Apostles south of Cobden
Administrative centre for the Heytesbury
Shire which includes the Twelve Apostles
Cobden is located amidst low hills near Curdies
River, 208 km south-west of Melbourne and 39 km
north of Port Campbell. It is a small and
picturesque service town of tall flowering trees
and about 1400 people within a prosperous and
closely settled dairying district. There is a
large butter and powdered milk factory in town
although its chief appeal is as the gateway for
the Twelve Apostles and the spectacular Great
Prior to European settlement the area is
thought to have been occupied by the Kuurn Kopan
Noot Aborigines. The 'Tandarook' property, one
of the first to be established on the western
plains, was set up in 1840 by pastoralist Dr
Daniel Curdie who overlanded his cattle from
Sydney to Melbourne before heading off to the
west. On the western section of his property was
an area known as 'Lovely Banks' on which the
town later emerged.
Ironically, given the degree to which rural
industries have been affected by free trade
policies, the town is named after Richard
Cobden, an English advocate of free trade.
The town has a number of recreation spots -
Apex Park and Playground, Rotary Park (which has
barbecue facilities) and Vagg Memorial Park.
Things to see:
The nearest Tourist Information Centre is at
Camperdown, tel: (03) 5593 3390.
Cobden Lake, a former dam, is a charming spot
with a rustic bridge surrounded by trees, lawns
and picnic facilities.
7 km south-west of town is Lake Elingamite which
is a popular picnicking and boat-fishing spot.
It has plenty of waterbirds, such as ibis, black
swans, gulls and spur-wing plovers. It is
signposted off the Cobden-Warrnambool Rd 4 km
west of town. There is a boat-launching ramp and
Tandarook homestead was built by Daniel Curdie
who was the first European to take up land in
the area (Cobden emerged at the western end of
his large estate). The original cottage was
built of volcanic tuff in 1843. It was converted
into a two-storey homestead with steep gables, a
double-storey verandah and slate roof in 1856.
Apparently local Aborigines used the homestead
area as a refuge during tribal conflicts.
Proceed north-east on the Campbelltown Rd for 2
km then turn right onto the Stoneyford Rd. About
8 km from Cobden, adjacent Curdies River, turn
up Sheffields Lane.
This is the last stand of the Heytesbury Forest
which once separated the plains at Cobden from
the coast. There are forest drives and walking
trails in the forest and related pamphlets can
be obtained from the Colac office of the
Department of Natural Resources and Environment,
tel: (03) 5593 1911.
There are two excellent books on the Great Ocean
Road which we strongly recommend to anyone
planning to spend extended time in the area.
Explore The Great Ocean Road has very
detailed information on all the attractions and
excellent maps of the towns and the coastline.
It is an ideal companion if you are going to do
some bushwalking or you want to reach beyond the
regular tourist destinations. See http://walkabout.fairfax.com.au/fairfax/booksMaps/booksMaps00018.shtml
for more information.
Great Ocean Road: A Travellers Guide has been
written by a photographer consequently the
pictures are excellent and his focus has been on
providing detailed information on the
accommodation and attractions in the area. It
has a comprehensive listing of all the Bed and
Breakfast and Guest Houses along the road with
photographs and prices. Very handy if you are
planning to stay somewhere other than a motel or
caravan park. See http://walkabout.fairfax.com.au/fairfax/booksMaps/booksMaps00019.shtml
for more information.
Both can be ordered from the Walkabout Books
and Maps location.