Panorama of Port Phillip at the Lighthouse and Timeball in the Point Gellibrand Coastal Heritage Park, Williamstown, Victoria, Australia. The tower served repeatedly as a lighthouse and as timeball. The bluestone section that remains today is the tower from 1849. A brick tower on top of this tower had been demolished by 1989 to install a computer controlled replica time ball mechanism in commemoration of the history of this site.
Timeballs were crucial maritime time signalling devices in the 1800s because navigation relied on accurate time to determine the ships position. Timeballs were raised a few minutes before 1pm and ship clocks would be set when the ball started to descend at 1pm. Since the introduction of radio time signals most timeballs had been destroyed and there are only about a dozen left worldwide.
Victoria is Australia's second smallest State and covers only 3% of Australia's land area but has the second highest population of all States and Territories. Victoria's mainland and islands have a total length of 2,512 kilometres coastline which is about 4.2% of Australia's 59,736 kilometres of coastline. Australia is the driest inhabited continent and Victoria is no exception although the state capital Melbourne has the reputation to have 4 seasons in one day. Victoria is located in the southeast of mainland Australia and includes the most southern point on mainland Australia at Wilsons Promontory National Park.