Point Gellibrand coastal heritage park is one of Victoria's most historically significant locations, having a key role in developing Melbourne's military, navy and government. Victoria's first permanent colonial settlement is now a beautiful location for recreation and a part of the bay trail, located in Williamstown. It is mostly used as a thoroughfare for cycling, walking, jogging and taking your dog for a walk.
Free parking is available at the end of Battery Road which is the best spot for accessing the playground and close to the rock pools. The area is often very quiet and peaceful, with great views over Port Phillip Bay and towards the City of Melbourne. Stop and watch the ships and sailboats make their way to and from Melbourne or spot the seabirds in their natural habitat.
At Quarry picnic area there is a small public toilet block available, along with picnic tables, BBQs and a large wooden playground with soft fall. Bins are provided. The space is very open to the elements, with limited shady areas and shelters to sit under. It can often be very windy and cold. It is a perfect location for ball sports and young kids to run around on the grass.
A number of historical information boards are located around the park. The point has historical significance as part of the Yalukit-William territory, an aboriginal clan that stretched to Wilson's promontory. Unfortunately, industrial development, land segregation, racism and spread of diseases like typhoid meant the aboriginal population rapidly declined and dispersed.
The point was transformed into a bluestone quarry and railway line during the gold rush and wheat boom of the mid-1800s. The Timeball tower (originally a lighthouse) was an important part of navigation and the first centre for navigational communication and astronomy in Victoria. Point Gellibrand fort was constructed in 1860 due to fears of invasion, unfortunately, a greater threat came from within due to many settlers turning to crime. This led to the development of floating gaols.
The foreshore is a great spot for birdwatching; look out for egrets, ibis, swans and pelicans. You might like to explore the rock pools at low tide, and spot crabs, fish and varieties of aquatic plant life. Or bring your dinner and sit and watch the sunset on marvellous Melbourne.