The river was initially founded and named by Major Thomas Mitchell. Heywood however was given its name from a Government Surveyor by the name of Lindsey Clarke who named it after his hometown back in England. Samuel Evans built one of the first buildings along the river in Heywood which was known as the “Bush Inn” or “Bush Tavern” later to be more commonly known as Bilson’s Inn.
Heywood managed to see itself placed amongst criminal history with notorious Bushranger Frank Gardiner not only visiting Heywood but being arrested here as well.
On that note whilst you wander the areas of Heywood and the Fitzroy River be sure to take in the historical value of the area.
Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.