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Culture and heritage

Collins Settlement Historic Site, Sullivan Bay, is the place where Lieutenant Colonel David Collins, accompanied by civil officers, marines, free settlers and 229 convicts landed in October 1803.

For centuries before Collins landed, Aborigines used the site on a seasonal basis for collecting shellfish. Shell middens on the cliff tops contain evidence of their activities.

The new colonists quickly discovered that water was scarce and suitable timber could not be found. The treacherous entrance to the bay made the site unsuitable for whaling and with few marines, the settlement was vulnerable to attack.

Collins decided to abandon the settlement and move to Van Diemens Land (Tasmania) in January 1804. Little evidence of the settlement exists. Four graves on the eastern headland, and parts of barrels, leg irons, bottles and other pieces are all that remain. These can be seen in the Sorrento Museum.

  • collins settlement - cemetery

    Collins Settlement Site - Graves Four graves on the eastern headland, and parts of barrels, leg irons, bottles and other pieces are all that remain of the settlement.

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