Point Ritchie or in local Gunditjmara language, Moyjil, is a rocky headland at the mouth of the Hopkins River in Warrnambool, Victoria. For thousands of years Aboriginal people visited the area to gather food including eels from the Hopkins River and shellfish from the ocean. For decades much of the focus of Australian archaeology has been directed at finding the oldest sites of Aboriginal occupation. The archaeological discovery of Aboriginal remains at Lake Mungo in the 1970s created considerable excitement because it pushed the date at which Australia was colonised by humans to beyond 40,000 years ago.
Australia may be referred to as a relatively young nation, but the well preserved ancient landscape provides many precious windows into the past. The Kanawinka Geopark’s, meaning Land of Tomorrow from the Buandik people, is a spectacular and intriguing volcanic landscape covering South West Victoria through to East South Australia enabling visitors to travel back in time thousands and thousands of years. The surface geology is a striking contrast of sweeping plains and spectacular cones which are largely the product of volcanic activity. In fact, with six sites of international significance and 14 of national significance, this area is Australia’s most extensive volcanic province. The Kanawinka Geopark was declared the 57th Member of the Global Network of National Geoparks assisted by UNESCO on June 22, 2008.
Tower Hill is a important natural landmark between Warrnambool and Port Fairy as a giant maar or volcanic explosion crate and it is the largest of its type in Australia and is of international and national geological significance. Tower Hill looms dramatically on the horizon and is divided into three principal areas: Main Island, Fairy Island and Hat Island measuring 3.2km by 2.4km wide whereby visitors can enjoy a BBQ picnic, walk the boardwalk lava trial or join a guided walk by a trained Park Ranger to see its amazing wildlife and rich geological history.