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 calm 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
How to get there
Fort Nepean is only accessible on foot, bicycle or by shuttle bus. Leave your car at the Quarantine Station carpark or Gunners Cottage carpark.
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.
Alternatively, the Point Nepean shuttle service runs between the Quarantine Station and Fort Nepean.
Bicycles or electric bikes can be hired from the visitor centre. Hire costs:
|Type||Quantity available||6 hours||3 hours|
|eBike & tag-a-long||2||$83.30||$53.60|
|eBike & toddler buggy||2||$83.30||$53.60|
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Need to know
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
Point Nepean National Park is closed
Under the direction of the Chief Health Officer and in accordance with Department of Health and Human Services’ requirements limiting the number of people at public gatherings to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) Point Nepean National Park will remain closed until further notice.
The Bend Steps closedAccess 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.
Notices Affecting Multiple Sites
Heritage building and precinct closures due to COVID-19The following buildings and structures will remain closed until further notice:-- Information Centre- Fort Nepean Tunnels and Engine House- Disinfecting Complex (Boiler House)- Foul Luggage Store- Shepherd’s Hut- Hospital 3 & Cook HouseThere is no bike hire.
Shuttle Bus service suspended until further noticeThe Point Nepean Shuttle Bus service has been suspended until further notice to help reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).The park remains open to vehicle entry from 6am – 6pm, and 24/7 access for pedestrians and cyclists. The toilet facilities also remain open.