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Launching Place

(3139, 54 km E, Yarra Ranges Shire)

Launching Place is a settlement on the Warburton Highway by the Yarra River. Originally the terminus for flat-bottomed timber punts taking supplies to the Wood's Point gold diggings, Launching Place was once called Ewart's after the landlord of the Home Hotel. French actress Sarah Bernhardt stayed here with her entourage in 1891 and went shooting in the nearby hills. A new railway line in 1901 opened up the area as a holiday and tourist destination. Residential development accelerated from the 1970s, though the suburb retains its semi-rural nature.

Jenny Keating