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Patterson River

Patterson River rock wall
from Parks Victoria
View down the river
from Parks Victoria
Bridge view up the river
from Parks Victoria
No swimming at the river mouth
from Parks Victoria
Table Bases at Patterson River Picnic Area
from Parks Victoria
Parks Victoria office at Patterson River, Jan
from Parks Victoria
Patterson River, January 2013 (Photo: Elizabe
from Parks Victoria
Patterson River, January 2013 (Photo: Elizabe
from Parks Victoria
Patterson River
from Parks Victoria

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Park Statistics

Medium walk / Day walk

Patterson River is a unique man made waterway, created in 1876 to provide drainage from the Dandenong Valley catchment. Since then is has become one of the most popular boating and fishing gateways to Port Phillip. The thriving canal system of the Patterson Lakes residential area and the wet and dry storage at the marina contribute to making this an extremely busy waterway.

Things to do

Picnics and walks

The river bank is a good spot to picnic or go for a stroll and watch the boats slip by. Facilities include under cover picnic areas and electric barbecues.

Due to the boats, rips and hazards the river is not suitable for swimming. For a day on the sand, visit nearby Carrum or Bonbeach where there are Surf Life Saving clubs and safe swimming.

Bike riding

Bike riding is popular with bike trails to Mordialloc, Dandenong, Frankston and the city.


Fishing along the river is permitted by Victorian Fishing License holders. Fishing licenses are available from the tackle shop and kiosk at Launching Way.


The most popular reason to visit Patterson River is to go boating. There are four two-lane boat ramps and boat washing facilities. Excellent car and trailer parking are available.

Launching fees apply to all boats using this site. A seasonal ticket is available. A tackle shop and kiosk at Launching Way caters for all boating and fishing needs including fishing licenses, boat fuel and weather reports.

Even if you don't have a boat, you can still enjoy a cruise along the river and on the bay with one of  commercial boat operators who conduct tours.

The nearby National Water Sports Centre nearby is used by a wide range of water sport groups.

Aboriginal Traditional Owners

Parks Victoria acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Victoria - including its parks and reserves. Through their cultural traditions, Aboriginal people maintain their connection to their ancestral lands and waters. Further information is available from Aboriginal Affairs Victoria AAV and Native Title Services Victoria

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