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The Merrett Rifle Range

This was its official name after Colonel Charles E. Merrett, who sat on the Victorian Rifle Association Council from 1890 to 1946, but locals always called it by its original name, the Williamstown Rifle Range. 

A rifle club certainly existed at Williamstown in 1862, and the city’s first rifle range was at Williamstown Beach, a clearly unsuitable location as the population increased and bathing became more popular. 

The second site, further around the peninsula, held its first match in 1878. Various rifle clubs had their own buildings there, and the army used the rifle range extensively, especially during the wars. Sometime before the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne the name was changed to the Merrett Rifle Range. Its most famous moment was when it was used for shooting events during the 1956 Olympic Games. 

The rifle range was closed in 1987, and is now a housing estate. The original clubhouse has been preserved at the centre of the estate.

For feedback and comments please contact the Tourism Officer at Hobsons Bay City Council on (03) 9932 1000 email visitorinformation@hobsonsbay.vic.gov.au