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Culture and heritage

The Brataualung clan of the Kurnai (Gunai) people occupied the area for over 6000 years. They fished the inlet using bark canoes and shell heaps (middens) indicate the location of old campsites along the coast. Of special significance is Snake Island which was used as a nuptial island by newlywed couples.

European settlement began in the early 1840s when Angus MacMillan and his party forged a route from Omeo to Corner Inlet in their search for a way to ship cattle quickly to Tasmania. A settlement was established in 1841 but the original site was difficult for ships to reach and the settlers almost starved. In 1842 a new settlement was established at Stockyard Point, the site of the present day Port Albert.

Port Albert was the major port for South and East Gippsland up until the 1890s and the area depended on ships for transport and supplies well into the early 1900s. Several shipwrecks are evidence of this sea-faring past, the most notable being the paddle steamer Clonmel, which ran aground near the Port Albert entrance in 1841. The Clonmel is now a declared historic shipwreck.

Today the area supports an extensive commercial fishing industry and is a popular recreational fishing destination. Nooramunga and Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Parks were declared in 1986.