Heytesbury

This Draft of the Corangamite Regional Catchment Strategy is currently awaiting Ministerial approval and may be subject to change

Overview

Overall Area112,802 hectares
Population6,079
Climate956 mm per annum at Timboon
836 mm per annum at Cobden
Main TownsCobden
Timboon
Peterborough
Port Campbell
Princetown
Land UseCattle grazing
Main IndustriesDairy
Beef
Tourism
Main Natural FeaturesThe Twelve Apostles
Loch Ard Gorge
Bay of Islands Coastal Park
Shipwreck Coast
Port Campbell National Park
Curdies River
Curdies Estuary
Map of the Heytesbury Landscape System including link to NRM Portal
Click on map to access Natural Resource Management Portal interactive mapping

Landscape

The Heytesbury landscape system is located in the south west of the region and is bounded by Bass Strait to the south, Glenelg-Hopkins CMA to the west, the Otway Coast and Barwon Plains to the east with its northern boundary adjoining the Western District Lakes system.  It contains the towns of Cobden, Timboon, Peterborough, Port Campbell and Princetown.  The local governments covering this system are Colac-Otway and Corangamite Shires, with a small portion of Moyne Shire included around Peterborough (west of the Curdies River).  The Eastern Maar are the traditional owners of this area.

This landscape system is internationally renowned for its coastline, which has been sculpted over thousands of years to become one of the most impressive natural sites in Australia. Rock stacks, sheer limestone cliffs, as well as arches, islands and blowholes have been carved out of the soft cliffs by the wind and sea. The Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, Bay of Islands Coastal Park, Shipwreck Coast and Port Campbell National Park are all in this system.  Parts of the Great Otway National Park also extend throughout this landscape system and are of significant environmental, cultural, social and economic value to the region.

The major waterway for this landscape system is the Curdies River and associated tributaries.  Other significant waterways in the area include Port Campbell Creek and Sherbrook River. The waterways in the Heytesbury landscape system are largely valued for their environmental condition, social amenity and economic value to the community. The Curdies estuary is among the largest within the region that is a salt wedge estuary protected under the EPBC Act.

Livelihood

The Heytesbury region forms part of one of the largest milk producing regions in Australia.  As many of the smaller towns in this landscape including Cobden and Timboon rely heavily on the dairy industry the viability of these communities is dependent on the viability of dairying.

The coastal communities of Port Campbell and Peterborough are also imacted on by coastal processes and utilisation. The area has become very popular to tourists and this again has an impact on the community.

Lifestyle

This landscape system is internationally renowned for its coastline, which has been sculpted over thousands of years to become one of the most impressive natural sites in Australia. Rock stacks, sheer limestone cliffs, arches, islands and blowholes have been carved out of the soft cliffs by the wind and sea. The Twelve Apostles, Loch Ard Gorge, Bay of Islands Coastal Park, Shipwreck Coast and Port Campbell National Park are all in this system.  Parts of the Great Otway National Park also extend throughout this landscape system and are of significant environmental, cultural, social and economic value to the region.

Parts of the Heytesbury were a soldier settlement established after World War 2.  The scheme, established in 1960, involved the clearing of the Heytesbury Forest south of Colac and adjacent to the Otway Ranges to allow for the establishment of a dairy industry in the area.  The scheme developed a strong community spirit among settlers that is still part of the character of the people who live in the Heytesbury area today.

The Heytesbury landscape system has the lowest population of the Corangamite region with a population of just over 6,000 with low density. The most densely populated area is the township of Cobden. Low population density can impact on the community, especially where farmers are becoming older and less active.

Landcare groups in this landscape include Bostocks Creek, Elingamite Cobrico, Curdies Valley and Newfield Valley Landcare Groups. They are supported by the Heytesbury District Landcare Network.

Key values identified in this landscape include:

  • known rare and threatened species
  • significant Ecological Vegetation Classes
  • rural water source
  • aquatic invertebrate communities
  • recreation including camping, picnics and barbecues, sightseeing, game hunting, boating,
  • fishing, swimming and walking tracks.
The twelve apostles