top of page

History

Port Albert is an idyllic seaside coastal fishing village within southern region of Central Gippsland, fronting Bass Strait and just East of Wilsons Promontory.

Introducing Port Albert

Port Albert is a picturesque coastal town in Victoria, Australia.

Steeped in a rich maritime history, it was Gippsland’s first established port and was the cornerstone of the land transport connections in the early 1800’s.

 

Located within the Corner Inlet region, it is renowned as a recreational and commercial fishing spot.

 

Port Albert’s picturesque and peaceful location attracts visitors from around Australia and overseas. Photographers, artists, anglers, historians, walkers, foodies, and anyone with an interest in maritime history will relish what Port Albert has to offer.

 

Its close proximity to Tarra Bulga National Park, Wilsons Promontory & the famous 90 Mile Beach makes it a ‘must stop’ destination for those traveling the East Coast.

Travelers can find an array of accommodation in the area, made up of Airbnb, Motels, and overnight RV facilities which make Port Albert a convenient overnight stop-over point for holiday makers.

Port Albert remains a commercial port, and its reputation for recreational fishing sees its population swell considerably during summer with a recently upgraded boat ramp.

Visit the Port Albert Maritime Museum, follow the Old Port Walking Trail, or enjoy fishing off the jetty, famous fish & chips, bird watching, and take photographs of the Buoys located around the scenic wharf.

DJI_0030.JPG
Port Albert Wharf
Background Graphic

Our History

Port Albert is one of Victoria’s oldest seaports, established in 1841 by explorer Angus McMillan.

 

From this time, Port Albert became the major supply port for pioneers until completion of the railway in 1878 which connected Melbourne to Sale.

Many migrants from Europe, America and China berthed from Port Albert on their way to the goldfields. As a result, the town’s collection of historical buildings boast Georgian and Victorian style heritage, with a number of the old buildings lovingly restored.

 

Some buildings in Port Albert have a National Trust classification or are on the Historic Buildings Register.

Background Graphic

Historic Buildings

A number of buildings worth visiting include – the “Rocket Shed” built in 1876 to house Life Saving Equipment and now functions as an information centre for visitors.

 

The General Store and the Bond Store were both established in 1856; the Bank of Victoria building buit in 1862 and now houses the Gippsland Regional Museum, located on the corner of Wharf Street and Bay Street. This award winning museum is fully accredited under the Museums Australia (Victoria) accreditation program and contains exhibitions and memorabilia on the maritime and local history of Port Albert and Gippsland.

A number of historic buildings are now private residences and these include the old Port Albert Post Office (1864), the Derwent Hotel (1859), the Bar of the Ship Inn (1856) and the Old Bakery (1859) which has been faithfully restored by artist Warren Curry, a leading landscape and marine artist and who now runs this as a part time Gallery (open weekends).

Photo Credit_Boat Harbour Jetty B&B
Alberton Cemetery Tours
Background Graphic

Alberton Cemetery

The Alberton Cemetery is also a place not to be missed being one of the oldest cemeteries in the State of Victoria.

 

It certainly gives an insight into the hardships experienced by our pioneering ancestors. The cemetery covers 32 acres overall, with the original part being near the banks of the Albert river and called the “Old Ground”.

 

The cemetery is still in use today.

Meet some of Gippsland's oldest residents by booking a guided walking tour of the Alberton cemetery.

Background Graphic

Maritime Museum

Significant items dealing with Gippsland’s maritime history are housed in the 1861 Bank of Victoria building and in the John Irving Archives in the adjacent former CBC bank office.

 

Port Albert was the original Port of Entry for the Gippsland Gold Fields and the old bank vault houses a display on Gippsland Gold Discovery.

 

In the entrance room is the 400kg, 1.3m high drum lens from the Cape Liptrap lighthouse, the Cliffy Island cannon; and the story of the Bass Strait lighthouses is told in the display on “The Mailmen of Bass Strait”.

 

The growth and decline of Port Albert’s fishing fleet is outlined in the fishing room display on “The Sharkers of Port Albert”.

 

There is also a comprehensive shell collection and the Chinaman’s Point diorama and information boards have the findings of a recent archaeological dig at the site of the 19th century Chinese fish curing industry at Port Albert.

Open Thursday to Monday 10am – 4pm.

Other times by appointments or group bookings.

PS-Clonmel-Port Albert History_1841

The Clonmel

The paddle steamer Clonmel was one of the first steam-powered vessels on the Australian coast.

The Clonmel was used to establish traffic by sea between Sydney, Melbourne, and Launceston, beginning on the 1st of December 1840.

The unfortunate demise of the Clonmel was instrumental in the settlement of Gippsland and the establishment of the towns of Port Albert, Tarraville and Alberton.

Historic Buildings

Read about the many historic buildings scattered around Port Albert that date back to 1856.

bottom of page