Melbourne writer, reader and Managing Editor of Lip Magazine. www.lipmag.com
Published May 3rd 2010
The first thing you notice when you enter Point Nepean National Park, besides the expanse of blue sky, is the breathtaking ocean scenery. Located on the westerly point of the Mornington Peninsula just an hour and a half out of Melbourne, the park is renowned for its panoramic views of Port Phillip Bay and its historical significance in shaping the early settlement, quarantine and defence of Victoria. It is a popular tourist destination, despite being closed to the public for over 100 years.
Point Nepean National Park is a protected natural environment and is home to hundreds of hectares of native trees, grasses and wildlife, including the bandicoot and black wallaby.
But it is more than just a park – there is much to do here!
Visitors can explore the 1880s military forts and tunnels at Fort Nepean, Fort Pearce and Cheviot Hill, or make their way down to Cheviot Beach to view the memorial of Prime Minister Harold Holt, who seemingly drowned while swimming there in 1967. Then there's the Quarantine Station and former Officer Cadet School – why not take a self-guided walk through the Boiler Room?
Bike hire is available (but be sure to stick to the designated tracks so as not to disturb the vegetation) and you can download free podcasts to listen as you take a self-guided tour of the park. You can also pick up a hardcopy guide. If you don't wish to explore on foot or two wheels, the park provides a transport service that takes you through the park. All you need to do is sit back and enjoy!
Refreshments and BBQ and picnic facilities are also available.
It is best to keep your dog and other pets at home as they are not welcome. Swimming is not allowed, and it's important to pay attention to the warning signs as some cliffs are unstable.
Entry into the park for the day costs $8.10 for adults and $3.90 for pensioners and children under 15. Admission for children under 5 is free. Family passes (2 adults and up to 4 children) are available for $20.60.