The town of Warrnambool was settled by the Europeans in the 1840s and Port Campbell in the 1870s. With European settlement came the ships that supplied the area and the treacherous coast caused many shipwrecks.
Amongst these the schooner 'Young Australia' in 1877 was driven ashore at Curdies Inlet after receiving damage to its fore-top mast at Cape Nelson during inclement weather. No lives were lost.
In 1908 the 'Falls of Halladale', a 4 mastered iron barque built in Scotland, was wedged between two reefs at Halladale Point when the captain's judgment was impaired by heavy fog.
The Coastal Park, like nearby Port Campbell National Park, has sheer limestone cliffs and offshore islands. This fascinating coastline developed millions of year's ago when tiny marine animal skeletons built up beneath the sea and formed the soft limestone which was then eroded by the wild seas and winds of the Southern Ocean sculpting the limestone into the shapes we see today. Its a popular area for photography particularly at sunset and far less crowded than the 12 Apostles area.
The wild Southern Ocean also provided a wealth of resources for Kirrae Whurrong people, the traditional owners of the area. Evidence of their habitation of the area over thousands of years such as blackened shells (shell middens), scraping tools and other small artefacts, remain as indicators of a healthy and diverse diet.The Kirrae Whurrong continue to live in this area celebrating their traditional physical and spiritual connections.
Lookout areas are located at the Bay of Martyrs, the Bay of Islands, Three Mile Beach and Childers Cove.