Tower Hill (volcano)
Tower Hill is an inactive volcano on the south-west coast of Victoria, Australia. Within the crater, the explosion also formed a series of small cones (known as scoria cones) and spheres surrounded by a crater lake. Tower Hill volcano is roughly 4 kilometres wide and 80 metres high. It has a gradient altering between 10% to 80% at the higher points.
The Koroitgundidj people long inhabited this region of Australia and have lived in the area of Tower Hill since before recorded history. The first confirmed sighting of Tower Hill by Europeans was by French explorers sailing with Captain Baudin aboard Géographe in 1802. Matthew Flinders sailed east along the southern coast of Australia and on 20 April 1802 in the ship's log referred to "Peaked Hill Position uncertain", which may refer to Tower Hill.
The Hill was painted by the artist Eugene von Guerard in 1855, who was the foremost landscape artist in the colonies at the time. The painting (Tower Hill, 1855) is now in the Warnambool art gallery.
Now part of the state park system as the Tower Hill State Game Reserve, it previously saw service as a pasture for stock animals, fields for crop growing, a stone quarrying, an unofficial motorcycle racing venue, a source of free timber, and a convenient community rubbish dump. By the middle of the 20th century the hills were almost completely denuded and virtually the only wildlife to be found were waterfowl that came to the crater lakes. The area has been reforested with native flora, and repopulated with native fauna over the past 40 years.
More than 300,000 native trees have been planted over the past two generations. This has created an environment capable of sustaining native animals such as koalas, emus, kangaroos, magpie geese, echidnas, possums and water birds—all of which can be seen within the crater walls of Tower Hill.
- List of volcanoes in Australia (active and dormant)
- Parks Victoria: Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve
- Matthew Flinders 2002 website - History
- Tower Hill Wildlife Reserve, historical records
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