In 1877 the Victorian Government allocated £500 towards the construction of the first Lorne Pier that was completed in 1879. The pier was built from Blue Gum in an L shape so that ships could birth without taking to much of a battering from the ocean swells. The pier was initially planned to accommodate what would be a large number of holiday tourists taking in seaside summer holidays as road transport was difficult as the ocean road did not exist at the time.
In the late 1890’s to early 1900’s large crowds would gather to watch diving exhibitions at the pier.
In 1904 a tram railway was built to enable timber sawn at a mill on St Georges River to be transported to ships and onto further destinations, this ceased around 1934 once road transportation started to become of age.
The pier has always been a recreational fishing hotspot but during the 1960’s the pier became famous for having what was Victoria’s largest commercial operation of ‘couta’ boats up to 28 at a maximum and 2 cranes lifting boats on and off the pier. Barracouta was a popular tasty fillet for Fish-n-Chip shops.
As larger commercial fishing made the smaller operation become unviable, the pier still thrived as a recreational spot, the cranes and boats slowly faded away but the weekend fisherman didn’t.
As the condition of the pier deteriorated in 1994 there was talk of completely removing the pier until the VIC Govt stepped in and assisted the completion of what is now a vibrant new pier.
These days the pier is recognised for its place as the start of what is recognised in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest participating ocean water swim.
Take time and enjoy the 196m leisurely stroll to the end of the pier. It’s now extremely busy all year round so STEALTH IS CERTAINLY REQUIRED depending on how they are biting!!!