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History of the Region

Overlooking beautiful Encounter Bay, 85 kilometres south of Adelaide (South Australia's capital city) and on the Fleurieu Peninsula, is the historic whaling port of Victor Harbor, discovered in the early 1800's by Captain Matthew Flinders and French Captain Nicholas Baudin.

Originally named by Captain Crozier, after his ship the HMS Victor in 1837, whaling stations were established in the area and continued trading until around the mid 1860's when there was a decline in the operations. The township of Port Victor was surveyed and declared a port in 1865, later becoming Victor Harbor.

Boats carried wheat, wool and other goods down the Murray River to the Port of Goolwa and when problems arose with shipping from this port, a 12 kilometre railway was built to connect Port Elliot from Goolwa in 1854 - and became the first public railway in Australia. Unfortunately, Port Elliot did not prove to be suitable either and a more sheltered port in the lee of Granite Island (at Port Victor) was chosen. In the mid 1860's, the railway line was extended along the causeway to Granite Island to service the large American and European clippers of the day, shipping local wheat, wool and whaling products to overseas markets.

For further historic information on Victor Harbor, please visit our tourism website at https://encountervictorharbor.com.au/visitor-information/history/.

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Street Address
1 Bay Road
Victor Harbor SA 5211
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PO Box 11
Victor Harbor SA 5211
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Data Last Modified: 2012-03-19T09:41:54
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