THE Bass coast shire is named after the explorer george bass who sighted the area during an expedition to prove the existence of the bass straight in 1796
Bass Coast Shire is located in south-eastern Victoria, about 130 kilometres south-east of Melbourne and is bounded by Western Port Bay in the north and west, Cardinia Shire in the north-east, South Gippsland Shire in the east and Bass Strait in the south. The region is a rural, residential and holiday area. The Shire encompasses a total land area of about 860 square kilometres, including substantial coastal areas. The major towns are Wonthaggi, Cowes, Inverloch, San Remo and Grantville. The major industries of the Shire are tourism and agriculture, particularly cattle and sheep grazing. Bass Coast Shire is named after the explorer George Bass, who sighted the area during an expedition to prove the existence of Bass Strait in 1796. The original inhabitants of the Bass Coast area were the Bunurong Aboriginal people. European settlement dates from 1826 when a military outpost was set up at Corinella. However, permanent settlement did not occur until the late 1830s, with land used mainly for timber-getting, farming and grazing.