Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park

Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park

Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park

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Point Gellibrand Heritage Park

Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape in the traditional Country of the Bunurong People. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Bunurong Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country.

Point Gellibrand is one of Victoria’s richest heritage sites. It was Victoria’s first permanent European settlement and seaport. Visitors can explore the maritime history of Timeball Tower, retrace Ned Kelly’s steps along Battery Road, and enjoy the native revegetation projects.

Named Point Gellibrand by John Batman in 1836, the early quarry was a key source of bluestone for Melbourne’s first buildings, roads and piers. Convicts cut, transported and laid the rock and built the present-day Battery Road. It is widely rumoured that Ned Kelly worked on the retaining wall in 1873.

Following the discovery of gold in Victoria in the 1850s, Point Gellibrand was important for distributing goods within the colony, loading the sheep, wool and wheat which were to form the backbone of Victoria’s economy. In 1849, a Timeball Tower was built to aid ships in setting chronometers and navigating. The tower was moved to its current location in 1861, and remained in use until 1926. Visitors can also see the restored Fort Gellibrand (constructed 1860-1880) on open days and learn about the key role it played in the military, navy and governance of the colony.

150 years of industrial use damaged the ecology of Point Gellibrand, including the loss of sheoaks to firewood and boat-building, and impacts due to quarrying and soil compression. Extensive revegetation by local conservationists has helped to restore Shelley Beach and the fragile coastal ecosystem here. Plantings of Coastal Saltbush, Pigface, Knobby Clubrush and native grasses provide important habitat areas for the numerous wader birds that frequent the area.

Visitors to the park should check out the Lava Bubble at Shelley Beach. Keen birdwatchers and nature lovers alike will enjoy wandering or bike riding along the Bay Trail and take in this rich, revegetated landscape and waterside views. As this is a shared pathway, please be mindful of others on the trail.

Things To Do

 
Walking along Steve Bracks Promenade at Point Gellibrand Park

The Bay Trail

Walk or cycle along the Bay Trail. Keep an eye out for birds and wildlife as you make your way along this easy path by the water, enjoying the views over Port Phillip.
The walking path at Point Gellibrand Heritage Area

Fort Gellibrand

Visit Fort Gellibrand on an open day to learn about the first colonial fort built on mainland Australia.
The Timeball at Point Gellibrand Heritage Area

Timeball Tower

See the Timeball Tower and discover how sailors used this fascinating tool to set chronometers and navigate safely at sea.

 

Tours and adventure experiences in parks

One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.

There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.

Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more. 

Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.

Find a Licensed Tour Operator

How to get there

Point Gellibrand Heritage Park

Point Gellibrand is bounded by Kanowna Street, Fort Gellibrand, the Eastern Foreshore and the Dockyard. Access is via Battery Road, Williamstown.

There are carparks around Timeball Tower in the East, and the Quarry Picnic Area / Dolphin Playground in the West.

When to go

Have a barbecue or a picnic whilst enjoying the warm weather.

Need to know

Point Gellibrand Heritage Park

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