Coastal Guide to Nature and History 2

Paperback - January 2015 - AU $30.00

Whether you are on holiday, walking, or just visiting the coast for a short outing, this book will enrich your appreciation of what you see.

Whether you are on holiday, walking, or just visiting the coast for a short outing, this book will enrich your appreciation of what you see. It will tell you about the plants and animals you may encounter, the way geology influences the landforms you pass and the history of each stretch of the coast. + Full description

The core of the book takes a journey around the coast, beginning on Mornington Peninsula’s ocean shore at Point Nepean then heading east towards Flinders. It covers all of the Western Port coast around to San Remo as well as the shores of Phillip Island and French Island. This 320 kilometre shoreline offers a variety of scenery, from the magnificent cliffs of Cape Schanck and Cape Woolamai to the quiet backwaters at the top of Western Port. You will enjoy the beauty of expansive skies and distant views. Just seventy kilometres from Melbourne, French Island can feel almost as remote as the outback, while nearby Cowes on Phillip Island is abuzz in the summer.

An introductory chapter gives a brief overview of early history relating to the coast. There are traces of thousands of years of Aboriginal occupation of the area. You can tread in the footsteps of explorers like George Bass and early French navigators, and see the site of Victoria’s second prison settlement at Corinella. You may be interested in remnants of early industries including salt making and granite quarrying, and tourism hot spots of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries like Sorrento and Flinders.

Most of the rock outcrops around Western Port are geologically young, but Cape Woolamai is formed from Devonian granite around 370 million years old. The chapter on landforms will point out these granites, sedimentary rocks deposited by ancient rivers and seas and the solidified lava of volcanoes.

Western Port is renowned for its wildlife and there are wonderful places where nature thrives. Visitors come to Phillip Island especially to see little penguins, seals and thousands of nesting short-tailed shearwaters. Almost all of the waters of Western Port are protected for migratory wading birds which feed on its vast mud flats. Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary, and French Island, Yaringa, Churchill Island and Port Phillip Heads Marine National Parks protect many kinds of sea and shore creatures. The pictures in the chapter on animals and plants will help you to identify the species you are most likely to see.

The final chapter touches on the ways decision-makers try to thread their way between the demands of conservation and development on the coast.

- Short description


Paperback | January 2015 | $ 30.00
ISBN: 9780992321727 | 168 pages | 234 x 152 mm
Publisher: Coast Guide Books
Colour photographs, Illustrations, Maps


Purpose and coverage of the book
Rewards in store for the coastal explorer
Walking the coastline
Advice for the coast walker
Safety and the tides
Early history
Aboriginal life and European discovery and settlement
Guide section – a journey around the coast
Point Nepean to Flinders
Western Port
Phillip Island
French Island
Coastal landforms
Geology of the region and how it determines landforms
Coastal animals and plants
Common animals of the coast, including invertebrates that live between the tides
Vegetation communities including dune plants, saltmarsh, mangroves and seaweeds
Coastal management
References and further reading


Graham Patterson has walked every kilometre of the coast between South Australia and Wilsons Promontory, and some stretches further east. Graham grew up far from the sea, but family holidays kindled a love of the coast. He qualified as an electrical engineer, but spent almost all of his paid career teaching physics and general science in secondary schools.

Now retired from paid work, he volunteers with a Friends group, a Field Naturalists group and a fungi project – for fun.