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Popes Eye is a living oasis between Portsea and Queenscliff on the tip of the Great Sands facing the Rip. 

It is a horseshoe-shaped structure of bluestone boulders, the result of a partly completed island structure built to defend Port Phillip in the 1800’s. 

In the 1970’s Popes Eye became Victoria’s first marine protected area, the Harold Holt Marine Reserve. This was named after Prime Minister Harold Holt, who drowned at Portsea back beach. 

Today it is a living wonderland, part of the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park. It is also a mecca for divers who delight in the teaming diverse life both in and above the water. 

Some resident fish are so used to divers that they will charge at them to try to chase them out of their territory!

A splendid Barbers Perch at Popes Eye.

Popes Eye is also home to a large rookery of Australasian gannets. Parks Victoria actually increased the size of the navigation platform to provide a greater area for nesting. 

Image Simon Brann

The Nature Conservancy has installed live above and below water cameras on Popes Eye. Link HERE  

The Dolphin Research Institute has been caring for our bays and dolphins through Research and Education since 1991. You can support the Institute’s work by Donating or becoming an Adopt-A-Dolphin supporter. 

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