Follow the walking track from the carpark on the Esplanade down to Fossil Beach and you'll be rewarded with stunning views of the Mornington coast.
This small cove has a rich natural and cultural history including Aboriginal middens, fossils and the remains of Victoria's first cement works. It was named after the 15 million year old fossils found here, examples of marine animals preserved in fine gray clays known as Gellibrand Marls or Balcombe Clays, which can be seen in the cliffs to the north. Don't dig or remove the fossils, though you may get a great photo of some of the washed out shells.
The Bunurong/Boon Wurrung have been utilising the shores of Nerm (Port Phillip Bay) for over 35,000 years. Over this time the shoreline has varied dramatically, changing with ice ages and blockages of Port Phillip Heads. Extensive burnt shell (kitchen middens) are scattered throughout this coast, they are registered and protected.
The Patent Septaria Cement Company operated here from 1862-1864. They didn't have enough quality raw materials to continue and the site soon fell into ruin. In the late 1960s, eminent Melbourne University historian William (Bill) Culican joined with local architect John Taylor to begin an archeological excavation of the cement works. They worked with volunteers to expose and restore the original rock work that can be seen around the site today. The remains of the small kiln can be seen from the track down to the beach.
Fossil Beach Cement Works - An Essay in Industrial Archaeology
Mornington Peninsula Shire sincerely thanks the Culican Family for allowing us to make this digital copy available, strictly for the purposes of research and study. This digital copy has been provided by the Mornington & District Historical Society collection, made possible by the Mornington Peninsula Shire Local History Network Digitising Program.
Download: Fossil Beach Cement Works - An Essay in Industrial Archaeology 1972 by William Culican and John Taylor(PDF, 58MB)
The Mornington Peninsula Shire works in partnership with the Fossil Beach Interest Group to protect and enhance the biodiversity and heritage values of this reserve.
Download: Fossil Beach Cement Works Heritage Study(PDF, 5MB)
Fossil Beach (carpark located opposite no. 631 Esplanade), Mornington 3931 View Map