Arthurs Seat

Arthurs Seat is a suburb on the Mornington Peninsula, overlooking Port Phillip Bay, 60 km south of central Melbourne. It was named by Lieut James Murray in 1802, owing to its resemblance to a hill of that name near Edinburgh. (The hill, altitude 251 metres, is said to resemble a resting lion and overlooks coastal Edinburgh from the south-east. Any connection with Arthurian legend is probably spurious; Gaelic legend is more likely.)

Spectacular views from Arthurs Seat were recorded by Murray, Matthew Flinders and others, but regular public access came with the making of a graded road from Dromana in 1929. A lookout tower was built in 1934. In 1929 the Gardens of the Moon tourist complex was built near the summit. Copied from a Californian structure and built in rough cast concrete, it included a ballroom, lounge, swimming pool, hotel and a camera obscura, a device giving a periscopic panorama of the surrounding landscape. Residential housing later advanced up the lower slopes, and in 1960 a chairlift to the summit was opened. The Seawinds public park adjoins the grounds around the summit. The Arthurs Seat State park occupies the western half of the suburb. It has numerous walking tracks and picnic areas. The residential area is east of the summit, shading into open country towards Main Ridge.

Arthurs Seat was gazetted as a suburb in 1999 and its census populations have been:

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