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Portarlington

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Portarlington is a historic coastal township located on the Bellarine Peninsula, 28 km from the city of Geelong, in the state of Victoria, Australia. The gently rising hills behind the town feature vineyards and olive groves, overlooking Port Phillip Bay. Portarlington is a popular family holiday destination and a centre of fishing and aquaculture (mussels). At one time the town claimed the largest caravan park in the Southern Hemisphere, although the size has reduced considerably in recent decades. In the 2011 census, Portarlington (including Bellarine and the rural section of St Leonards) had a population of 3,580 people. Portarlington also has a large number of Maltese, Croatian, Italian and Islander immigrants.HistoryEarly InhabitantsThe area around Portarlington was originally inhabited by the aboriginal Wathaurung people. Aboriginal shell middens can be found along the cliff-line at Portarlington. Mussels are the dominant shell species in evidence, demonstrating the importance of mussels to the area, even in pre-historic times. A ground-edged stone axe has been found at Portarlington. A stone artifact scatter also existed at a nearby site, but has been destroyed by development. Another stone artifact scatter has been identified at Point Richards, in the west of the town.
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