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Portarlington Harbour

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Nestled on the edge of a sleepy coastal village, Portarlington Harbour is a popular destination offering an enjoyable day by the bay. Anglers fish from the new Portarlington Harbour, swimmers take a dip at the surrounding beaches and visitors from near and far enjoy sweeping views of Corio Bay and the Melbourne skyline. Nearby is the township of Portarlington as well as barbecue, picnic and playground facilities on the Portarlington foreshore. Portarlington Harbour is also well known as the home of commercial fishing vessels who are known to sell fresh mussels on weekends.

Port Phillip Ferries operate daily services from Portarlington to Docklands in Melbourne.  Timetables and further information can be found on the Port Phillip Ferries website.

For a safe and enjoyable visit to Portarlington Harbour, please consider the following:

  • Portarlington Harbour is a busy working harbour with commercial and recreational vessel traffic. For your safety swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving and spear fishing are not allowed within the harbour outside the designated swimming zone.
  • There is a designated swimming only zone within the harbour marked by signs, in water buoys and a swimming barrier. There is another open ocean swimming only zone west of Portarlington Pier.
  • Jumping and diving off the pier and other structures with Portarlington Harbour is prohibited for public safety.  There are shallow areas and often unexpected submerged objects and it is not safe to swim in the vicinity of boating traffic.
  • Pedestrians are requested to walk within the high-visibility pedestrian lines that are marked on the pier for safety. Access to Portarlington Pier is shared by pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Ensure dogs are kept on lead at all times and clean up after your dog.
  • Marine pests are highly invasive animals and plants usually from other parts of the world that have become established in Victoria. Marine pests cause significant damage to the health of Victoria’s marine ecosystems. Port Phillip is home to many marine pests not found elsewhere in Victoria and vessels can act as a mode of transport for marine pests. To find out how you can help stop the spread of marine pests, please see the Check, Clean, Dry video and brochures:

Boating within Portarlington Harbour

Port Philip Ferries have right of way over all other vessels while navigating the entrance to the harbour. Refer to the Port Manager Directions No. 1.0/2018 for the Local Port of Port Phillip - Portarlington Harbour.

Portarlington Harbour depths

Depths within the harbour vary from 0.5 - 4 metres. The entrance of the harbour is dredged to a minimum of 2.5 metres chartered depth. Please monitor depths carefully within the harbour as it can become shallow, particularly along the eastern and southern boundaries. Refer to the current survey results in the related publications below.

Berthing and anchoring within Portarlington Harbour

Commercial berthing

The new Commercial Wharf is for approved commercial vessel use only. Unauthorised and recreational vessels are not permitted to access this structure.

All vessels are prohibited from berthing in the Port Phillip Ferries berthing area along the shoreward side of the commercial jetty and the eastern end of the timber wharf.

Short stay berths

9 short stay berths for visiting vessels are located on the timber wharf. These berths are suitable for vessels up to 15m in length and are clearly signed. They are available on a first come, first serve basis and cannot be booked. Maximum stay is 2 nights.

The following berth numbers are available for short-term stays:

  • 5 (approx.: 10m  x 3.5m)
  • 11 (approx.: 10 m x 4 m)
  • 14 (approx.: 15 m x 4 m)
  • 22 – 27 (approx.: 18 m x 5.5 m)

One Commercial Itinerant berth is available in berth 28 (approx.: 18 m x 6 m). Bookings and payment can be made via the Queenscliff Parks Victoria office on (03) 8427 2104.

Drop-off / pickup berth

Vessels must be manned at all times and not exceed 20 minutes. Drop-off/pick up areas are on the low landing within the harbour and alongside the outer western berth.

Anchoring inside Portarlington Harbour

Anchoring within Portarlington Harbour is permitted within the designated anchorage area. Vessels anchored must not impede on Port Phillip Ferries or other vessels. There is no booking for anchoring within the harbour. Availability is on a first come, first served basis.

The approved anchorage site is inside the eastern rock wall.  Depths vary here from approximately 1 – 2.5 metres. Maximum stay is 2 nights.
All anchoring is at your own risk.

Anchoring outside Portarlington Harbour

Anchoring outside Portarlington Harbour must not impede safe vessel navigation access into and out of the harbour, or the Outer Western Berth.

No anchoring is permitted within the swimming only zone, located to the west of Portarlington Harbour.

All anchoring is at your own risk.


Tenders can be rowed to the shore within the harbour, east of the swimming only zone.