Lakes Coast Visitor Guide

LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE I PAGE 21 LEONGATHA WILSONS PROMONTORY FOSTER PORT WELSHPOOL PORT ALBERT YARRAM The Port Welshpool Long Jetty is the only known curved wooden jetty in Victoria. A great family holiday backdrop With superb views of Wilsons Promontory and plenty to offer holidaymakers including safe swimming beaches, walking tracks and picnic and barbecue facilities, Port Welshpool is a popular holiday destination for families. Its prime seaside location sees the coastal village revolve around fishing with many commercial fishermen utilising the busy port and lining the wharf with their colourful trawlers. Recreational anglers are not left out though, with boat launching from the local ramp providing access to the popular waterway that overlooks Snake Island. Following European settlement, whalers were the first to use the area as early as the 1830s. The town was gazetted as Welshpool in 1851 and was officially renamed Port Welshpool in 1952. Prior to 1852 the only established port east of Westernport Bay was Port Albert, where trade, shipping and provisions were essentially monopolistically controlled by the prime leaseholder, Robert Turnbull. Incensed by Turnbull’s profiteering, pastoralist and early explorer, Angus McMillan, set out in search of an alternative port to service the increasing needs of the settlers along the coast and beyond. He deemed what is now known as Port Welshpool as the only satisfactory location. Gold was discovered at Stockyard Creek on Boxing Day, 1869, with a rush on the gold reaching its peak between 1870 and 1872. A jetty was constructed in 1889 and in 1892 the Great Southern Railway, which culminated at Welshpool, was finished. A horse-drawn tram service was built in 1905 to provide reliable transport from Port Welshpool to the rail service. PORT WELSHPOOL LONG JETTY The port’s successful fishing fleet saw the construction of a more substantial jetty that reached out into the deep water begin in 1936. It was completed in 1938. However the industry had already reached its peak and fisherman experienced only moderate prosperity afterward. The Port Welshpool Long Jetty is unusual for its raked pile construction. It is the only known curved wooden jetty in Victoria and among the longest remaining wooden jetties in Australia. The jetty was purpose-built for coastal traders, but has had a variety of uses, including as a base for mine sweepers during and immediately after World War II; as the home base for the fledgling offshore oil and gas industries in Bass Strait and as a recreational fishing platform. Originally constructed at 850 metres long, it was lengthened to 908m in 1982. Fire destroyed a section of the jetty in 2010. Extensive restorative work began in 2017 to repair and preserve the famous jetty. FRESH DINING AT PIER PORT HOTEL While you’re in Port Welshpool, drop into the Pier Port Hotel for a taste of the freshest local seafood, meat and produce. With friendly staff serving great food at reasonable prices, visitors return again and again for a Pier Port Hotel experience. Those sailing by and pulling into the pier will happily enjoy a meal at the hotel, ready to pop in again on their return trip. Port Welshpool looks out across Snake Island towards Wilsons Promontory.

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