A lovely river town

Port Franklin is a quiet fishing town with a population of approximately 120 people, though in the past, the town’s fishing industry was much more significant.

There are eight families still fishing. Using the old wooden boats, now fitted with diesel engines, Port Franklin fishers work in the embayment of Corner Inlet.

The town’s school, store and post office have closed as the town’s fishing industry has slowly declined over time.

Location

Port Franklin is located approximately 180 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, around two and a half hours travel along the South Gippsland Highway.

History

– Port Franklin is one of three ports, located around Corner Inlet, in South Gippsland. The area was first settled in the 1840s by timber cutters.

– The railway linking the town of Bowen (now Port Franklin) to Melbourne was finished in 1892 and with a wharf and safe anchorage it soon developed into a busy fishing port.

– Local events favoured by the fishermen was the New Years day boat races and during winter football.

– Fishers in the early days used wooden boats with two pointed ends. Cotton nets, with sisal ropes and corks as floats were used from these boats using sails and oars. The fish were sent to Melbourne on the train packed in wooden boxes with ice to keep them fresh.

– The Post Office opened around 1902, was known as Bowen until 1910 and closed in 1993.

Fishing

– The fishing gears used today (haul seine net and mesh nets) by Port Franklin fishers are made from synthetic materials such as nylon, polyester or polyethylene. The fish are sent daily to the Melbourne market by refrigerated road transport in plastic bins with ice.

– There are over twenty different species caught in Corner Inlet with the most popular including King George whiting, rock flathead, southern calamari and greenback flounder.

– The mangroves growing along the Franklin River have flourished with the increased sediment because of land clearing practices. The mangroves and salt marsh in the area are important fish nursery areas. The inlet supports good fish populations because of its clean environment. By looking after and protecting these habitats the fishermen are ensuring a sustainable future.

*Information on the town’s history and fishing was gathered from Wikipedia – The Free Encyclopedia and and the Seafood Industry of Victoria websites.

Town Facilities

Fresh Fish
Port Franklin Fresh Fish, Bowen Street
Open: Thursday & Friday 9am-4pm and Saturday 9am-noon

Quick Facts

– Population approximately 121
– 180 kilometres south-east of Melbourne

Activities & Attractions

– Take a stroll along the Port Franklin Boardwalk.
– Purchase fresh fish from the Port Franklin Jetty.

Nearby Towns

Discover these other wonderful South Gippsland locations located not too far from Port Franklin.