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Cape Woolamai

Phillip Island, Victoria (VIC), Australia


Cape Woolamai is located at the south-eastern tip of Phillip Island in Victoria, Australia, just a few kilometres from Newhaven. The cape was named by George Bass (but spelt "Wollamai") when he passed it on his whaleboat voyage in early 1798. Wollamai is the snapper fish (Pagrus auratus) in the language of the Eora aboriginal people of Port Jackson, where the fish is found. Bass, who had learnt some of the Sydney language from the Eora leader Bennelong,) thought the headland resembled the head of that fish.

A surf beach lines the western coastline of Cape Woolamai which is quite popular with surfers. The northernmost part of this beach, at the end of Lantana Road, is known as The Colonnades and features basalt rock cliff faces which have been weathered by the ocean to create a geological feature resembling organ pipes. Further south is the wide expanse of sand known as Anzacs Beach which is accessed via Woolamai Beach Road. One kilometre further south, at the end of that road, is Phillip Island's only surf lifesaving club where there is a large car park and kiosk. Continuing southwards is Magic Lands Beach which is backed by steep cliffs, and the fascinating rock formation of The Pinnacles is located near the end of the cape.

The headland contains remnant vegetation and wildlife such as an important breeding colony of the Short-tailed Shearwater or Australian Muttonbird. Volunteer groups such as the Cape Woolamai Coast Action Group conduct regular improvement and maintenance works including weed control and revegetation. It lies within the Phillip Island Important Bird Area, so identified by BirdLife International because of its importance in supporting significant populations of Little Penguins, Short-tailed Shearwaters and Pacific Gulls.