completed
  • 1849: trees felled and timber floated out to boats in the bay
  • 1851: Black Thursday bush fires on 6th Feb destroyed the timber cutters settlement on the bay
  • 1850's: Victoria's gold rush brings many ships from England around Cape Otway and several were wrecked in the treacherous seas of the Shipwreck Coast west of Cape Otway including:
    • Marie (1851), Sacramento (1853), Schomberg (1856), and later, Loch Ard (1878), Joseph H. Scammell (May 1891), and Fiji (September 1891)
  • 1852: Sawmill built on Clynes Creek (now Cawoods Creek) and timber jetty built at Pt Bunbury
  • 1853: the Apollo Bay Company builds a sawmill at junction of Barham Rivers and a tramway to the jetty
  • 1853: town surveyed by Skene and named as Middleton
  • 1854: the brigantine Anna of 140 tons was wrecked while loading in Apollo Bay; the jetty was damaged by storms and a new 300' jetty was built on Pt Bunbury
  • 1859: telegraph office opens at nearby Cape Otway lighthouse
  • 1864: John Cawood establishes a farm on river flats opposite the recreation ground
  • 1868: 1st land titles issued
  • 1877: town named as Krambruk with surveyed land is thrown open for selection resulting in 30 township and half-acre lots being sold, and soon infrastructure building includes a school, churches, post office and a pub
  • 1886: telegraph services begin at the Post Office
  • 1896: plans approved for building of a bridge across Skene's Creek
  • 1898: town renamed Apollo Bay
  • 1900: building began on a spectacular railway line that ran between Beech Forest and Colac and trains ran until 1962 serving the timber industry and Apollo Bay - this line is now a popular downhill walking trail
  • 1900's: 3 means of communication with the rest of the world:
    • a weekly boat service
    • horse coach to Forrest and then the railway line
    • the telegraph
  • 1900: 1st sawmill established in nearby Lavers Hill stimulating development of that township
  • 1927: first road access
  • 1932: the coastal steamer Casino, was hit by a freak wave as it tried to berth at the town’s jetty, sinking killing 10 people. The anchor of the vessel is now an important monument located outside the post office
  • 1932: the completion of the Great Ocean Road finally opens up access to Apollo Bay by road from Melbourne allowing it to become an important fishing village (now fresh fish could be delivered to Melbourne) and tourist town
  • 1936: establishment of telecommunications station with installation of submarine telegraph and telephone cable to Tasmania
  • 1939-42: German raider ships plant mines and sink ships in the Cape Otway region during Second World War, including the first American vessel sunk during World War II, the SS City of Rayville
  • 1942: the Americans build a radar bunker at Cape Otway
  • 1950's: timber cutters again arrive and again they float timber out to ships in the bay
  • 1989: the Old Cable Station opens as the Apollo Bay Museum
  • 2006: the Great Ocean Walk officially opens - a 104km walking trail from Apollo Bay to Glenample with plans to extend it from Moonlight Head to the Twelve Apostles Visitors' Centre in 2010
  • 2011: the popular Marriners Falls walk is closed permanently due to storm damage and risk of unstable trees falling on walkers following an incident in 2008 when trees fell on a family causing serious injury to the parents
australia/vic/apollo_bay.txt · Last modified: 2015/09/28 10:37 by gary1

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