Main street of Hastings
|• Density||230.99/km2 (598.2/sq mi)|
|Area||41.6 km2 (16.1 sq mi)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Mornington Peninsula|
Hastings is a large fishing town and port  on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia, as a part of the urban enclave on Western Port comprising Hastings, Bittern, Crib Point, Tyabb, and Somerville. Its local government area is the Shire of Mornington Peninsula. It is served by Hastings railway station on the Stony Point greater-metropolitan line.
Hastings is thought to be named after a fishing town in England or the British imperial administrator Warren Hastings. Previously known as King's Creek and Star Point, its post office opened on 4 February 1863.
Settlement of the area dates from the 1840s, with fishing being the main industry. Growth took place from the 1850s into the 1870s as the township developed. Expansion continued in the late 1880s and 1890s, aided by the construction of the railway line and the establishment of many orchards. Significant residential development occurred during the 1960s and 1970s, spurred by industrial growth and public housing construction. Growth began to slow from the 1980s. The population has increased since the early 1990s, a result of new dwellings being added to the area.
In 2004 Hastings was the overall winner of the Victorian Tidy Town Awards held by the Keep Australia Beautiful Network.
In 2016 Hastings had a population of 9,609 and several major franchises have set up there. The opening of a K-Mart shopping centre on 19 October 2006 was the first large department store in the town.
Hastings was the seat of the Hastings Shire before this was merged into the Mornington Peninsula Shire, and still has many buildings associated with federal, state and local governments. It has the headquarters of the regional traffic police. There is a modern library in the centre of town, outside of which is a statue of former resident and footballer, John Coleman. Other facilities include a public hall, and a modern aquatic centre.
Hastings has two public primary schools - Hastings Primary and Wallaroo Primary. There is also a private Catholic school named St Marys Primary School, as well as Western Port Secondary College, a state high school (formerly known as Hastings High School).
In October 2003 the town was host to The Princess Royal.
According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 9,609 people in Hastings.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 2.1% of the population.
- 76.0% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 7.2%, New Zealand 1.5% and Scotland 1.1%.
- 89.2% of people spoke only English at home.
- The most common responses for religion were No Religion 39.1%, Catholic 19.3% and Anglican 16.5%.
Hastings is home to the Esso and BlueScope manufacturing plants, and it is not uncommon to see large oil tankers docked near Long Island in Western Port. Hastings also hosts many small businesses associated with the recreational boating industry.
The naval base HMAS Cerberus is located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of Hastings in the suburb of Crib Point, housing many of its personnel on base. However some live in Hastings or other nearby towns. The local Naval Cadet unit, TS Tingira, is also located out of HMAS Cerberus.
Recreation and tourism
Hastings has one small beach, most of the coastline being mudflats. The town also features several large coastline reserves, some of which allow pet dogs to roam leash-free.
Hastings is located on a crescent-shaped bay opening onto Western Port. It is probably the safest small boat harbour on Western Port, as it is easily accessible, and protected from prevailing winds. Therefore, much of the recreation centres around boating or fishing at the local marina and yacht club.
The mudflats support significant mangrove forests, these being the most southerly species of mangrove in the world. Jacks Beach Walk takes hikers through and over the mangroves via a series of boardwalks. The mangrove forests are natural fish hatcheries, important for the maintenance of good fish populations in the bay. A significant area of Western Port north of Hastings has been declared a Marine National Park.
The area around the pier is popular with sightseers, there being a waterfront cafe, and many yachts moored nearby. Pelicans can normally be seen in this area, and the pelicans are fed daily by local fishermen.
Other nearby attractions include the Tyabb antiques centre and Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park.
Another attraction visitors could attend is the Victorian Maritime Centre, at 220 The Esplanade Crib Point - open Saturday and Sundays 10am to 3pm. Their website is: www.maritimecentre.com.au
- "2016 QuickStats Hastings". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 13 July 2018.
- Premier Postal History, Post Office List, retrieved 11 April 2008
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