1921 men from Barrabool and South Barwon Shires. c. Geelong Heritage Centre

Pioneers and others who have contributed to the Torquay community

The area now known as Torquay and the surrounding towns were once the home of the Wathaurong tribe who seasonally moved home roughly following Thompson’s (Bream) Creek.

With the advancement of agricultural development, which displaced (often through conflict) many Aboriginals and the spread of infectious diseases introduced by the Europeans the population of Aboriginal people declined dramatically.

The squatters arrived followed by land sales where farmers and holiday makers purchased land for their work and recreational pursuits. These men developed Torquay ensuring appropriate services (roads, electricity, water, sewerage etc.) were connected to Torquay for their own benefit and for the permanent residents.

Regardless of the difficulties in getting to Australia, it had become an increasingly popular destination for free settlers. Convicts were no longer the major source of new arrivals to the colonies. With the discovery of gold in 1851 and a booming economy, people were now coming to Victoria and Australia by choice. People came from many countries, the majority from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, America, China and Germany.

Squatters_Pastoralists Torquay district

There were squatters who took up large land holdings in the district from 1836. Read more

In the Parish of Puebla, farming was the way the early settlers earnt their income. Spring Creek, as Torquay was known, first became a popular holiday and picnic area that attracted more settlers to buy land or travel over difficult roads to enjoy the seaside resort. Those who were early land buyers in the Torquay district include (click their name for biography). Some were early squatters of the area and/or pioneers of the town, others contributed the development in other ways. Many were holiday makers wanting great amenities for their holidays and their vision of tourism for the town: