Tour winds back clock

Tour winds back clock

People are able to take a virtual step back in time and see what the tunnels and artillery of the Portland Battery would have looked like in the 1800s thanks to a new online experience.

The Glenelg Shire Council has recently launched a new virtual tour of the nationally significant site the Portland Battery.

The tour allows users to see inside the infrastructure and tunnels of the Battery, giving a sense of what the space would have been like in the late 1800s.

The viewer is guided through the lit, underground tunnels by costumed militia from the Warrnambool Garrison and Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum, adding an authentic feel to the experience.

Glenelg Shire Cultural Collections Coordinator Agostina Hawkins said it was a fantastic opportunity to give the community access to the Portland Battery.

“Council was fortunate to receive a $3000 grant under the Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) Program to support development of a virtual tour of the Portland Battery, a site of national significance,” she said.

“For those unaware of the history, the Battery was built in 1889 as a defence against a feared invasion by Russia. The site was restored in 1984 and the surrounding site to the Battery has been made stable and is accessible to visitors and includes interpretive signage.

“However the inside of the site is still not accessible, this includes the tunnels and the lamp passage.

“This virtual tour allows community members to finally see inside the tunnels and the lamp passage and what they would have been like when in use. It’s a first of its kind virtual history experience for our region – it’s incredibly exciting and at the same time also showcases a significant piece of Portland’s heritage.”

Ms Hawkins thanked Portland based photographer Damian Goodman who produced the tour and the support of the Friends of the Portland Battery.

“It was a fantastic collaborative project, with the expertise and support of a local photographer, the Friends of the Portland Battery as well as neighbouring museum, Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum,” she said.

Community members can go online to the Glenelg Shire website to take the virtual tour of the Portland Battery.

The Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program is a $3m Australian Government program that aims to support community cultural, heritage and arts organisations in regional Australia as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

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