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Museums, History and Heritage

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Museums, History & Heritage

Much of the region's maritime history and heritage is still visible in the lighthouses that dominate the landscape at various points along the road.  In Queenscliff the Maritime Museum celebrates the town's background in the marine industry with fantastic displays. 

Also in Queenscliff, Fort Queenscliff is an interesting look at a still functioning Australian Defence Force facility that was initially built on the cliff overlooking the Rip to protect ships during the gold rush of the 1800's.

Torquay's position as the capital of the international surf industry makes the local museum 'Surfworld' ideally placed to deliver a historic look at the origins of surfing and the phenomenon it has become.

Geelong grew on the back of the sheep, and the 1800's bluestone building in the centre of town that now houses the National Wool Museum was initially a woolstore facility.  The wool industry in Geelong was built around the need for wool grown in the surrounding districts to be processed and shipped internationally from the docks on Corio Bay.  Also in Geelong, the Ford Discovery Centre is an interactive museum profiling the history of Ford in Geelong as well as giving a behind the scenes look at the design, engineering and manufacturing processes in the automobile industry.

Across the broader region, there are several National Trust properties open to the public that give an indication of early life in the region.  There are also a range of interpretive historic sites, such as the old mill site at Triplet Falls and guided heritage walks in towns such as Queenscliff.

Historic means of transport in the region have been preserved by the Bellarine Railway, with their steam hauled engines still running on weekends and holidays and also powering The Blues Train - a moving, progressive concert on board.

Highlights

Lorne Heritage Buildings

The Grand Pacific Hotel The Grand Pacific Hotel was built in the 1870’s as one of the first hotels along the Great Ocean Road. Victoria's Lieutenant-Governor declared the Great Ocean Road officially open at a ceremony near Lorne's Grand Pacific Hotel, the site where the project's first survey peg had also been hammered into the ground 14 years before. The Pier became a new focal point for the town’s people, especially after 1879 when Henry Gwynne built the impressive three-storey Grand Pacific Hotel. Henry Gwynne suffered a serious blow-out of costs during construction and the estimated $12,000 ended up costing $24,000. Opening day for the hotel was January 1880, and Cobb and Co Coaches provided a special express service for early guests. Originally it was accessed only by sea with superb views in one of the most unique settings on the coast, opposite the Lorne pier. It has been fully restored and now offers all modern services in a classic restored building. Erskine House Erskine House is of significant historical importance as the oldest guesthouse in Victoria and has been in continuous operation for 136 years. These days, the guesthouse is under redevelopment and is now known as Mantra Erskine on the Beach. Cora Lynn Lorne had two hotels and fifteen guesthouses in its heyday. The Cora Lynn was one of the last early guesthouses still to be seen after crossing the bridge. During 1998 the former Cora Lynn guest house was developed into 26 units. The two large statues are named Cora and Lynn. These statues were made by Graeme Wilkie from Qdos. The name Cora-Lynn came from a gentlemen by the name of “Hunt” who had a property in Deans Marsh named Cora-Lynn.

Lorne History

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. Rudyard Kipling 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.
 

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Packages & Offers

BIG 4 Beacon Resort Blues Train Package

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, a cool drink and a good laugh. Rock your stay in Queenscliff with Blues Train tickets and award winning accommodation at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

Seahaven Village - Taste of The Bellarine $495

Relax at stunning Barwon Heads Friday and Saturday night in a cosy 4.5 star one bedroom spa suite.

Barwon Heads Golf Club - Winter Escape with Free Golf

$240 per couple per night

BIG 4 Beacon Resort Blues Train Package

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, a cool drink and a good laugh. Rock your stay in Queenscliff with Blues Train tickets and award winning accommodation at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

Phone: 1800 351 152 or visit BIG4 Beacon Resort Website for more information.
 

Seahaven Village - Taste of The Bellarine $495

Relax at stunning Barwon Heads Friday and Saturday night in a cosy 4.5 star one bedroom spa suite. Enjoy fabulous bonuses including:

  • A $70 dinner voucher
  • Welcome pack including wine, chocolates and a breakfast basket
Stay between Sunday and Thursday nights and receive THREE nights accommodation for the same price.

T: 03 5254 1066
 

Barwon Heads Golf Club - Winter Escape with Free Golf

This winter, guests who book a standard room at our normal Bed and Breakfast rate play golf for free. Want an even better reason to take a break? The Club is rated one of Australia’s Top 10 public access courses.

From $240 per room per night.
($120 p/p twin share)

  • Accommodation in a standard room with ensuite at Barwon Heads Golf Club
  • Fully cooked breakfast
  • A complimentary round of golf each person (normally up to $85 each).

Address: Golf Links Rd, Barwon Heads, Victoria 3227

To book:

Phone: 03 5255 6255
Fax: 03 5255 6266
Website: www.bhgc.com.au
Email: reservations@bhgc.com.au

T&C's: Valid Sunday to Thursday inclusive. 1st June to 31 August 2014. Dress requirements apply on course and in the clubhouse.