The Amazon Shipwreck

The remains of the Amazon shipwreck at Inverloch are visible during very low tides.
(Source: Heritage Victoria)

Maritime archaeologists have been in contact with us regarding the 1863 Amazon  Shipwreck located near the Inverloch Surf Life Saving Club, which has recently become more uncovered due to strong currents & shifting sands.

A team will be in Inverloch in November to research the wreck in more detail.

The Amazon was a Jersey-built three-masted barque, thought to be similar to the one pictured.
(Source: Heritage Victoria)

Amazon is archaeologically significant as a rare example of an international wooden trading ship from the mid-19th century. Amazon is historically significant for its contribution to Victoria’s economy in the 1800s and has the potential to shed light on meat packing and transporting practices from that time. Amazon is a representative example of mid-19th century wooden cargo carriers and while Victoria has a number of iron and steel international cargo carrying shipwrecks, Amazon is rare as the only wooden vessel of this type so far located in Victorian waters.

It is therefore important that the local community ensure that this important site remains undisturbed. This includes any excavation, removing any items and/or disturbing the site.

more information…

History @ The Hub – Our exhibition

Inverloch, but not as we know it…– An article in the ‘Bass Coast Post‘ after visiting our recent exhibition.

Neil’s Inverloch Hotel

From an old postcard, Neil’s Inverloch Hotel pictured in 1908. It sat at the top of A’Beckett St., in Sandy Mount Avenue. It was de-licensed in 1922 and became the Two Views Guesthouse. For many years it was a local landmark & was demolished in 1968.

Historical Fun

Children (and adults too) dining at a cafe in Inverloch can now have some creative fun. The society has produced colouring-in sheets, one side with a historical image from lnverloch’s past and the other a selection of local nature for colouring.

Research & Discover

Whether you are a student, a researcher or a history enthusiast, you can use Victorian Collections to explore well over one hundred thousand objects around the state. Discover hidden gems and uncover unexpected links between Victoria’s distributed collections. Delve into stories of our shared past, hone your research skills or join the conversation.

If you would like our help to research some local history or if you can help us to expand our knowledge, please contact us.


Join us in our vision to promote the movable cultural heritage of Inverloch and the surrounding district.

“Ne transgrediaris terminos antiquos” – Remove not the ancient landmarks

Discover the rich history of Inverloch and the surrounding district.

The area is famous for the discovery of Australia’s first dinosaur bone in 1903. Today there are still regular discoveries of fossils dating from as far back as the Early Cretaceous period (120 million years ago).

Breathtaking Anderson Inlet has been a paradise with a special spiritual significance for residents for many thousands of years.

More recent history contains multiple shipwrecks, including the Amazon on Inverloch’s western shore.


Newsletter #237, October 2018

The Society has had a very busy couple of months with the Annual Exhibition in August and the Annual General Meeting and election of a new committee for 2018-19 in September.

Thanks to members’ contributions, the exhibition was hugely successful attracting over 1500 visitors who  generated many interesting questions and enquiries. A number of visitors also donated or loaned items of considerable interest; all of which add depth to our collection and to our understanding of Inverloch’s history.

It was delightful to meet people, to talk, to listen, and to get more information about our town. Some of the photos donated or loaned may, on the face of it, appear to be of minor significance, however, this would be a serious underestimation. When we patch together new items or information with what we already have and know, a bigger and richer picture emerges and our view of the whole becomes that much clearer and fuller. Even private family photos can be important historically, perhaps because of the roles the individuals have had, or will play, in the town’s history or, sometimes, because  the background provides clues to something lost or altered, especially when a next generation, or new owners, take over a site or building and connections begins to fade.

Visitors enjoying the Society’s 2018 Annual Exhibition staged at The Hub, A’Beckett Street Inverloch during August.

Yet again, many visitors talked about the changing coastline, with the sand moving around dramatically. Inverloch Surf Lifesaving Club has had many problems over the past two years because of coastal movements and their watchtower is once again under threat. This is a group of volunteers, who gladly give their time and expertise to the community, now under enormous pressure from the elements. A photographic record of the many changes, not only affecting the Surf Club, but many parts of Inverloch’s coastline, is important and something we need to build on.

One of the major finds emerging from the Exhibition was a brochure for the 1936-37 Inverloch Carnival (Refer below for more details). Every page is crammed with interesting information that is useful to the Society. One part is of special interest, in the light of the recent coastline changes, high tides and the greater exposure of the 1863 wreck Amazon. I quote:

To add to the various troubles of the (Foreshore) Committee, that of foreshore erosion began to become serious in 1930. Prior to that date, the erosion that had been taking place was more or less normal, but by some strange freak of nature this year, the extremity of Point Smythe began to rapidly wash away, and within the space of two years at least half a mile of this peninsula, which had formed a natural shelter for the beaches on the Inverloch shore, had completely disappeared. From then on, when rough seas occurred, the ocean rollers pounded in on the main beaches, with the result that sand and vegetation began to rapidly etc. (sic) of its heavy growth of ti-tree, ample supplies of wood and fresh water, and, not at all least, its freedom from dirt and waste. Inverloch boasts a beach which is among the cleanest of our coasts and the safety of bathing in the shallow surf of the Inlet commends itself to the holiday maker”.

