The Surf Coast has a long Koori history with various Wathaurong tribe clans living in the area for tens of thousands of years. White settlement began in the mid-1800s and soon overwhelmed the indigenous population.
Commercial and agricultural pursuits helped establish settlements along the coast, including Lorne, and inland.
A brief history
Prior to European settlement, the area was occupied by the Kolakngat Aborigines. Lorne is situated on a bay named after Captain Louttit, who sought shelter there in 1841 while supervising the retrieval of cargo from a nearby shipwreck.
The coast was surveyed five years later in 1846. The first European settler was William Lindsay, a timber-cutter who began felling the area in 1849. The first telegraph arrived in 1859. Subdivision began in 1869 and in 1871 the town was named after the Marquis of Lorne from Argyleshire in Scotland on the occasion of his marriage to one of Queen Victoria's daughters.
In 1891 the area was visited by Rudyard Kipling who was inspired to write the poem Flowers, which included the line:"Buy my hot-wood clematis, Buy a frond of fern, Gathered where the Erskine leaps Down the road to Lorne."
Kipling was one of the most popular writers in English, in both prose and verse, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Joseph Rudyard Kipling (30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936) was a British author and poet, born in India, and best known today for his children's books
The Great Ocean Road connection
By 1922 the Great Ocean Road was extended to Lorne, making the town much more accessible. The first passenger service to Geelong was established in 1924 and guesthouses began to appear after 1930.
The Great Ocean Road which stretches along the South Eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Geelong, Lorne and Warrnambool is the world's biggest war memorial. It was built between World War I and World War II by returned servicemen in honour of their fallen comrades. The road took 16 years to build and it was all done by hand using picks, shovels and dynamite.