Oliver's Hill Lookout
Point of Difference
Scenic views across Port Phillip Bay.
Inspirational site for noted artists.
"They used to go to Oliver’s Hill, and look at the sea. Look at the sunset, and all those type of things. In the FJ Holdens. Lots of FJ Holdens up there. Lots and lots. Big demand. Still is, I believe.
I think of the baby-boomers from Frankston, this is where most of our babies were conceived, up on Oliver’s Hill. All those little children born in the sixties." Jenny Bramwell, quoted in: Watson, 2001, p.99.
As with all the locations blessed with a spectacular view, the nearest hill or mount has always become a firm favourite for romantic locals from which to survey their domain. Not surprisingly, Oliver’s Hill has also attracted its fair share of artists including George O’Brien whose sun-drenched record dates from 1862. Fredrick McCubbin takes a more intimate position with his 1910 painting by locating the viewer within the bushland on the hill, looking out through a break in the trees to reveal the curve of the bay gleaming in the distance.
Robert Taylor-Ghee’s Frankston from Oliver’s Hill (front cover) updates O’Brien’s scene with the pier jutting defiantly into the bay. In the foreground is the lookout and to the right, a 1920s jalopy struggles up the hill. The opening of the new road in 1913 was a cause for major celebration and sighs of relief. The previous track was notorious – a treacherous area that quagmired in winter causing fatalities as brakes, gears and horses collapsed.
On a more personal note is the moody Peter Pan Rock 1998 by Rick Amor featuring the boulder-strewn base of the hill, where middens, remnants of seashell feasts enjoyed by Frankston’s original inhabitants, the Boonerwrung people, can still be found.