Things to do in the area
Point Nepean is the traditional Country of the Bunurong People who have lived on and around this important cultural place for over 35,000 years. The coastline has been an important source of shellfish and other foods and extensive shell middens are reminders of the enduring association that Traditional Owners have with this area.
Point Nepean has evidence of some of the earliest European settlement in Victoria, including pastoral activities and lime burning. Shepherd’s Hut, located in the Quarantine Station, is one of the earliest intact limestone buildings in Victoria. Its cellar dates to 1845.
Established in 1852, the Quarantine Station was the major place for quarantine purposes in Victoria until 1979 and was closed in 1980. Animals were also quarantined here and you can see the remains of the jetty built for this purpose in 1878 at nearby Observatory Point. The beach here is a beautiful spot for a picnic.
The walk to Observatory Point is 2km / 30 minute along Coles Track from the Quarantine Station. While you're there, take the Walter Pisterman Walk inland to nearby Gunners Cottage and Point Nepean Cemetery, where those who died in quarantine are buried. If you're on a bicycle you can continue along Coles Track to Gunners Cottage.
The entrance to Port Phillip was once the most heavily fortified port in the Southern Hemisphere. There are many Colonial and Commonwealth structures from the 1880s–1940s located around the park. Fort Nepean is considered to be one of the best examples in Australia of a major fort complex exhibiting the changes in military engineering over the 19th and 20th centuries.
The walk from Gunners Cottage to Fort Nepean is approximately 3km or 45 minutes. On the way, you can explore the remains of Fort Pearce, Pearce Barracks and Eagles Nest. Fort Pearce was established in 1911 and designed to take advantage of the six-inch Mark VII guns being introduced to coastal defence at that time. The Pearce Barracks site is where many of the army personnel stationed at Point Nepean lived. Eagles Nest was the site of Australia’s largest 'Disappearing Gun'.
After World War II, soldiers were removed from the forts and the buildings and fortifications declared redundant. The area remained closed to the public and was used as an occasional firing range and training ground until 1988 when, as part of the Bicentennial celebrations, control of the site was transferred to Victoria, declared a national park and opened to the public. The Quarantine Station became part of the national park in 2009.
How to get there
Point Nepean Historic Highlights
Need to know
Point Nepean Historic Highlights
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.