Camperdown is a mid sized historically significant rural town in Western Victoria, situated 194 kilometres south west of Melbourne with a population of just over 3,000 residents. Dating back to the 1830’s, it was site to the Murdering Gully Massacre at Mount Emu Creek in 1839 after the Aboriginal Land owners – the Diagurd Wurrung people, who had lived in the area for tens of thousands of years – resisted the settlement of the British.
The area emerged as a hub for the farming and agricultural region, drawing on its rich volcanic soil to service the vast pastoral empires that developed. It later gained recognition as a major centre for tourism and remains to this day the gateway to southern tourist attractions such as the Otway Ranges, the Great Ocean Road and Shipwreck Coast as well as its historical value for the wealth of unspoilt 19th century architecture.
Located at the foot of Mount Leura, the town sits within the Lakes and Craters region, an area of large extinct volcanic complex known as ‘Leura Maar’. These deep volcanic crater lakes are responsible for a large part of the sporting and leisure attraction of the region with Lake Purrumbete to the east, popular for Trout and Chinook Salmon Fishing and South Beach Recreation on Lake Bullen Merri offering Water Skiing, Speedboat Racing, Windsurfing and Sailing.
The centre of the town houses one of the most historic pieces in the area. The Clock Tower, built in 1896-97 in memory of one of the earliest pioneers to the region, Thomas Manifold, stands over 30 metres tall. This unique Gothic Style Tower faces The Memorial to the Boar War at the other end of picturesque cobbled area on the main median strip.
As well as aquatic sports, the town offers a host of cultural and leisure activities with Agricultural shows, Street markets with local fresh produce, arts and crafts, fun days entertainment for all ages including Glider Flights, Vintage Vehicles and Machinery, Steam Engines, Street Processions, Fun Runs and children’s activities.
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