Portarlington Harbour Upgrades

Project duration & key dates *

Stage 1:  New pier head and low landing       April to November 2021      

Stage 2:  Removal of old pier September to October 2021   

Stage 3:  Construction of rock groyne   September to December 2021

Stage 4:   Construction of covered walkway   February to June 2022      

Stage 5:   Landscape and other improvement works    July to September 2022   

*Timing of staged works estimates only and may be subject to change due to weather, approvals and other influences. 

Project funding 

Portarlington Pier work is part of the $24 million Victorian Government Piers and Jetties Stimulus Package.  The total project cost is $9.6 million. 

Project partner 

Department of Transport  

Key information 

Portarlington Harbour has undergone significant improvements in recent years to realise the long-term vision set out in the Portarlington Safe Harbour Plan 2009.  The work will create a state-of-the-art facility that is safer and more accessible for commercial operators, recreational boaters, anglers, the local community and visitors for years to come. 

The new Portarlington Pier was completed in 2017 and has been a popular fishing, boating and diving spot. It’s also home to Port Phillip Ferries and the Port Phillip mussel farming industry. 

The next stage of works will deliver vital improvements such as a covered walkway to the ferry terminal, a new strengthened pier head, widened deck to provide safer access, and an accessible low landing.  Upgrades to the pier will support local aquaculture fishers, the ferry service and other harbour visitors, as well as creating jobs during construction. 

Works being undertaken include:

Pier head and low landing replacement      April to November 2021       
Sections of the original northern pier head will be removed, along with the eastern low landing. The new pier head will be stronger, allowing for higher load capacities to better service the aquiculture industry. In addition, a new more accessible low landing will be built to the south of the existing landing. 

Update: The existing low landing has now been removed and construction of the replacement pier head is well underway.  Alternate berthing/unloading areas for the aquaculture industry who use the low landing is arranged through Parks Victoria.  Continued access to recreational berths and groyne for walking and fishing will be maintained where safe to do so, but may be varied or narrowed in some areas.


Demolition of pier head and low landing and driving of new piles. June - July 2021.


Construction of new pier head July - August 2021.


Pier head concrete pour - August 2021.


Removal of old pier   September to October 2021   
The old Portarlington Pier will be removed. The pier has been closed since 2018 due to structural failures which posed a risk to public safety.  

Construction of rock groyne   September  to December 2021

Construction of a new rock groyne on the western side of the harbour will help reduce wave height, protect the ferry berth and reduce sand migration into the harbour. The new groyne will connect to the existing fixed wave screen forming a complete barrier reducing wave action and keeping sand on the beach, not in the harbour. 

Construction of covered walkway   February to June 2022 

A purpose-built walkway will provide safer access from the foreshore to the ferry terminal, separating commercial vehicles and pedestrians. The covered walkway will provide shelter from wind, rain and wave spray.  Artwork created by the Traditional Owners of Wadawurrung Country will be incorporated into the walls of the structure. 

As is currently the case, pedestrians and authorised vehicles will continue to share access on the western side of the new pier while the covered walkway is being installed. 

Landscape and other improvement works    July to September 2022 
Improvement works on the pier and covered walkway entrance will enhance pedestrian access and existing services will be altered accordingly.  Minor improvements to the northern breakwater will enhance pedestrian access. 

Staged work may be subject to change due to weather, approvals and other influences. 



Artists impression of Portarlington Pier covered walkway entrance. 


Artists impression of Wadawurrung Country artwork integration into the covered walkway.

Access to the harbour and pier during works 


Maintaining safe access for commercial operators, as well as fishers, boaters and pedestrians will be a priority during construction. Access may be limited or varied (but not fully restricted) to sections of the new pier and existing groyne at times to enable safe works and deliveries.  A full extended closure is not planned.   See onsite signage for more information.

Ferry services will continue to operate throughout the works.  Please see Port Phillip Ferries website for timetables
Licensed tour operator and commercial operator access will be maintained unless otherwise notified. 

The old pier will remain closed until removed due to structural safety issues. 


Other disruptions during works


There may be some visual amenity impacts. A fenced work site will be established in the foreshore car park. 

It may be noise while works are underway.  Noise will be restricted to site working hours.  Heavy and oversized vehicles may require access to the pier for deliveries - directions from contractors and on site signage should be observed for safety.

Works will be suspended from 18 December 2021 to end of January 2022 to minimise impact on community, local business and visitors during the peak summer season. 

Alternative nearby locations for pier walking, angling and recreational boating during the works can be enjoyed at Queenscliff South Pier and Harbour Precinct and St Leonards Pier. 


Other information 

Parks Victoria is the local port Manager for Port Phillip, Western Port and Port Campbell, with the three local ports combined receiving approximately 80 million visits a year, and include 263,000 hectares of waterway, marine protected areas, channels, piers and jetties, moorings and aids to navigation. 


Stay up to date 

To receive further information sign up to the Portarlington Harbour updates mailing list.   

For general enquiries email info@parks.vic.gov.au or you can call us on 13 1963. 

Download the Portarlington Pier Community Update 1 April 2021.

Download the Portarlington Pier Frequently Asked Questions - May 2021.

Download the Portarlington Pier Community Update 2 September 2021.

Related items


Places to see - Portarlington Harbour Anchoring Zone

Places to see – Portarlington Harbour Swimming Only Zone 

Places to see - Queenscliff Pier and Harbour Precinct 

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