Geography of Port Phillip

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Port Phillip Bay in the distance, viewed from the Rialto Towers observation deck in Melbourne's city centre, with the Yarra River intersecting between the bay and the city.

Port Phillip, sometimes referred to as Port Phillip Bay, is a large bay in southern Victoria, Australia, 1,930 km² (476,900 acres) in area, with a coastline length of 264 km (164 mi). The bay is extremely shallow for its size, but mostly navigable. The deepest portion is only 24 m (80 ft), and half the region is shallower than 8 m. Its volume is around 25 km³. The city of Melbourne is located at its northern end, near the mouth of the Yarra River.

Port Phillip is home to a vast array of geographic features typically found in bays, such as beaches, points, islands and smaller bays, as well as being the drainage point of many major rivers and creeks in Central Victoria. All features here are listed clockwise from the mouth of the Yarra River.

Beacon Cove beach and exclusive apartments in Port Melbourne


Port Phillip hosts many beaches, most of which are flat, shallow and long, with very small breaks making swimming quite safe. This attracts many tourists, mostly families, to the beaches of Port Phillip during the summer months and school holidays. Water sports such as body boarding and surfing are difficult or impossible, except in extreme weather conditions. Most sandy beaches are located on the bay's northern, eastern and southern shorelines, while the western shorelines host a few sandy beaches, there mostly exists a greater variety of beaches, swampy wetlands and mangroves. The occasional pebble beach and rocky cliffs can also be found, mostly in the southern reaches. Major beaches include:

View of St. Kilda Beach from a short pier. (2009)


Islands and reefs[edit]

Great Sand
Middle Ground
South Sand
Popes Eye Bank
Middle Sand
William Sand
West Sand


Point Ormond near Elwood, Victoria (2009)


Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron's Starter's Tower St. Kilda Breakwater. (2009)
Greenwich Bay
Beacon Cove
  • Elwood Bay
  • Hampton Bay
  • Half Moon Bay (Black Rock)
  • Watkins Bay
  • Beaumaris Bay
Keefers Cove
  • Daveys Bay
  • Canadian Bay
  • Half Moon Bay (Mount Eliza)
  • Mornington Bay
  • Marina Cover
  • Dromana Bay
Pebble Cove
Martha Cove
  • Capel Sound
Camerons Bight
Sullivan Bay
Sorrento Bay
  • Collins Bay
  • Weeroona Bay
  • Ticonderoga Bay
  • Nepean Bay
The Bend
  • The Rip
  • Lonsdale Bay
  • Stingaree Bight
  • Swan Bay (very shallow at low tide)
  • Salt Lagoon
  • Hood Bight
  • Half Moon Bay (Indented Head)
  • Outer Harbour
Corio Bay
Stingaree Bay
Steampacket Quay
Corio Quay
Limeburners' Bay
  • The Spit
  • Campbells Cove
  • Altona Bay
Shelley Bay


Other features[edit]

Marine Parks[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Sisters". Retrieved 1 May 2012.