San Remo District Tourism & Business Inc

More than just the gateway to Phillip Island, San Remo is an attraction in its own right. Named after the town on the Italian Riviera, this burgeoning holiday settlement exudes the evocative character of its main industry: fishing.

San Remo is home to Australia's largest shark fishing fleet, and one popular pastime is watching the fishermen unloading their catch. The nearby San Remo Fisherman's Cooperative not only supplies most of the region, it makes the best fish and chips you'll ever eat.

San Remo is equally well known for entirely different fish lovers - pelicans. Join the throng of captivated visitors as these massive birds gobble their share at feeding time on the foreshore. If you'd like to catch your own fish, charters operate regularly
from the jetty.

The land around San Remo was occupied for thousands of years before European colonisation by the Bunurong Aboriginal people. San Remo was the landing point for surgeon George Bass on his important 1797 voyage during which he explored about 1000 km of coastline in a tiny 8.7 metre open whaleboat. On this intrepid trek he claimed the European discovery of Westernport and confirmed the existence of Bass Strait. William Hovell explored this coast on foot in 1826.

The Anderson Peninsula was named after Samuel Anderson who migrated from Scotland in 1830. He took up a grazing lease in the area after working for the Van Dieman's Land Company and then farming wheat in South Gippsland.

San Remo was settled in 1840 when the deepwater port at Griffiths Point was used to export local products such as wattlebark, farm produce and cattle. In the 1870s coal was transported to the port from nearby Kilcunda via a tramway before being shipped to Melbourne. The township that grew up along the port became a popular tourist spot and in 1888 was renamed San Remo.

Before a suspension bridge was built in 1940, visitors had to rely on ferries to access Phillip Island. The bridge had a limit of 6 tons and tourist buses had to unload before crossing. A new concrete bridge was opened in 1969, to considerable relief from locals and travellers alike.