Up, Up and Away at The New Arthurs Seat Chairlift, Arthurs Seat, Victoria, Australia
Time Line

1802 Captain Flinders Climbs
On 15th February 1802, Captain Flinders first climbed Arthurs Seat

1896 Rough Track To Summit
Although some widely scattered homesteads cropped up during the 19th century along the bayside shore of the Mornington Peninsula it was not until 1896, when a rough track was made to the summit of Arthur's Seat, that the first resident, James Chapman, farmer and apple orchardist, settled on the top of the mountain. He was a gardener at Heronswood near the present Dromana freeway. Chapman was also engaged in timber cutting with the timbers taken to market via the railway which in those days reached Red Hill. It is also of interest that in the mi 1980's service clubs and CFA constructed the pathway which led from Bunerong Trade up to Seawinds and was opened by Minister Kirner in 1983.

It was not until after the 1997 fire that it was seen that a 10% graded track already exisited having been constructed in teh late 1900's for access to Dromana. It is known that the Chapman children were taken to and from school by Horse Bray along this track.

1929 Road to Summit Opened
A properly graded and made road was built from Dromana to the summit in 1929 and the lookout tower opened for the public in 1934. The road was widened and improved extensively in 1962 to its present standard in which it can carry tourist buses. Salient points along its winding climb were signposted and named after the personalities involved in the history of Arthur's Seat.

1934 The lookout tower was opened

1938 Tragedy
At 9.45am on 10th August 1938 an Avro Anson A4-29 of No 2 Squadron was flying in Iow cloud when it crashed into the north western face of Arthur's Seat. The four crewmen killed were:
P.O. Robert Stanley Symonds, 22 of Eastwood, South Australia, Pilot;
Sgt Pilot John McMahon Gillespie, 28 of St Kilda, Victoria, Navigator;
AC 1 Kenneth Campbell McKerrow, 23 of Carnegie, Victoria, W.O;
AC 1 Robert Wind ram Mawson, 28 of Turramurra, New South Wales, Fitter. Miraculously,
AC 1 James Glover, 21 of Hawthorn, Victoria was injured but survived.

12th July 1942
At 7am on Sunday 12th July 1942 a Beaufort A9-64 flying in mist and Iow cloud just managed to clear the summit of the mountain and crashed into the scrub land south of the lookout tower. All crew members were killed, and included:
F.O. Robert (Terry) Elcoate, 24 of Melbourne, Victoria; Sgt Dudley Merton Wehl, 22 of Capella, Queensland; Sgt James Robert Axxon, 22 of Brisbane, Queensland; Sgt Charles Martin Redgrave, 31 of Grafton, New South Wales.

1946 Seawinds Gardens Developed
Sir Thomas and Lady Travers developed the Seawinds gardens after 1946.

1960 - Chair Lift Opens
The mountain has been a favourite picnic ground for visitors ever since the road from Dromana was opened, but its popularity increased enormously from Christmas 1960 when the Arthur's Seat Chairlift commenced its operation. The chairlift is the largest of Victoria's chairlifts. It is 950 metres long and rises 225 vertical metres on its ascent from the entrance to the Arthur's Seat Public Park, near the Mornington Peninsula Freeway, to the summit station. Its 74 double chairs offer a magnificient view of the vast Port Phillip Bay, enjoyed during the 20 minute trip offering a carrying capacity of 222 passengers per hour. The chairlift was built by Dr Vladimir Hajek, the Czech born pioneer of chairlift transport in Australia.

1975 Park Purchase
The State Government purchased the Traver's property in 1975 and it is now known as Seawinds and is part of Arthur's Seat State Park.

The Old Cottage