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- Surface area:680km2
- Average depth:3m
Formerly a major river drainage system inundated by the rising sea in the Holocene period, the Western Port sunkland now forms an extensive tidal bay. The waters of Western Port cover an area of 680 sq km of which 270 sq km, are exposed as mud flats at low tide.
Two large islands, French Island (approximately 170 sq km) and Phillip Island (approximately 100 sq km), dominate Western Port. The coastline, including that of the islands, is some 263 km.
- Fishing, pleasure boating and yachting are some of the popular pastimes on the bay.
Deep channels lead from Bass Strait into the western section of the bay, giving access to the region's port facilities.
- Hastings is the main boat landing in Western Port bay.
- There are boat launching ramps at Stony Point, Tooradin, Newhaven, Cowes,Hastings, Warneet, Lang Lang, Grantville and Rhyll (Phillip Island).
- Accommodation is available on both Phillip Island and French Island.
How to Get There
Western Port is south-east of the centre of Melbourne, bordered by the Mornington Peninsula to the west, the Koo Wee Rup plain to the north, and to the east by the South Gippsland hills to the east.
Phillip Island is about 120 km from Melbourne off the Bass Highway. Tourist buses run from Melbourne daily. A ferry can be taken from Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula to Cowes on the north of the island. Light planes take off for the island from Essendon and Moorabbin. Brochures can be obtained from Parks Victoria at San Remo, before crossing the bridge to the island.
French Island can be reached by the ferry which runs from Stony Point on the Mornington Peninsula to Tankerton on the island.
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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