The Fort is a man made island built in the late 1800’s on a sandbank shored up with bluestone rocks, concrete and sand. It was key to the network of outer defences in Port Phillip Bay. Five guns, together with those of Queenscliff and Point Nepean, were intended to form a triangle of defence against the threat of a Russian invasion. As the efficiency of coastal defence improved the Fort became obsolete without ever having fired at an enemy.
The fort now has old gun emplacements, underground passages, lobbies and ammunition magazines to explore and a wonderful outlook across the bay. There are remnants of original military equipment including that of a rare 8-inch disappearing gun. It is a nesting site for seagulls, storm petrel and cormorants with a small colony of little penguins. Seals are a frequent visitor to the island.
Added to the Mornington Peninsula National park in 1995 it is listed on the Register of the National Estate in recognition of the island’s historical and ecological significance. Visitors to the Fort will have a unique experience of Port Phillip Bay aimed at protecting the environmental and cultural values of the site. To arrange a visit contact one of Parks Victoria’s licensed tour operators.