Port Phillip

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WorldAustraliaVictoria, AustraliaPort Phillip
Port Phillip Bay
There are Port(s) of Entry here
38°07.357'S, 144°48.770'E Chart icon.png
lat=-38.12261 | lon=144.81283 | zoom=9 | y
Port Phillip map.png
Port Phillip Bay

Port Phillip, often known as Port Philip Bay, incorporates Corio Bay to the west and joins Bass Strait with Victoria's capital city Melbourne and Victoria's largest regional city Geelong. The bay is large, covering approximately 1,930 km2 (745 mi2) with a shoreline of approximately 264 km (164 mi) with a single opening to the sea in the south known as "The Heads".

Although the bay is relatively shallow, it is mostly navigable but care is required in the southern area which has two navigable channels: the West Channel usually used by recreational vessels and has a depth of around 4m; and the South Channel that is used by all commercial traffic and has a depth of around 12m. The bay has Yacht Clubs and Marinas dotted around the shoreline.

The Yarra River flows into the northern end of the bay and is the site of both the city of Melbourne and the Port of Melbourne, which is Australia's busiest commercial port. To service this port, Port Phillip Heads and the mouth of the Yarra River were dredged to allow deeper drafted vessels to enter the bay. This work was started in 2004 and finished in late 2009 and has been the source of great controversy by environmental groups.

Port Phillip, 1864


Australian Hydrographic Service
AUS 158 Entrance to Port Phillip
AUS 143 Port Phillip - The Rip
AUS 154 Port Melbourne


The prevailing wind for the West and Central Victorian Coast is South West all year round, but during summer Northerlies and North Westerlies are common, and during Autumn (Fall) Easterlies can prevail for periods. Weather patterns always flow west to east, with low and high pressure systems developing in the Southern and Indian Oceans and travelling across the Great Australian Bight, across Victoria and on through the Tasman Sea, drifting south east to New Zealand.


See Victoria.


See Melbourne.


See Melbourne


The approaches to Port Phillip Bay at "The Heads" whether from the East, South or West, are free from hazards. However, the heads themselves must be approached with extreme care. Due to the larges body of water and the relatively small opening, the area in the middle of the heads, known as The Rip, has tidal streams that can run in excess of 6 knots and large breaking seas can be encountered in wind against tide situations.

The recommended timing of entry through the heads is at 'slack water', which occurs 3 hours after high or low water at Port Philip Heads and the ideal is 3 hours after low water as this allows the trip up the bay on a rising tide with a favourable tidal stream. This information can be found from the Victorian Tide Tables or from the Bureau of Meteorology web site.

When approaching the heads, Point Lonsdale Lighthouse can be seen on the western side, which has a characteristic of a group flash 2 every 15 seconds. At night, the light also displays a single red light to show the first half of an ebbing tide, two red lights to show the second half of an ebbing tide, a single green light to indicate the first half of a flooding tide and two green lights to indicate the second half of a flooding tide. If in any doubt at all call "Lonsdale VTS" (Vessel Traffic Service) on VHF channel 12 or 16 and they will tell you the state of the tide and also conditions at the heads. As a courtesy, it is a good idea to call Lonsdale VTS anyway and ask if there is any commercial traffic. Vessels over 35 metres require a pilot.

There are 4 recognised channels into the heads, east, central, west and four fingers west. These channels are detailed on the Australian chart AUS 158 "Entrance to Port Phillip" and are aligned with 4 lighthouses on Shortland Bluff inside the heads, a high light and 3 low lights, east central and west. The recommended channels for recreational vessels are the west channel or four fingers west, these channels keep you away from commercial traffic that uses the central channel.

Hazards at the heads include Lonsdale reef on the western side and corsair rock on the eastern side. Neither of these hazards come into play if you are aligned with any of the recognised channels.

Contact Customs and Quarantine for information on anchorage/berthing.


Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina ||
  • Melbourne Melbourne /wiki/Melbourne Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
  • Geelong Geelong /wiki/Geelong Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |

Marinas & Yacht Clubs

Australia Blairgowrie.jpg

Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron

Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron/wiki/Port_Phillip#Blairgowrie_Yacht_Squadron
Berth icon Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron [[Port Phillip#Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron|Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron]] 38°21.362'S, 144°46.365'E

Has 350 berths for 8 m to 25 m boats. No fuel but provides water and elecricity. Travel lift infrastructure able to carry 20 tonne.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 3 5988 8453; VHF channel XX
Address: 2900 Point Nepean Road, Blairgowrie, VIC 3942, Australia

Martha Cove Harbour

Martha Cove Harbour/wiki/Port_Phillip#Martha_Cove_Harbour
Berth icon Martha Cove Harbour [[Port Phillip#Martha Cove Harbour|Martha Cove Harbour]] 38°18.428'S, 145°00.347'E

Has 232 berths for 10 m to 30 m boats. Fuel dock

XX@XXX; Tel: +61 3 5987 0827; Fax: +61 3 5987 0870; VHF channel XX
Address: Cnr Mariners Way & Anchorage Ave, , Martha Cove, VIC 3936, Australia

Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club

Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club/wiki/Port_Phillip#Mordialloc_Motor_Yacht_Club
Berth icon Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club [[Port Phillip#Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club|Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club]] 38°00.568'S, 145°05.230'E

93 moorings to members only.

