Point Nepean National Park
The history of Point Nepean spans back thousands of years to the Bunurong people and it has also played an important role in shaping the early European settlement and defence of Australia, being used to quarantine people arriving in Victoria, defending the colony and for military training.
Walk or cycle through this rugged coastal landscape and enjoy panoramic ocean and bay views. Explore military forts and tunnels, learn about the people who passed through the Quarantine Station - and see fascinating artefacts spanning back over 150 years. View the site and memorial where Prime Minister Harold Holt went missing while swimming at the nearby Cheviot Beach. Follow our water safety advice to make sure your day out at Point Nepean National Park is a safe and enjoyable one.
Extend your stay at our new Point Nepean Discovery Tents campground. Perfect to explore the National Park, the pre-pitched canvas tents offer the opportunity to stay in nature without the fuss of setting up your own camping equipment.
Point Nepean Discovery Tents
Located within the historic Quarantine Station precinct, the pre-pitched Discovery Tents offer a unique opportunity to camp under canvas within Point Nepean National Park.
Tours and adventure experiences in parks
One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.
There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.
Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more.
Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.
How to get there
Point Nepean National Park
Point Nepean is located 110km from Melbourne CBD. Visitors can catch a train from Melbourne to Frankston and then a bus (788) to Portsea, which stops at the park entrance. If driving, take Eastern Freeway (M3), then Mornington Peninsula Freeway (M11) onto Point Nepean Road and follow to Portsea. The Queenscliff to Sorrento passenger ferry operates on the hour from 7am to 6pm (extended hours during summer), and then is a short 10 minute drive from Sorrento to the park.
Point Nepean National Park is open daily. Vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists can enter and exit the park any time. The Point Nepean Information Centre is open daily from 10am, except Christmas day. Gunners Cottage and selected buildings in the Quarantine Station are open for the public to explore from 9am – 4:30pm daily.
Boat landing is permitted in designated boat landing areas in front of the Quarantine Station only.
Access from the shore to ocean beaches and marine national parks is prohibited due to conservation efforts and for safety reasons.
Swimming at the bay beach and the Quarantine Station is permitted. However be aware of strong currents and rips.
When you're there
Named after the British politician and colonial administrator, Sir Evan Nepean, Point Nepean National Park is the most westerly point on the Mornington Peninsula.
Grab an audio tour from the Point Nepean Information Centre. Learn about the rich history of the Quarantine Station, Fort Nepean and their surroundings.
Jump aboard the hop-on-hop-off Point Nepean shuttle service. Running between the Quarantine Station and Fort Nepean, it’s a great way to explore all the highlights of Point Nepean National Park.
Hire a bike or an eBike from Bayplay and get around more of the park. For all bike hire inquiries, availability and bookings visit bayplay.com.au/play/bike-riding
If your dates are not available, please email email@example.com
Once your booking is confirmed, you can pick up your bike at Point Nepean National Park opposite the Information Centre.
The Point Nepean Quarantine Station consists of 50 heritage-listed buildings with artefacts dating back more than 150 years. Selected buildings are open daily between 9am – 4:30pm for visitors to explore. During its colourful history it has protected Victoria from diseases during immigration influxes, served as an army base and, finally, housed refugees from Kosovo in 1999.
Fort Nepean is Australia's best example of military fortifications and engineering. Explore the extensive tunnel complex which connects the historic gun emplacements.
Point Nepean National Park sits on one of the most treacherous coastlines in Victoria. An estimated 130 shipwrecks lie in the Port Phillip Area with over 50 reported to have occurred in The Rip, a triangle bounded by Point Nepean, Point Lonsdale and Shortlands Bluff. Watch giant freight and cruise ships pass by.
Detour from Defence Road and discover a network of beach, coastal and inland walking trails. Follow the Bay Beach Walk to see the quarantine cattle jetty at Observatory Point or the Range Area Walk to the Monash Light Tower for panoramas across Bass Strait, Port Phillip and the Melbourne skyline.
From the viewing area, overlook Cheviot Beach, where Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared while swimming in 1967. It's also the site of Victoria's worst shipwreck, the SS Cheviot, which hit a reef in 1887 during storm conditions; 35 of the 59 passengers drowned.
Need to know
Point Nepean National Park
The following points of interest have some accessible facilities:
- Quarantine Station
- Gunners Cottage
- Fort Nepean
- Other accessibility notes
Walter Pisterman Heritage Walk from Gunners Cottage to the Bay is generally accessible, but lacks hand rails and is steep in parts. Coles Track and the Defence Road to Fort Nepean are also generally accessible.
The most accessible route near the historic fort building leads from the shuttle-bus stop to the Old Barracks site via a tunnel, and back again via Gun Emplacement No.1.
Other paths in this area have isolated obstacles such as steps and uneven surfaces limiting their accessibility.
Wheelchair access is limited at Observatory Point beach access due to steps.
Parks Victoria's social script resources for children on the autism spectrum have been developed with the professional assistance of AMAZE to increase the accessibility of its parks for people on the autism spectrum.
Assistance dogs are welcome in Parks Victoria parks and reserves. Entry requirements apply for parks and reserves that are usually dog prohibited, such as national parks.
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 (Point Nepean National Park, Local Port of Port Phillip)
South Channel Fort (Point Nepean National Park) - Tunnels closedThe 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 BendBeach access from the Bay Beach Walk at The Bend, within Point Nepean National Park, is affected by storm damage.
How we keep it special
Named after the British politician and colonial administrator - Sir Evan Nepean, the park was created in 1988 when it was opened as part of Australia's bicentennial celebrations. The Quarantine Station was added to the national park in 2009. The national park status recognises Point Nepean's archaeological, ecological, architectural, historical, scientific and social significance.
Point Nepean National Park Master Plan
Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lily D’Ambrosio, released the Point Nepean National Park Master Plan in January 2018. The Master Plan reflects the outcomes of extensive consultation with community and stakeholders.
Implementation of the plan is underway, with Parks Victoria currently developing a low-impact, short-stay campground at the Quarantine Station complex, and a story-telling and interpretation project.