Point Nepean Story-telling and Interpretation project

Project status

Timeline graphic for the story-telling and interpretation project at Point Nepean - planning, drafting and design has been delivered in early-mid 2023. Review, feedback and approvals on content is due early 2024. Procurement of manufacture and install due early 2024, installation works to start mid 2024, installation works expected to be complete mid-late 2024.

The project timeline is subject to on-ground and construction industry conditions, and environmental and cultural heritage assessments and permits. It will be updated as the project progresses.

  • The new story-telling and interpretation signage and experiences have been drafted and designed, and are currently being reviewed by relevant subject matter experts. 
  • An RFQ has been released for the manufacture and install of the interpretation signage. 
  • An RFQ for the delivery of the Boiler House enhancements will be released in the coming months.   
  • Read an update on Point Nepean projects here.

 

Last updated: February 2024


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The project

This project is being delivered on Bunurong Country.

Point Nepean National Park is one of Victoria’s most important natural, cultural and historical places, and a popular visitor destination for hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It is a significant place for Traditional Owners of the lands, the Bunurong people, and for the protection of a range of native plants and animals. The Quarantine Station and Forts have played an important role in the history of Victoria’s early immigration and defence. 

In 2018, following community consultation, a master plan for the park (PDF) was released with an aim to protect its unique and special qualities, and ensure that its complex stories as a cultural landscape are valued and expressed.

As part of the master plan implementation, in 2018 Parks Victoria upgraded Defence Road, providing improved visitor safety and enabling bicycle access to Fort Nepean. In 2020, new visitor facilities were added at the Quarantine Station including seating, picnic and barbecue facilities with shelters and a drinking fountain.

Parks Victoria is now progressing two more initiatives, including the development of a low-impact campground at the Quarantine Station, and an upgrade of this significant site’s story-telling and interpretation signage and experiences.  

Interpretive signage

The project will uplift the interpretation signage and experiences across the site, including at the Quarantine Station, Gunners Cottage, Harold Holt Memorial, and along Coles Track. This will help visitors learn about the significance of the park and immerse themselves in the stories of this special place. 

From Bunurong Traditional Owner stories about the significance of Point Nepean’s Aboriginal cultural heritage, to the history of the Quarantine Station, to the vital role this landscape plays for native plants and animals that call it home. The new and improved interpretive signage will help visitors discover the rich history and values of Point Nepean, as they explore different areas of the park. 

An interpretation strategy has been developed to guide how to highlight Point Nepean’s living Aboriginal culture, and tell the stories of the park's overlapping natural, military and quarantine histories. You can view the strategy here (PDF). While we won’t be able to deliver everything the strategy proposes, we will use this, along with the priorities identified in the Master Plan, to help shape interpretive themes, experiences, signage layouts and designs. 

Boiler House upgrades

The use of the Quarantine Station began in 1852, and over the years evolved from a few simple wooden structures, to a precinct of buildings and facilities including five two-storey hospital blocks, a morgue, cemetery, a school for residents and even a separate facility for Point Nepean’s Leper Colony. 

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 constructed. The facilities were used to process, disinfect and where necessary, dispose of the luggage of passengers arriving by boat in Victoria, and became a model for quarantine centres throughout the nation.

Nowadays, visitors to Point Nepean can explore these buildings and learn about the disinfection technologies and processes of the early 1900s. 

To enhance this experience, we will upgrade the Boiler House to provide an immersive experience for visitors to journey through, and discover about what it would have been like for people arriving in Australia in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We will use interpretive signage, Corten character silhouettes and projectors with moving visuals and sound, to tell the stories of different characters and their time at the Quarantine Station.   

Project benefits

Visitors and community

The Story-telling and Interpretation project will immerse visitors even more during their visit, improving their experience and helping them to learn about the Aboriginal cultural landscape and the park's overlapping natural, military and quarantine histories. 

Environment

By helping people learn about the unique history, stories and values of Point Nepean, they may feel more connected to the park, which may encourage visitors and the community to care for the site and its plants and wildlife. 

  

Project funding

The Victorian Government has provided $1.9 million to deliver the Story-telling and Interpretation upgrades, as part of a broader $6.4 million investment to fund the implementation of the park’s master plan. 

  

Environment and cultural heritage management

Cultural heritage, Heritage Victoria and flora and fauna assessments will be undertaken for this project, to ensure that Aboriginal cultural heritage, non-Aboriginal cultural heritage and plants and wildlife will be managed appropriately during and after installation. 

  

Who are we working with?

To deliver the Story-telling and Interpretation project, we are working with:

  • Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) 
  • Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation 
  • Heritage Victoria 
  • Point Nepean National Park Advisory Group


The Point Nepean National Park Master Plan was informed by community consultation undertaken during 2017, and we’re continuing to talk with the community about projects in the park, including through the Point Nepean National Park Advisory Group. 

  

Access changes

At certain stages during this project we may need to restrict or redirect access to certain sections of Point Nepean National Park including the Boiler House facility. We’ll update this page and on-site signage to inform visitors of any access changes that may come into effect. 

Before visiting you should also check the Point Nepean National Park page on the Parks Victoria website for any change of conditions. 

 

Staying updated

Subscribe for updates, check this page or reach out to the team at engage@parks.vic.gov.au.

 

Related information 

  

FAQs

Why are these projects being delivered?

The Point Nepean National Park Master Plan was developed in consultation with the community and released in 2018. It sets out initiatives that aim to protect the park’s unique values and ensure that its complex stories as a cultural landscape are celebrated and expressed.

The campground and story-telling and interpretation projects will help visitors to immerse themselves in the rich heritage and values of the park, in-turn strengthening their support for its conservation.

 

How are you deciding which stories to highlight as part of the Point Nepean Story-telling and Interpretation project? 

An interpretive strategy was developed through consultation with key stakeholders, extensive research, and community engagement. This strategy identifies key cultural and natural values stories of Point Nepean National Park with the appropriate implementation sequence and method for sharing. You can view the strategy here (PDF). While we won’t be delivering everything that the strategy proposes currently, we will use this, along with the priorities identified in the Master Plan, to help shape future interpretive outputs for visitors to engage with at Point Nepean National Park. 

We have engaged heritage interpretation specialists, Sue Hodges Productions to research, draft and develop the interpretation plan, which will be reviewed by the relevant subject matter experts, including Bunurong Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and Heritage Victoria.  

 

What can I expect to see when the Story-telling and Interpretation project is complete? 

The project will uplift the interpretation signage and experiences across the site, including at the Quarantine Station, Gunners Cottage, Harold Holt Memorial, and along Coles Track. This will help visitors learn about the significance of the park and immerse themselves in the stories of this special place. 

We will also upgrade the Boiler House to provide an immersive experience for visitors to journey through, and discover about what it would have been like for people arriving in Australia in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We will use interpretive signage, corten character silhouettes and projectors with moving visuals and sound, to tell the stories of different characters and their time at the Quarantine Station.   

 

How can I find out more about projects at Point Nepean National Park?

You can subscribe for updates here, call our customer service team on 13 1963 or email the project team at engage@parks.vic.gov.au. We’ll also keep the Point Nepean Projects webpage updated as the projects progress.  

 

 

 


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