Tooradin is a small town on the edge of South Gippsland, 65 km south of Melbourne’s central business district, in Victoria, Australia. Its Local Government Area is the City of Casey. It has the southernmost mangroves in the southern hemisphere. Tooradin has some attractions such as Sawtell’s Inlet, and an old weatherboard Fishermans Cottage. It is a popular place for people travelling to Philip Island to have a break.
The town’s name is an Aboriginal term for a monster which the local Aborigines reputedly believed resided in a waterhole at this location.
An important European settler was Scotsman William Lyall who purchased the ‘Tooradin’ estate in 1851. He imported sheep, hares, sambur deer, cattle, shetland ponies and horses, became a respected breeder of livestock and experimented with oyster cultivation. Lyall built ‘Harewood’ homestead c.1857 which is still standing off the highway to the east of town.
The town developed as a small sea port which relayed trade between the farms of the hinterland and Melbourne. It is claimed that the idea of starting the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) occurred to some travellers during a breakdown at Tooradin in 1903.
Today the pelicans and mangroves share the town with numerous fishing boats. $350 000 has recently been spent to upgrade the foreshore area and to give the town a general facelift with positive results.