Quarantine Station

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Quarantine Station

Point Nepean National Park

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.
A visit to the Quarantine Station offers a unique opportunity to see how a large number of new Australians spent their first few weeks in their new country.  

This community of hospitals, disinfecting complex, morgue, cemetery and other defunct buildings comprised an infectious disease facility which processed newly arrived humans and livestock alike.

The Quarantine Station began here in 1852 on what was a desolate, windy and unwelcoming stretch of land. The extent of the facilities then was a few houses left by a community of lime burners who had vacated the area.

There have been several building phases since. The first buildings were simple wooden structures. In the late 1850s a jetty and five two-storey hospital blocks were erected.
In the 1860s a communal bathhouse was built along with a washhouse outfitted with dedicated facilities to deal with infected clothing.

A second building phase occurred in the late 19th century. The Quarantine Station was now receiving animals as well as people. A jetty for this purpose was built at Observatory Point. Other infrastructure included a school for residents and a crematorium. The latter serviced the leprosy patients who were housed well away from the main Quarantine Station.

In 1901 the Federation of Australia was proclaimed and quarantine moved from state to Commonwealth control. This resulted in a number of new processing policies. The Foul Luggage Receiving Store, Disinfection and Boiler buildings were designed and became models for quarantine centres throughout the nation.

The large centrally located Administration Building was erected in 1916. With its handsome façade the building was an impressive addition to the Station. Except for an intense period during the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1919 during which 12 wooden ‘Influenza huts’ were built, the need for isolated quarantine facilities began to lessen.

The army was billeted here during World War II, and the Station became the Officer Cadet School between 1952 and 1985. A final building phase occurred in the 1960s resulting in Army barracks, a library and gymnasium. 

The Quarantine Station ceased its original role in 1980, but it continued to be used by the Army with the the School of Army Health using the facilities between 1985 and 1998.

In the 1990s, the Quarantine Station also played host to 400 Kosovars, refugees from the Bosnian War of 1992-95. During this time the Kosovars were treated to Australian hospitality. They were given bilingual support, school and a weekly allowance. Families were entertained with visits to museums, zoos, festivals and special events. By June 1999 it was declared safe for return home. 

In 2009 the Quarantine Station became part of the Point Nepean National Park.

Things to do in the area

A view of the bunker and canons overlooking Bass Straight at Fort Nepean.

Fort Nepean

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.
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.
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.
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.

How to get there

Quarantine Station

The Quarantine Station has a car park and is close to the entrance of Point Nepean National Park. 

Shuttle bus

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

Nearby Events

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Need to know

Quarantine Station

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.

  • Point Nepean National Park

    The Bend Steps closed

    Access to The Bend steps, including access to the Bay Beach Walk from this location, will be closed until further notice due to severe erosion. Beach access is available at Observatory Point and the Quarantine Station only.

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