You could be mistaken, thinking you were in another part of the world – French Riviera, Amalfi Coast or even the Greek Isles. Debra Mar takes time to get re-acquainted with our beautiful bay.
Port Phillip Bay, fondly referred to by locals as The Bay, has a surface area of 1,930 sq. km with spellbound hues of aqua, sapphire blue, shimmering silver and greens with a yellow sandy shorelines stretching 264 km and burnt orange sunsets. It generously offers many water activities, fun and recreation.
The first British entered the bay on HMS Lady Nelson, commanded by John Murray shortly followed by HMS Investigator commanded by Matthew Flinders, in 1802. Further expeditions took place in 1803 to establish the first settlement near Sorrento called Sullivan Bay but was abandoned in 1804.
The bay was first named by John Murray as Port King after the Governor of NSW at the time then renamed Port Phillip a couple of years later in 1805 after Murray’s predecessor Arthur Phillip.
Four islands exist in the Bay. Duck Island, Rabbit Island and Mud Island which are breeding and nesting grounds for bird life and Swan Island is home to the Queenscliff Golf Club.
Quaint wooden piers extend from the waters shoreline and many marinas line up docked yachts and all matter of watercraft.
The bay’s enchanting character is best described as a slick flat glass mirror one day, undulating the next day and white capped and bumpy the following day. The change of weather also brings changing colour from green to blue to grey to silver.
This bay is enjoyed by everyone including walkers, fossickers, kids, dogs, anglers, paddle-boarders, sailors, snorkelers, swimmers, motor boaters and jet skiers.
Over 3,000 cargo ships barge their way through the shipping channel pass via the Heads to Melbourne docks every year carrying the county’s imported and exported goods.
It celebrates Tall Ships, big ships, small ships, international cruise ships, regattas and the Spirit of Tasmania.
It supports marine life such as Humpback whales, Bronze Whaler sharks, bottle nose dolphins, Australian fur seals, Blue Blubber Jellyfish, a variety of ‘good eating’ fish and squid, coral and watery garden beds.
We fish in it, swim in it, float on it and admire it. It’s well documented in newspaper, magazine, tourist publications and TV lifestyle programs.
And real estate prices are dictated by it’s captivating views.
With a clement climate in summer it’s a draw card for holiday makers, day visitors and people who have decided on a sea change. What an amazing piece of water-scape for the lucky.
Words & photography Debra Mar
This is the fourth story in the 'RPP FM celebrates Summertime on the Peninsula' series. Next week is the final story in the series and Debra discusses the importance and focus of RPP FM on the Peninsula.
Pictured: Cruise boating, a pastime for ‘moneyed’ people relaxing in Mt Martha Cove off Pebble Beach.