National Parks

From picturesque coastal scenes to the natural beauty of our National Parks, the Mornington Peninsula is a region of striking contrasts.
With tranquil bays, wild ocean beaches and fascinating marine parks, to picture perfect national parkland and serene walking trails; this intriguing part of the world is an adventure playground just waiting to be explored.

The region features more than 25,000 hectares of National Parks which offer a spectacular mix of rugged coastline, serene wetland areas and wild, untamed bushland. Take a walk, a ride (by bike or even horseback) and connect with the local flora and fauna in these picturesque landscapes.
Our Marine National Parks are blessed with a rich and diverse selection of marine life just waiting for you to ‘dive in’. Rocky reefs and underwater forests, sandy plains and sponge gardens… shipwrecks to dive around, and unique sea life to discover.


Western Port Marine National Parks

Western Port is Victoria's second largest bay and contains three Marine National Parks; Yaringa Marine National Park, French Island Marine National Park, and Churchill Island Marine National Park.

Download the Western Port Marine National Parks Fact Sheet


Port Phillip Heads Marine National Parks

At the southern end of Port Phillip Bay this National Park comprising of six seperate areas; Swan bay, Mud Islands, Pope's Eye, Point Lonsdale, Point Nepean and Portsea Hole.

Download the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park Fact Sheet


Ex HMAS Canberra Dive Site

The ex-HMAS Canberra is a former warship which served the Australian Navy between 1981 and 2005.  The vessel was specifically prepared and scuttled as a dive attraction in October 2009 and now lies in approximately 28 metres of water.

Download the Ex HMAS Canberra Dive Site Fact Sheet


Arthurs Seat State Park

Drive to the top of Arthurs Seat, and take in incredible views of Port Phillip Bay and the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas. On a clear day the view extends as far as the city skyline, the You Yangs and Mount Macedon. At 305 metres, this is the Peninsula’s highest point. Visit the delightful 34-hectare Seawinds Garden featuring indigenous and exotic formal gardens, along with sculptures by William Ricketts, or there are a number of delightful walks including the pleasant one hour circuit walk to Kings Falls.


Point Nepean National Park

Walk right to the tip of the Mornington Peninsula, past the old Quarantine Station, World War Two military defences, along coastal and bush tracks. There’s a hop-on hop-off transporter that runs from the Information Centre to Fort Nepean with five stops along the way. The journey takes 30 minutes one way. Increased services run during peak times and bookings are recommended. Bicycles can also be hired from the Information Centre. The self guided Point Nepean audio tours are just like a 'virtual tour guide' for a visit to Point Nepean National Park giving valuable insight into a place with so many stories to tell. If you do not have your own MP3 player, you may hire an iPod for a small fee.

Discover the historical precinct of the Quarantine Station which has almost 50 heritage listed buildings. The Quarantine Station was established in 1852 and from 1952 the buildings also housed the Army Officer Cadet School. Walkers and cyclists can take Coles Track which links the Quarantine Station to the Gunners Cottage and Fort Nepean.

Cheviot Hill is the park’s highest point and contains World War II fortifications. It overlooks Cheviot Beach, the site where former Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared without a trace in December 1967. A memorial is located about 500m further along Defence Road from Cheviot Hill.
The South Channel Fort is a reminder of Port Phillip Bay's early history as part of the defence lines for Melbourne. The artificial island was constructed in the 1880s to illuminate the channel at night and electronically explode mines under attacking ships coming through the Heads.

Explore the Eagles Nest and Fort Pearce lookouts from the fortifications with stunning views of Bass Strait. The Pearce Barracks site is where many of the army personnel stationed at Point Nepean lived. Eagles Nest was the site of Australia’s largest Disappearing Gun.

From Gunners Cottage you can visit the historic Point Nepean Cemetery or walk the Walter Pisterman Heritage Walk to the remnants of the former quarantine cattle jetty at Observatory Point. Cyclists and walkers can take Coles Track to the Quarantine Station or Fort Nepean.

Discover a series of military fortifications at Fort Nepean dating back to the 1880s with stunning views of Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait. Explore the tunnels, forts and gun emplacements from which the first allied shots of World War I and first Australian shots of World War II were fired.

VIEW VIDEO

View Heritage Story_Point Nepean - The Silent Sands of Cheviot Beach

Download the Point Nepean National Park  Fact Sheet


French Island National Park

French Island National Park is a true paradise. Accessible only by a 30 minute passenger ferry ride, from Stony Point, French Island is a haven of peace and serenity, home to a diverse range of wildlife and containing environments ranging from mangrove saltmarsh areas to open woodlands. Explore the park at leisure by bus, bike or on foot, using the network of public roads and management tracks. There are whole day, half day and shorter walks and rides starting at Tankerton Foreshore Reserve.


Mornington Peninsula National Park

This park adjoins Point Nepean National Park, encompassing 26km of beach and cliff walks along Bass Strait from London Bridge right to Cape Schanck, plus the coastline around Flinders and beautiful Greens Bush just inland a little.

Bushrangers Bay, London Bridge, Portsea Back Beach, Diamond Bay, Coppins Track and Cape Schanck offer stunning landscapes; the mystery of dramatic volcanic features, unspoilt and wild beaches and scenic walking tracks with spectacular ocean views.

Portsea Ocean Beach is a great location to start exploring the national park’s wide sandy beaches and naturally weathered cliffs. Popular activities include surfing, swimming, walking and ocean fishing. The beach is patrolled during summer and school holidays

Cape Schanck is also a site of rich European history with its heritage listed lighthouse precinct.

Situated between Arthurs Seat and Cape Schanck, Greens Bush is the largest remnant of bushland on the Peninsula. Surrounded by farmland, this island of native forest is a tranquil gem and a wildlife haven, with kangaroos and wallabies feeding in the early morning or at dusk, and birdlife including wrens, colourful parrots, kites and soaring eagles.


 
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