Firming up Portsea’s tourism economy at the historic Quarantine Station

Published: 20 Oct 2021

Please note: Images in this article were taken before current COVID-19 safety measures were in place.

People cycling on a road leading to a penninsulaFor camping enthusiasts, a trip to Point Nepean on the most westerly tip of the Mornington Peninsula, is about to get even better.

From 2022, to support local tourism and celebrate its natural assets, locals and visitors will be able to participate in a one-of-a-kind camping experience as part of the Victorian Government’s $4.5 million Point Nepean Master Plan.

Formulated in 2017, the plan has been devised to help protect the park’s natural and cultural values and celebrate its rich maritime history, in keeping with its traditional owner values.

With an end result of low-impact, short-stay pre-pitched tents with basic living facilities at the Point Nepean Quarantine Station, the camping project will update a heritage building for showers and toilets for campers, create an outdoor barbecue area, develop an open space for camping and build a car park.

A first for the region, the sustainable venture will bolster local tourism and also celebrate the best of what the precinct has to offer, giving a sense of even greater pride to the region’s residents.

There is no place in the world like Point Nepean.

Established in 1853, the Quarantine Station with its nearly 50 heritage-listed buildings, including hospitals, disinfecting complex, morgue and cemetery which processed newly arrived people, gives a rare window into how many new Australians spent their first few weeks in this country.

Although the Quarantine Station ceased its original role in 1980, in the 1990s it played host to 400 refugees from the Bosnian War of 1992-95, who were given bilingual support, school and a weekly allowance. Families were entertained with visits to museums, zoos, festivals and special events, and by 1999 it was declared safe for them to return home.

In 2009 the Quarantine Station became part of the Point Nepean National Park. Now, the next chapter in its fascinating history is unfolding because of this investment in developing this camping experience.

Page last updated 24 Jun 2022
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