Rye Pier Reconstruction

Project status

May 2023: 

  • We’re continuing the Rye Pier reconstruction and delivering Stage 2 which will rebuild the outer section of the pier and pier head, with extra low landing space.
  • During works, the pier will be closed on weekdays and on most weekends the first 300 metres will be open to the public.
  • Where weather and contractor availability permits there may be work occurring over weekends which will require closure of the pier for safety. 
  • The low landing is closed until mid-August before reopening for berthing and diving access.
  • In 2022, Stage 1 of the Rye Pier Reconstruction project was completed, delivering a rebuilt pier approach. Visitors to the pier will enjoy the new wider timber deck, safety handrails and new solar lights. Read the April 2023 Community Update


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Access changes

During Stage 2 of the Rye Pier Reconstruction, there will be limited access to the pier. 

Showing pedestrian access during works

On-water no access areas during works

Above: Zone 1 shows the area which will be closed for the duration of the project. To protect boaters, divers and swimmers while construction barges are present, the zone extends 30 metres from each side of the pier. Once safe to do so and the old outer pier is removed, Zone 2 is planned to be opened from mid-August to allow access to the low landing for divers and berthing vessels.


Rye Pier low landing will be closed for three months     The outer section of Rye Pier


Rye Pier is located in the town of Rye on the Mornington Peninsula in southern Port Phillip. Rye Pier, originally built in 1860 and then completely reconstructed in 1993-94, is a popular destination for the local community and visitors. The pier is 360 metres long with an 'L' shaped head.  An accessible low landing was added on the eastern side in 2020, after the previous landing was damaged by storm and removed.   

Today it is a popular sightseeing, fishing and swimming spot, featuring a low platform and seating for visitors. Rye Pier is an excellent day and night dive site offering beautiful underwater vistas and some of the warmest water in Port Phillip. There is a boat ramp nearby, a playground for the children and wide beaches for families to enjoy. 

The pier is nearing the end of its design life and presenting signs of structural failure posing a risk to public safety. Engineering inspections identified several piles have failed which is compromising the load limits and structural integrity of the pier.   

Funding has been committed by the Victorian Government under the $24 million Piers and Jetties Economic Stimulus Packages to make it safe, more durable and improve accessibility and in 2022 the pier approach was completely reconstructed. In 2023 the works are continuing, to rebuild the outer pier and pier head. 


Rye Pier Approach

Above - Rye Pier reopens with the completion of Stage 1 works, December 2022

Key information 

Rye Pier, on Bunurong Sea Country, is being rebuilt as part of the Victorian Government’s construction blitz to create new jobs across Victoria and ensure the pier can remain open and safe for visitors to enjoy. The $24 million Piers and Jetties Economic Stimulus Packages support significant maintenance and safety upgrades to piers and jetties across Port Phillip and Western Port including Altona, Tooradin, Rye, Queenscliff South, Portarlington and Middle Brighton Piers. 

Reconstruction of a 309-metre section of the pier inner approach walkway between the foreshore almost to the low landing, and widening the deck to 4.2 metres (1.2 metres wider than the current pier), will provide safer separation for pedestrians and vehicles and accommodate increasing visitation.  A 600 millimetre
  lift in pier height caters for future sea level rise. Using all timber materials new piles and beams, crossheads, capping and decking have been installed to renew the structure while retaining its traditional character.     

Other improvements include construction of a ramp at the start of the pier and another at the end. More energy efficient solar public lighting and steel handrails on both sides of the pier approach provide improved safety.  


Project partner and funding 

Department of Transport and Planning

The Rye Pier reconstruction is part of the Victorian Government’s $24 million piers and jetties economic stimulus packages.  


Project stages and timing

Stage 1 works - Rye Pier Approach Reconstruction

  • Planning and design – Complete
  • Tender for construction – Complete
  • Work commences –  early February 2022 - Complete
  • Work completed - December 2022 - Complete


Stage 2 works - Rye Pier Head and Outer Pier Reconstruction

  • Award the tender for construction - February 2023 - Complete
  • Preparation for start of works - Early 2023 - Complete
  • Work commences - April 2023 - Underway
  • Work completed - Late 2023

Timing is estimated and may be subject to change. 


Environmental management

Rye Pier is central to the beach and marine environmental amenity of the Mornington Peninsula on Bunurong Sea CountyWe know many incredible marine species rely on the artificial habitat provided by the pier, which is renowned as an ideal place to observe the Giant Spider Crab (Leptomithraxgaimardii) aggregation ahead of their annual Winter moult. This phenomenon, combined with the presence of many other incredible marine species from seasonal sightings of bottom feeding seahorses, stingrays, spider crabs and octopus through to a range of fish species, make it a popular dive location.

Consideration of the marine ecology data collected through citizen science initiatives and previous surveys, and an ecological study, has been used to consider the current marine life at the pier, important dive sites, impacts of pile removal and mitigation recommendations.   

Using this information, Parks Victoria has retained a selection of the redundant piles between the 200 and 270 metre section of pier where there are the greatest identified  ecological values.  This is done by cutting off viable piles anywhere between 0.5 and 1.5metre above the seabed allowing marine biota attached to the existing piles to remain in their habitat with minimal disturbance and assist with recolonisation on the new piles over time


Completion of high impact work, such as piling, ahead of the anticipated annual Giant Spider Crab aggregation that generally occurs from May is planned to help minimise impacts on this natural phenomenon and the viewing opportunity Rye Pier traditionally provides at this time.


