1. Before

1TallTreesThe early environment

The best picture we have of the early South Gippsland environment comes from letters and diaries of the early settlers, and from accounts collected in books on the pioneering years. The following links provide a picture of the hill and marsh country, the Great Forest and the local fauna.

Anderson’s letter to La Trobe

Sam Anderson was among the first to settle in South Gippsland. In this brief letter to Governor La Trobe, Anderson outlines the lay-of-the-land as discovered on a three-week journey that covered just over 220 kilometres. His description of the country between Bass Strait and the Bass and Strzelecki hills is less than flattering … read on

Image of Anderson

Sam Anderson from the back cover of “The Andersons of Western Port” by Thomas Horton and Kenneth Morris, 1983.

Click for Image of Sam Anderson

Description of the Great Forest

From forest giants — among the world’s tallest — to ferns and native grasses

Great Forest

Image of the Forest

An early photo of the forest –

Click for Image of the Forest

Forest profile

The Great Forest had three distinct levels.

Click for Illustration

Forest Fauna

The forest supported a great diversity of life … birds, browsers and burrowers

Click for Illustration of Forest Fauna