PAGE 10 I LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE PHILLIP ISLAND WONTHAGGI INVERLOCH LEONGATHA WILSONS PROMONTORY FOSTER PORT ALBERT GRAHAM STREET BILLSON STREET MCKENZIE STREET KORUMBURRA ROAD BASS HIGHWAY Police WONTHAGGI WELCOME TO 3995 WONTHAGGI RAILWAY HISTORIC AREA STATE COAL MINE HISTORIC AREA HISTORIC RAILWAY LINE BUSHLAND AREA WONTHAGGI RECREATION RESERVE WONTHAGGI BUSHLAND RESERVE TO LEONGATHA & INVERLOCH TO SAN REMO & PHILLIP ISLAND Scan here for full detailed map Distance fromMelbourne: 135km Population: 4400 approx. Amenities: Great walks and trails including the Bass Coast Rail Trail. Accommodation options include caravan and camping, hotels, motels and holiday rentals. Close to the beach for coastal fun. Discover black gold Learn about black coal and the impact it had on the growth of Wonthaggi. Photo: Parks Victoria Wonthaggi is a town built very much on the coal industry. Though coal is no longer mined in the area, it is still an interesting town with plenty of history to investigate. Coal was discovered by explorer William Hovell at Cape Paterson in 1826 and later mined between 1859 and 1864, however activity ceased when the dangers and expense of transporting the coal by whale boat through the surf to larger ships anchored offshore became too much. The State Coal Mine was opened in Wonthaggi in 1909 after a miners’ strike in NSW starved the Victorian Railways and Melbourne’s coal industry. A tent city soon rose with no permanent buildings. Healthcare was provided by a Dr Sleeman, who was later instrumental in establishing a permanent hospital in the township of Wonthaggi, proclaimed in 1910. In 1928, Wonthaggi coal account- ed for around 60 per cent of Victorian Railways’ coal consump- tion. The State Coal Mine operated from 1909 to 1968 producing almost 17 million tonnes of coal. The town’s coal history has been preserved with the State Coal Mine Heritage Area, offering interactive fun and interest for the whole family both above and below ground. Free entry to all above ground facilities includes the State Coal Mine Visitor Centre with cafe, theatrette and shop, the museum, heritage trail, historic buildings and sheltered barbecue area.