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Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park

Australasian Gannet (Morus serrator)
from Andrew Morrison
Nesting Gannets
from Parks Victoria
Popes Eye
from Parks Victoria
Popes Eye nesting gannets Nov14
from Parks Victoria
Pelican (photo: Mark Rodrigue)
from Parks Victoria
Senator Wrasse (photo: Julian Finn)
from Parks Victoria
Sea Star (photo: Jonathan Stevenson)
from Parks Victoria
Scenery (photo: Mark Rodrigue)
from Parks Victoria
Hydroids (photo: Don Love)
from Parks Victoria
Lighthouse (photo: Don Love)
from Parks Victoria
Port Jackson Shark (photo: Amelia Fowles)
from Parks Victoria
Blue Ring Octopus (photo: Don Love)
from Parks Victoria
Australasian Gannets (photo: Jonathan Stevens
from Parks Victoria
from Parks Victoria
Diving with the seals
from Parks Victoria
Swan Bay
from Parks Victoria
Swan Bay
from Parks Victoria
Point Nepean
from Parks Victoria
The Weedy Seadragon (photo: Bill Boyle)
from Parks Victoria
Point Lonsdale
from Parks Victoria
Point Lonsdale
from Parks Victoria
Diving at Pope's Eye
from Parks Victoria
Australasian Gannets
from Parks Victoria

Change of conditions

Add change of condition
  • Parks Victoria has received reports of deceased birdlife on Mud Islands. An investigation to determine the cause of death is currently underway alongside relevant authorities. We have collected samples from the island, which will be sent for testing. Parks Victoria will continue to monitor the birdlife on the island over the coming weeks. Please don’t handle any birdlife or disturb carcasses. Report sightings of distressed or unwell birds by calling 13 19 63 or emailing at Mud Islands, Monday 7 January, 2019

Park Statistics

Bird watching
Short walk
Snorkelling/SCUBA Diving

The park is an internationally recognised dive site, offering excellent diving and snorkelling opportunities for varying levels of experience. 

The park is made up of six separate marine areas around the southern end of Port Phillip:

  • Swan Bay
  • Mud Islands
  • Point Lonsdale
  • Point Nepean
  • Popes Eye
  • Portsea Hole

The habitats found within this park are diverse, ranging from mudflats and seagrass meadows to deep and shallow reefs, rocky shores and beautiful pelagic waters. The variety of habitats, along with the central Victorian location, results in the presence of a great abundance of marine species.

The area marks the end of the range for some animals and plants that prefer the cold waters of western Victoria, but it also supports warmth-loving species from eastern Australia that can survive in the bay's relatively calm, shallow waters.

A high proportion of Victorian species of marine flora and fauna are represented in the Port Phillip Head's region.


Swan Bay and Point Lonsdale are accessible by either shore or boat, whereas Portsea Hole, Point Nepean, Pope’s Eye and Mud Islands are only accessible by boat. Queenscliff, Swan Bay and Portsea all have launching points.

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.

Indigenous tradition indicates that the Bellarine Peninsula side of the Marine National Park is part of the Country of the Wathaurong, and the Mornington Peninsula side of the Marine National Park, including Mud Islands, is part of Country of the Boonwurrung.

Further information is available from Aboriginal Affairs Victoria AAV and Native Title Services Victoria

What's on

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Popular things to do

  • Portsea Hole Portsea hole is a depression within the bed of the old Yarra River that has flowed through this area during…

  • Mud Islands Mud Islands are an exposed area of the Great Sands which is the most extensive sand bank in Port Phillip…

  • Point Nepean When the tide is right Point Nepean is a great spot for snorkelling and diving. On an incoming tide the…

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