The highest point on the Mornington Peninsula; this granite massif rises to 1,031 feet at its summit and extends as a ridge westward. The flanks of the massif have been dissected by a number of streams which rise on either side of the ridge. The southern side of the massif is covered by basalt. The range of soil types, topography and micro-climates provides habitats for many distinct plant communities, which, when undisturbed provide habitats for a range of native fauna.
Much of the natural vegetation has been cleared away, although several large stands still remain. Subdivision and building is being permitted on the flanks; a scenic road has been built up the north-west escarpment; obtrusive buildings are situated near the summit; a chair lift has been constructed; quarrying extensions have recently been permitted along the northern escarpment.
The Classification status of the Scenic Area is seriously endangered by the extent of development. The need for effective land-use controls is critical.
Landscape values are high from the many viewing points on the mountain, and many internal landscapes are of high quality. However, distant views of the range itself have been degraded by the quarry scar, the subdivisions on the flanks, the obtrusive summit erections, and the swathe cut by the new freeway at the base of the mountain. The aesthetic value of the Arthur's Seat Red Hill road has been adversely affected by the road widening and straightening.
The indigenous vegetation on the north-west face has been heavily infested with the noxious weed, Bone Seed, Chrysanthemoides monilifera, and this face has been further marred by the hot fire which, in January 1973, killed or seriously damaged the trees in its path.
Arthur's Seat has important historic associations. In February, 1802, Lt. Murray, R.N., named the mountain and was the first European to reach the summit. In April 1802, Matthew Flinders and Robert Brown also made the ascent.
The fine garden at 'Seawinds' developed by Mr. Justice Higgins and Sir Thomas and Lady Travers, commands magnificent views across Port Phillip Bay, and along the Mornington Peninsula. This is the first property taken up on Arthur's Seat and was settled by Mr. G. Chapman over a century ago.
LOCATION AND BOUNDARIES:
The Scenic Area was declared and defined by the Governor in Council on 15th December, 1969, and comprises the northern and western slopes of Arthur's Seat, Dromana. The Classified area excludes the built up segments, the chair-lift and quarried areas.