Address: Esplanade, Port Melbourne, Victoria 3207
Freecall: 131 963
Covering 1,950 square kilometres, Port Phillip is the entrance to Australia's busiest port and is one of Victoria's most popular recreational destinations. Although Port Phillip is commonly referred to as 'the Bay' or 'Port Phillip Bay', Port Phillip is actually not a bay at all. It's a local port area that is actually made up of over 16 bays.
Every year millions of people enjoy its vast coastline, world-class swimming beaches and coastal parks. An entirely different perspective however is available to those who explore Port Phillip by boat. Island, shipwrecks and marine reserves dot Port Phillip, while scuba diving and fishing reveal the colourful diversity of Port Phillip's marine life.
Over 3.2 million people live around its shore, making Port Phillip Australia's most densely populated catchment. Port Phillip is a large expanse of water that is surprisingly shallow in many places. Nearly half of Port Phillip is less than 8 metres deep. Its greatest depth is 24 metres.
Studies show that Port Phillip is a dynamic and self sustaining ecosystem which is healthier and cleaner than comparable bays near large cities. The shallowness of the water aids aeration and the many marine plants and organisms keep Port Phillip in good condition.
Before you go
Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.
Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.
Content: Parks Victoria
Take the Princes Freeway from Melbourne to Geelong then the Bellarine Highway to reach Bellarine Peninsula piers, jetties and destinations.
Take St Kilda Road/Nepean Highway or Princes Highway/Springvale Road from Melbourne to reach Mornington Peninsula destinations.
- Fishing - Beach
- Wind Surfing
Additional business information
Around the bay
Point Lonsdale The quieter bayside beaches of this scenic township contain shallows and rockpools and tidal rock shelves for exploration while the ocean beach offers a majestic stretch of white sand to Barwon heads. Point Lonsdale's lookout provides dress circle seats for viewing vessels negotiating the notorious passage of water at Port Phillip Heads known as "the Rip". The Point Lonsdale Pier was built in the late 1890s to assist in the retrieval of people from ships wrecked coming through the Rip. Queenscliff Harbour Founded in 1882, Queenscliff is the unchallenged "capital" of the Bellarine Peninsula and features the Queenscliff Harbour, built in 1934. Catch a ferry to Sorrento for a day trip or visit the Maritime Museum or the Marine Discovery Centre. The pier and lifeboat shed were an integral part of the infrastructure provided to improve the safety for ships entering or leaving Port Phillip Bay. Many lives were saved though the efforts of the crews that manned the lifeboat, which is now located in the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum. Water based activities are well established, dive schools offer scuba and snorkelling tuition, boat charters offer fishing or dolphin tours, jetty angling, surfing, sailboarding - the opportunities are endless. Or drop a line from the end of the Queenscliff Pier and utilise the picnic and barbecue facilities that are just along the foreshore Portarlington Fishing from the pier and uncrowded waters, swimming in safe swimming beaches and enjoying the sweeping views of Corio Bay and the Melbourne skyline are some of the activities enjoyed at Portarlington. The Portarlington Pier services a number of commercial fishing vessels who offer fresh mussels on weekends.
Around the bay cont.
Cheetham Wetlands The fresh and salt water wetlands of Point Cook form part of the internationally significant Cheetham Wetlands which provide important feeding and habitat areas for thousands of migratory birds from Japan, Siberia and New Zealand. "The Tower" is a public art commisson which provides a visible symbol and celebration of migration to Australia and, from its platforms, unique vantage points from which to view the Cheetham Wetlands with its sensitive ecology.
Activities and attractions