Fort Nepean

Point Nepean National Park

Fort Nepean is one of the fortifications that protected Melbourne during World War I and II. Located at the very tip of the Mornington Peninsula, where the calm waters of Port Phillip meet the wild waves of the Southern Ocean, explore the extensive tunnel complex which connects the historic gun emplacements.
To visit Fort Nepean is to step into the boots of the soldiers once posted there. Located at the very end of the Mornington Peninsula, Fort Nepean was a critical part of Victoria’s defences from the 1880s until 1945.

During the late 19th century the government decided that Victoria’s rich goldfields needed protection. Because of its strategic position, Fort Nepean became an important defence post. Numerous military fortifications were built, making Port Phillip one of the most heavily defended harbours in Australia.

The first shot of the British Empire in the First World War and the first Australian shot of World War II were fired from Gun Emplacement 6, earning its entry into military history. These battlements were modified and used right up until the end of World War II.

Today, Fort Nepean remains an outstanding example of the evolution of gun technology and Australia’s early defence strategies.

There’s lots to see, so allow at least an hour to discover what makes Fort Nepean so unique. Above and below ground you will find gun emplacements, barracks, tunnels, ammunition magazines, an engine house and even a bomb-proof room.

Make sure you spare some time to see the fortifications at nearby Fort Pearce, Pearce Barracks and Eagles Nest.

The landscape and views are pretty unique, too. Look out over The Rip, where the generally calmer waters of Port Phillip meet the rough seas of the Southern Ocean. This is one of the most dangerous sea lanes in the world and has claimed many vessels over the years. 

Things to do in the area

A retired coulpe chat with a Parks Victoria Ranger at Fort Nepean.

Point Nepean historic highlights

Point Nepean is one of Victoria's most popular heritage sites, boasting a fascinating collection of historic buildings located in dramatic coastal scenery. Explore Fort Nepean and the Quarantine Station on foot or on a hired bike - and enjoy a picnic overlooking Port Phillip. This is a fantastic daytrip near Melbourne.

Quarantine Station

Point Nepean Quarantine Station offers a glimpse into the early European history of Victoria. Established in 1852, explore nearly 50 heritage-listed buildings. Learn about life at this once-remote location and the station's critical role in protecting Australia from introduced diseases.
Wide shot of a bus on a road surrounded by nature

Point Nepean shuttle service

The Point Nepean Shuttle is a hop-on hop-off shuttle service transporting visitors between the front entrance, Quarantine Station and Fort Nepean.
South Channel Fort in Port Philip part of the Point Nepean National Park.

South Channel Fort

The South Channel Fort is a reminder of Port Phillip Bay's early history as part of the defence lines for Melbourne. The artificial island was constructed in the 1880s to illuminate the channel at night and electronically explode mines under attacking ships coming through the Heads.
A husband and wife stop to take a photo of Masons Falls from the lookout.

Day trips

Pack the car and round up your family and friends. Whether you're seeking relaxation or adventure, parks offer a variety of day trips close to Melbourne.
A three year old boy leads his mum and younger brother through the forest near Grants Picnic Ground.

Family activities

Stash some supplies into a back pack and take the family out for a day trip and in only a short drive from Melbourne you can be surrounded by nature.
Three friends enjoy a picnic on the grass in front of the historic Wallace Hut.


Head outdoors for lunch in the warmer months and enjoy a picnic in some of nature's most relaxing and inspiring settings.

How to get there

Fort Nepean

Fort Nepean is only accessible on foot, bicycle or by shuttle bus. Leave your car at the Quarantine Station, Gunners Cottage or front entrance carparks.

The walk to Fort Nepean from the Quarantine Station carpark is approximately 4.5km and takes an hour and fifteen minutes one way. The walk from Gunners Cottage carpark is a little shorter at 3km. The walk from the front entrance gate is approximately 5.5km and a longer walk of around an hour and forty-five minutes one way.

Shuttle bus
Alternatively, the Point Nepean shuttle service runs between the Quarantine Station and Fort Nepean.

Bicycle hire
Bicycles or electric bikes can be hired from Bayplay. For all bike hire inquiries, availability and bookings visit bayplay.com.au/play/bike-riding
If your dates are not available, please email bookings@bayplay.com.au

Need to know

Fort Nepean

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • South Channel Fort (Local Port of Port Phillip, Point Nepean National Park)

    South Channel Fort (Point Nepean National Park) - Tunnels closed

    The South Channel Fort and Jetty remains open to public access. However, all access into the sub terrain tunnels/ keep (via Licensed Tour Operators) is currently restricted due to safety concerns.  Further engineering/ technical assessments will be undertaken.

  • Fort Nepean (Point Nepean National Park)

    Coastal path to Engine House Closed

    The coastal path to the Engine House precinct at Fort Nepean is currently closed due to safety concerns from instability.

  • Point Nepean National Park

    Beach access at The Bend

    Beach access from the Bay Beach Walk at The Bend, within Point Nepean National Park, is affected by storm damage.  

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