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Churchill Island Heritage Farm
Phillip Island, Victoria, Australia

Historic wagon on Churchill Island Heritage FarmIn addition to the native wildlife a visit to Phillip Island gives the visitor a unique opportunity to view the bygone pioneering spirit that made Australia.
Churchill Island sits just of the Phillip Island coast and is accessed by an all vehicle bridge. It is significant to Victoria's history in that it was the site of the first European agricultural activity. The island has been farmed since the 1850's
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The island is only 57 hectares and is now open to the public as an historic working farm. The restored farmhouse, cottages and outbuildings gives a glimpse into the lives of the early Australian settlers. For an old settlement the farm it is remarkably accessible with well graded paths allowing wheelchair access to all but one of the historic buildings, the cellar.

 

 
 

Accessibility Features

Visitors Centre
There are two designated disabled car parks directly in front of the entrance to the visitors centre. They are designated by signs only but are next to the flag pole. The entrance also serves as a loading space between the two bays for added room or side ramped vans. The path to the visitors centre is flat and wide of a hard packed gravel surface. The visitors centre contains a gift shop, information display, accessible toilet facilities and a licensed cafe with views over Western Port Bay.


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Path to the Homestead
On leaving the visitors centre there are two paths. The one straight ahead is marked with the disabled symbol and leads directly to the homestead's front garden. The one to the right gives access to the lawn area but ends in a steep sandy climb to the farms outbuildings.


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The Homestead
The path from the Visitor Centre centre enters the old garden of the homestead. The path is circular around the central garden and is accessible right around. Don't miss the historic canon. The front verandah of the house has steps, however the path on the left hand side of the house gives access to the rear verandah which is level. Exercise some caution, however as the paving has some dips. The rear door is also level and gives access to the homesteads central wide hallway. All of the rooms have been restored to the period furnishing and are all fully visible from the central hallway. Barriers prevent entry into the rooms.


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Rogers Cottage
John Rogers arrived in Sydney from Cornwell England in 1838 and after trying his hand during the Gold Rush returned to the Western Port region. He became the legal owner of Churchill Island in 1866 and built this little cottage. He lived here with his wife Sarah and their three children two of whom were born here. The simplicity of this cottage reflects the hardship of the times. The back door to this cottage is wide and has a flat entrance. There is plenty of room inside to explore from a wheelchair.

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The Workshops, Outbuildings and Animals
Like all early pioneering farms they had to be self sufficient. See the machine workshops, blacksmith, horse working yards and sheep shearing. Displays rotate around the farm from 2:00 pm onwards. The area between these displays is level and smooth gravel pathways giving access to all display areas.

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Location
Phillip Island is a 90 minute drive from the centre of Melbourne via the Monash Freeway and the South Gippsland Highway. Once on the Island the Churchill Island Heritage Farm is clearly sign posted. For further details see their web site


Map courtesy Phillip Island Nature Parks