Port Essington & The Historical Victoria Settlement
Today we enjoy a marine adventure down Port Essington. Retrace the course of the early mariner’s square riggers, passing landmarks like Gunners Quoin, Low Point, Turtle Rock, Observation Cliff and Record Point on our way to the historic Victoria Settlement.
Surveyed in 1838, Victoria Settlement was the third attempt by the British at a northern settlement, after Fort Dundas on Melville Island and Fort Wellington at Raffles Bay. Conceived to facilitate trade with Asia, the settlement consisted of 24 houses and a hospital. Disease was rampant and living conditions poor, leading to its abandonment in 1849.
Upon our arrival at Victoria Settlement, we’ll take an informative and fascinating tour of the old buildings and ruins and learn about life in the early British occupation. An optional extension walk will also lead to lonely gravestones in the forest, almost forgotten by history.
After a picnic lunch on the beach we’ll get back on the water and do a little fishing. The waters of Garig Gunak Barlu National Park (formerly the Cobourg Marine Park) are alive with all sorts of fish species including barramundi, spanish mackerel, golden trevally and coral trout to name just a few. Keep your eye out for some of the Cobourg’s other marine life too, such as dolphins, dugong and crocodiles.
This afternoon we arrive back at Seven Spirit Bay where the remainder of the afternoon can be spent at your leisure. Perhaps take a dip in the palm fringed swimming pool. Tonight, enjoy sunset drinks on the cocktail deck before a sumptuous dinner. (B,L,D)