Tuesday, February 12, 2008

 

Students uncover bay's hidden treasures

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The Geelong Advertiser
By Michaela Farrington
February 12, 2008


MARITIME archaeology students are diving into Clifton Springs' past to find remnants of the area's heady days as a booming tourist resort.

The students from Adelaide's Flinders University are excavating the former Clifton Springs spa complex, considered one of Victoria's most important heritage sites.

The students are working under the guidance of Heritage Victoria's maritime archaeology team, which has joined Flinders University to run a Maritime Archaeology Field School based at Portarlington.

Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney, was on hand yesterday to see the project get underway and hear about the research project which will focus on the 1890s Long Jetty site.

Ms Tierney said Clifton Springs was Victoria's only seaside mineral springs resort and a booming tourist destination in the 19th century.

``Today, remnants like the Long Jetty piles remind us of the area's fascinating history,'' she said.

``Therefore, it is important that we understand and protect what is left and it's wonderful to see these students developing their skills while helping to build our knowledge of the site.''

The Clifton Springs spa complex archaeological site is included on the Victorian Heritage Register, in recognition of its State heritage significance.

The spa complex operated there from about 1875 to 1920.

The Long Jetty was built about 1890 to service the popular bay steamers that delivered tourists and health-seekers to the resort.

The field school will be based at Portarlington until February 18.

The students will also survey two historic shipwreck sites, the PS Ozone at Indented Head and the four-mast schooner Aneiura at Point Lillias in Corio Bay.


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