The South Channel is the only pathway for ships to enter Port Phillip on their way to Melbourne. It is a remnant of Port Phillip’s past when sea levels were much lower and the Yarra and other rivers carved a path to Bass Strait.
The South Channel Fort is an artificial island about 6 km north east of Sorrento. It was built as part of the fortifications to protect Melbourne at the peak of the 1880’s gold rush when we were one of the most wealthy outposts of the British Empire.
Disappearing guns and over 100 soldiers living on the tiny island from 1880 to 1916 guarded the South Channel against foreign invading ships entering the bay.
The South Channel Fort is managed as part of the Point Nepean National Park and can be visited by boat and organised tours.
The Fort is important environmentally, being of conservation importance as a breeding site of the white-faced storm-petrel, little penguin and black-faced cormorants. It is a popular diving site.
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.