On the coast of the narrow neck of the Mornington Peninsula that guards the eastern entrance to Port Phillip Bay, Rye is distinguished by the sandy beaches and yacht club that are characteristic of Melbourne’s southern playground.
Rye’s signature, however, is St Andrews Anglican Church, built from local limestone in Gothic style in 1882. The deposits were also mined and treated in a Rye limekiln to produce lime for the Melbourne building trade.
Rye is just a short drive from Sorrento and Sullivan Bay where Lieutenant-Governor David Gollins established the first British outpost in 1803 to deter French colonists from raising the tricolour in what is now Victoria. The French threat, however, was short-lived and the garrison of 50 Royal Marines and their 300 convict charges shipped out to Hobart in 1804.
Nearby, too, lie the scenic, self-guided Kings Fall Walking Track, the Pine Ridge Car Museum and Arthurs Seat State Park whose summit can be reached by road or chairlift.