Other information

Parks Victoria is the local port manager for Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell.  The three local ports combined receive approximately 30 million visits a year, and include 263,000 hectares of waterway, marine protected areas, channels, piers and jetties, moorings and aids to navigation.  
For further information or queries about this project email info@parks.vic.gov.au or you can call us on 13 1963.  

Stay up to date


Related information 

Places to see – Rye Pier 

Rye Foreshore - Rye Township Plan | Shape our Future

Rye Pier Approach Reconstruction - retention of redundant piles as ecological habitat 2021 by CEE Pty Ltd


Frequently asked questions


Is the entire pier being rebuilt or just the pier approach? 

In 2022, stage one of the project has delivered a rebuilt pier approach but further works are planned. In 2023, stage two works will commence and will complete the reconstruction by rebuilding the outer pier and pier head.

What will the completion of Stage 2 deliver?

Parks Victoria’s works to complete the pier’s reconstruction will deliver: 

  • Removing the existing outer pier and pier head
  • Rebuilding 125 metres of the outer pier approach and pier head from hardwood timber.
  • An elevated and strengthened pier head
  • Two additional low landings for more berthing capacity, connected via ramps
  • Buffer piles
  • Handrails and solar lighting for safety


Why is the Rye Pier Reconstruction project being delivered in two stages?

Rye is an important tourism destination with typically high visitation over the warmer months. After a busy year of works and pier closure during 2022, reopening the pier after Stage 1 enabled the public to visit and enjoy the pier over summer, prior to Stage 2 commencing to complete the project. 


How is Parks Victoria considering the marine life under and around the Rye Pier during the works?

Protecting the marine life of the area is critical to the project. In the planning phase, Parks Victoria commissioned an independent ecological study which recommended methods to retain the pier's ecological value as a dive and marine natural history site. Responding to the recommendations, Parks Victoria has retained a selection of the redundant piles between the 200 to 270 metre section of pier where there are highest ecological values, as part of stage one works. In stage two, a similar method of protecting marine values and life will be undertaken where safe to do so. 


Will the project include any interpretative signage?

As part of the project, a brand-new signage trail will be installed on the pier to celebrate our connection with marine species living in this special Port Philip location. The trail will bring to life the underwater world beneath the pier and help visitors understand why native marine life needs to be protected. In addition, we’re protecting marine values by retaining several timber piles from the old pier as habitat for diverse species including tube worms, molluscs and seahorses.


What public access is available to the pier during Stage 2 works?

Some public access will be available most weekends. The first 300 metres of the reconstructed pier approach will be opened for visitors to walk, sightsee and fish from Friday evenings until early on Monday mornings. 


Will the low landing be available during Stage 2 works?

The low landing will remain closed for all uses until August 2023 (or approximately 8-10 weeks after commencement), while the old outer pier structure is removed. Once safe to do so, access to the low landing will be restored, allowing divers and berthing vessels to use the landing, the best place to check when this is via this web page


Can the public snorkel or scuba dive under the pier during the works?

Swimming, diving, or snorkelling under the areas of the pier undergoing works is prohibited for public safety for the duration of the project. During weekends when the pier is open to the public, swimming, snorkelling, and diving beneath the first 300 metres of the pier approach is permitted. If works are underway on the pier, access beneath the pier is unsafe.


Where else is available for people to berth, angle and snorkel during the works on weekdays when the entire pier is closed

Alternative angling and pier walking opportunities are available at nearby piers such as Rosebud, Dromana, Sorrento and Portsea. The adjacent Rye Boat Ramp jetty also continues to provide short term berthing opportunities.


What impact will the works have on the heritage values of the area? 

Parks Victoria values the heritage character of timber piers like Rye Pier and their importance to the community.  While Rye Pier is not heritage-listed, adopting an all-timber reconstruction methodology, including for the piles, crossheads, beams, decking and capping, will retain a maritime heritage character of the pier. The brick colour of the new hardwood timber will rapidly silver off to a natural looking, beachside material. 


What impact will the works have on the Rye Pier carpark?

A section of the Council carpark near Rye Pier will be used for a works compound to support the project which will result in a small reduction in the available parking. A similar section of the carpark was occupied in 2022 while Stage 1 of the project was delivered.


How are these works being considered as part of the overall Rye foreshore redevelopment? 

Parks Victoria is working with Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to ensure the on-water improvements complement and integrate with the Rye Foreshore redevelopment currently being planned. As part of this collaborative effort, Parks Victoria donated a significant amount of pier timber salvaged during the project. Complementing Council’s Rye foreshore redevelopment, salvaged pier timbers will be incorporated in landscaping elements providing a connection to the past and further enhancing the visitor experience.

Will the raised height of the pier still be DDA accessible compliant? 
Yes.  A ramp will be constructed where the pier entrance meets the foreshore, and another installed at the end of the rebuilt section before the low landing to connect with the existing lower pier head and low landing.  The two ramps will ensure continued all-abilities access to the varying levels of the pier.  

How are these works being considered as part of the overall Rye foreshore redevelopment? 

Parks Victoria is working with the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council to ensure the improvements complement and integrate with the Rye Foreshore redevelopment currently being planned.


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