The Foreshore Committee’s reference to “supplies of wood and fresh water”, relates to concern for campers at a time when they occupied much of the foreshore near the town over the summer holidays. It was not, for them, a concern for the environment, but for the convenience of campers.

The reference to Point Smythe decreasing in size has frequently been echoed by long term residents across the years.

The Society welcomes old brochures, pamphlets and old information sheets as well as objects, photographs, documents and maps. They can appear ordinary, but believe me, they represent valuable historical records.

John Hutchinson, President

2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The AGM included reports from the President and Treasurer. If you missed the meeting and would like to receive a copy of these reports by email please contact the Secretary.

New Life Members Honoured

Members Bob Speed and Patsy Williams were inducted as life members. Patsy and Bob are both long term members and dedicated volunteers; Patsy is also a past Vice President. On behalf of all members, the President thanked Patsy and Bob for the support they have provided to the Society and congratulated them on their awards.

Vern Burchett Honoured

After many years as a committee member, including lengthy & valuable service as a past President, Vern Burchett has decided to stand down from the committee.  Vern was honoured in absentia with a Certificate acknowledging his contributions and achievements.  On behalf of all members, the President thanked Vern for his dedication to the objectives of the Society and congratulated him on his award.

2018-19 Committee Elected

All committee positions were declared vacant and an election conducted by member Ruth Glare. The members elected to form the committee and manage the Society for 2018-19 are: President— John Hutchinson, Vice President—Ian McBurnie, Treasurer—Rosemary Hutchinson, Secretary—Lynn Kirk, and members—Terry Hall, Lloyd Bennetts & Ray Burtt.  Patron Eulalie Brewster is also a committee member.

Recommended Sub-committee Structure

President John Hutchinson noted that the outgoing committee has recommended the introduction of a sub-committee structure with each sub-committee chaired by a committee member. The recommended sub-committees are: (1) Exhibitions & Promotions; (2) Collection Management & Research; and (3) Museum Site.  These recommendations will be considered by the incoming committee. 

Recent Acquisition

Below is the cover of the programme for the 1936-7 Inverloch Carnival. The Society is delighted to have added to our collection a facsimile of the original program loaned by  Eileen Henderson of Inverloch in August 2018. Among many fascinating photographs, adverts and items of information are details of the prizes for the Miss Inverloch winners including:  a ladies Austral bicycle, a ”Permanent Wave” from “Mr Greg Hair Specialist”, Best Beau Monde Hosiery, a “beautiful handbag” from Rowlands’, and a “gold wristlet watch” from Richards Jeweller. Hopefully, the booklet will soon be available to view online.

The cover of the programme for the 1936-7 Inverloch Carnival.

Annual Membership Subscriptions for 2018-19

The Society’s financial year ended on 30 June 2018 and membership subscriptions for 2018-19 fell due from 1 July.

The easiest way to pay is by cash or cheque at a monthly general meeting.  For other options, contact the Treasurer

Next Meetings

Wed 24th October 2-4pm @ Inverloch RSL Hall
Wed 28th November 2-4pm @ Inverloch RSL Hall
Wed 27th February 2-4pm @ Inverloch RSL Hall

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Archive of previous newsletters

Archive of previous newsletters

Inverloch’s history on display

The Inverloch Historical Society is continuing to fund-raise to help preserve more than 4000 historical items, with a recent installation at an Inverloch café. On Friday, the owners of Vaughan’s Cafe Deli welcomed the fitting of an old photo of the town on one of their windows.

Part of the installation and printing costs from the work, installed by TNT Explosive Printz, will go to the Society.

The photo reflects a scene of A’Beckett Street in the early 1960s. How can you tell? It’s the old Holden cars that give it away.

Inverloch Historical Society members John Hutchinson (left) & Ray Burtt (right) in front of the recently installed 1962 photo of lnverloch, with Vaughan’s  Café Deli owners Andrew and Agnes Falzon.

“The only building still standing in the photo is the pub,” said John Hutchinson, president of the Inverloch Historical Society.

“One of our members, Ray Burtt, has a lot of experience in cleaning up photos so while it is/an old photo, it’s come up well.”

John said most of the items they’re trying to preserve are made of paper.

“You can’t put everything on a computer,” he said, stressing the importance of raising funds to house some of the collection.

“We don’t keep photos anymore – we’ve got a computer which scans them and then we can give them back.”

Owners of Vaughan’s Café Deli, Agnes and Andrew Falzon, welcomed the installation of the 1962 photo of Inverloch.

“We’re so happy to support the local historical society,” Andrew said. “They’re doing incredible work. Without the volunteers, the area’s history would be lost.”

Do you have some photos of Inverloch? Or maybe some other material? Drop them off to PO Box 46, Inverloch.

You can also give president John Hutchinson a buzz if you have some items or if you’d like to become a member of the society. The more members in the society, the easier it is to prepare exhibitions, including one this August.

Source: South Gippsland Sentinel Times June 13th, 2108

Inverloch 1962. A’Beckett St viewed from Williams St.