This is a complex setting type strongly determined by newer basalts with rock platforms, dunes and interdunal marshes at the coast edge grading into rich open volcanic grazing lands. These are reminiscent of Ireland and were originally settled by Irish immigrants, mid last century. Indeed place names such as Killarney and Little Belfast underpin this linkage and heritage in a landscape of distinctive hedgerows and small cultivated paddocks.
The Western District Volcanic Plains is the largest landform of the region. This volcanic area is one of the largest and youngest in the world. The volcanic plains are characterised by extinct volcanoes such as Tower Hill, a spectacular example of scoria cones within a large lake filled maar crater. However, apart from the series of volcanoes, the area is relatively flat with few trees but some remnant native grasslands. The setting type is mainly viewed from Eastern Beach and the beach dunes at Armstrong Bay. This area also contains the historic seaside town of Port Fairy with its sheltered ocean access up the Moyne River.
- Encourage rural development that is more closely settled, avoid scattering development throughout the landscape.
- Respect the cultural character of this strong and unique land pattern; hedgerows, small cultivated paddocks interspersed with 19th century hamlets.
- The Port Fairy dune system is an important and valuable coastal landscape feature that should be protected.
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