The name Venus Bay was given to the bay by a French expedition under Nicholas Baudin. This was apparently after George Bass’s trading ship the Venus. (The expedition traded with Bass in Sydney in around 1801.)
The town of Venus Bay is situated on a narrow peninsula of land located 180km south-east of Melbourne. Originally named Evergreen the town takes its name from the body of water on its western shore. On the eastern side of the peninsula is Anderson’s Inlet, named after the settler Samuel Anderson.
Venus Bay has become a popular holiday retreat for people from Melbourne and is close to other popular South Gippsland tourist spots such as Phillip Island and Wilsons Promontory. The permanent population hovers around the 400 mark, however this can swell into the thousands during holiday periods. The town is split into three ‘estates’. The First Estate is home to the only shopping strip in Venus Bay, consisting of a general store, fishing and surfing store, take-away shops, real estate agents, caravan park and a restaurant.
In recent years the residents of Venus Bay and nearby Tarwin Lower (5km closer to Melbourne) have fought off developers seeking to drain the environmental wetlands and set up marina/resort developments. Today the fight appears to be strongly in the favour of the local residents.