XX@XXX; Tel: +61 3 9580 1203; VHF channel XX
Address: 1 Nepean Hwy, Aspendale, VIC 3195, Australia

Mornington Yacht Club

Mornington Yacht Club/wiki/Port_Phillip#Mornington_Yacht_Club
Berth icon Mornington Yacht Club [[Port Phillip#Mornington Yacht Club|Mornington Yacht Club]] 38°12.775'S, 145°02.094'E

40 moorings for members only.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 3 5975 7001; Fax: +61 3 5975 8355 ; VHF channel XX
Address: Schnapper Point Drive, Mornington, VIC, 3931, Australia

Newhaven Yacht Squadron Marina

Newhaven Yacht Squadron Marina/wiki/Port_Phillip#Newhaven_Yacht_Squadron_Marina
Berth icon Newhaven Yacht Squadron Marina [[Port Phillip#Newhaven Yacht Squadron Marina|Newhaven Yacht Squadron Marina]] 38°30.742'S, 145°21.742'E

188 berths, is the only marina on Phillip Island and provides an all weather, safe haven for boats from 6 to 12 m. Visitor berths available for overnight stays.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 3 5956 7515; Fax: +61 3 5956 6127; VHF channel XX
Address: Seaview Street, Newhaven, VIC 3925, Australia

Patterson Lakes Marina

Patterson Lakes Marina/wiki/Port_Phillip#Patterson_Lakes_Marina
Berth icon Patterson Lakes Marina [[Port Phillip#Patterson Lakes Marina|Patterson Lakes Marina]] 38°04.214'S, 145°08.200'E

The marina caters to power boats, it has 300 berths for boats up to 55 ft. Provides fuel, water, and electricity plus repair services.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 3 9772 6622; VHF channel XX
Address: Patterson Lakes Marina,, 76 Pier One Drive, Patterson Lakes, VIC, 3197, Australia
Australia Queenscliff.jpg

Queenscliff Harbour

Queenscliff Harbour/wiki/Port_Phillip#Queenscliff_Harbour
Berth icon Queenscliff Harbour [[Port Phillip#Queenscliff Harbour|Queenscliff Harbour]] 38°15.815'S, 144°40.111'E

280 berths for 6 m to 25 m boats. Visitos are welcomed. Fuel dock within the harbor. Water, electricity, and slipway.

For the latest prices see Price Listing.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 3 5258 5459; Fax: +61 3 5258 5460; VHF channel 16
Address: 1 Harbour St Queenscliff (PO Box 237), Queenscliff, Victoria 3225, Australia

Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club

Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club/wiki/Port_Phillip#Queenscliff_Cruising_Yacht_Club
Berth icon Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club [[Port Phillip#Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club|Queenscliff Cruising Yacht Club]] 38°15.650'S, 144°40.068'E

The Club actively encourages visiting yachts to make use of the extensive facilities available at the club for overnight stays, upon payment of the relevant wharfage fees. Yachts up to 15 m in length are accomodated on the wharf.

For the latest prices see Price Listing.

[email protected]; Tel: +61 3 5258 1692; VHF channel XX
Address: PO Box 77, Queenscliff, Vic 3225, Australia
Australia BrightonYC.jpg

Royal Brighton Yacht Club

Royal Brighton Yacht Club/wiki/Port_Phillip#Royal_Brighton_Yacht_Club
Berth icon Royal Brighton Yacht Club [[Port Phillip#Royal Brighton Yacht Club|Royal Brighton Yacht Club]] 37°54.397'S, 144°58.879'E

241 berths for 8 m to 18 m boats. Full service fuel, water, electricity, and slipway. Hardstanding storage. Visitor welcomed.

XX@XXX; Tel: +61 3 9592 3092; VHF channel XX
Address: 253 Esplanade, Middle Brighton, VIC 3186, Australia
Hours: Office is open from 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Monday to Friday and from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday

Sandringham Yacht Club

Sandringham Yacht Club/wiki/Port_Phillip#Sandringham_Yacht_Club
Berth icon Sandringham Yacht Club [[Port Phillip#Sandringham Yacht Club|Sandringham Yacht Club]] 37°56.614'S, 144°59.722'E

356 berth floating marina. Located about 10nm south east of Melbourne on the eastern shore of Port Philip Bay. All facilities, fuel berth, clubhouse with restaurant and bar. Boatyard with 40 ton hoist, 3ton crane and repair services, on site chandlery.

[email protected]; Tel: ++61 3 9598 7444; Fax: +61 3 9598 8109; VHF channel XX
Address: Jetty Road, Sandringham, Victoria 3191, Australia


Port Phillip Bay is well protected from the elements and most places should provide a good anchorage. Just be sure not to drop the hook inside the shipping lanes and you'll be fine. It would be advisable to ensure you're not moored in an environmentally protected area as well, such as parts of Swan Bay.


See individual marinas and either Melbourne or Geelong.


See individual marinas and either Melbourne or Geelong.

Eating out

See individual marinas and either Melbourne or Geelong.


See either Melbourne or Geelong.


See either Melbourne or Geelong.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Australia.


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