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Islands of Port Phillip Bay

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Places like Popes Eye a horseshoe shaped ring of blue stone boulders which rises more than two metres above the surface at low tide. In the 1880s this artificial reef was originally intended to become a fortress guarding the entrance to the bay but was never completed. Its 3km east of Queenscliff and 5km north of Portsea.

A popular spot for divers, Popes Eye now hosts a navigation beacon. A kilometer to the northeast is Chinamans Hat an octagonal structure built as part of the defence system for World War II. With its pointy tin roof, its now home to a group of Australian fur seals.

Not far away is one of the most recognisable features in the bay – the South Channel Pile Light. This cottage-style lighthouse was built in 1874 to guide ships through the narrow channel towards Melbourne. An octagonal building, the Pile Light contains a living room, a bedroom and a storeroom. It includes a fireplace, chimney and rainwater tanks all in the space of only 6m in diameter. It was occupied by lighthouse keepers until the introduction of bottled gas made the job redundant in 1925. Less than 20 years ago, the Pile Light was completely renovated and moved from its original position to a site off Rye.

At its peak, about 100 officers lived and worked on the island, using the underground bunker and tunnels. The theory was in the event of war to hold enemy ships in a triangle of fire between Queenscliff, Point Nepean and the Pt Nepean Forts own guns.

Just a short distance away are the Mud Islands this is a wetland of incredible natural beauty and its flora and fauna are of international importance.

The three islands constantly change in shape and configuration due to the movement of sand by tidal currents. They provide a vital habitat for migratory birds from as far away as Japan and Siberia and are an essential breeding area for colonies of pelicans, silver gulls, ibis, terns, cormorants, white faced storm-petrels and royal spoonbills.

For all you holiday accommodation in Sorrento, Portsea, Blairgorwie and Rye contact MyCoastline.

 

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Port Phillip Bay, Victoria
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Victoria 3943