St Leonards is a coastal township near Geelong, Victoria, Australia, at the eastern end of the Bellarine Peninsula and the northern end of Swan Bay. Situated 30 km east of Geelong, St Leonards was a filming location for the Australian television series SeaChange.
Summer tourists and holiday makers are attracted to St Leonards by it’s calm beach with good sailing waters, as well as the Esplanade memorial recording the landfalls of Matthew Flinders in 1802 and John Batman in 1835, Edwards Point Nature Reserve, and bay and pier fishing.
It is said that St Leonards was established in the 1840s as a fishing base to supply Geelong but was largely deserted in the 1850s due to the goldrush. Whether the dates are right or not, it is clear that it did operate as a fishing port and that it supported a large Chinese community at one time.
In the 1850s Captain George Ward-Cole, a shipping agent and landowner, moved into the area, felling the tall red gums and shipping them to Melbourne. Wattle tree bark was then harvested for use in the tanning of leather.