Just for fun
Leave behind the beautiful coastal scenery, birds and wallabies, and descend into a murky world of guns and warfare. Your kids will be thrilled to enter the underground tunnels, chambers and gun emplacements of a real fort. All around them, audiovisual displays bring the past back to life. The voices of people who served here tell tales of defending the Victorian coast from the 1880s to the 1940s. In the depths of a dark tunnel, there is an ominous rattling noise – a recording of the sound a ‘disappearing gun’ made when it was drawn down into a pit, to be kept secret from invaders’ eyes until it was time to load and fire again.
FREE ENTRY; EXTRA COST FOR THE TRANSPORTER SERVICE
Point Nepean National Park
■ Views of the notorious ‘Rip’ and Cheviot Beach from the lookout on Cheviot Hill. The ‘Rip’ is the rough sea between Point Nepean and Point Lonsdale, one of the world’s most hazardous harbour entrances. It was from Cheviot Beach that former Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, disappeared in December 1967. He went for a swim and was never seen again; his body has never been found.
In November 1852, a ship called the Ticonderoga was heading towards Australia with 300 sick passengers on board. It was stopped at Port Nepean and the passengers were off-loaded and housed in old lime-burners cottages. This was the beginning of the Port Nepean Quarantine Station. If you visit the site today, you can still see the old quarantine buildings, and displays reveal what it was like to live in quarantine. Guided walks of the station are available on weekends, public and school holidays; (03) 5984 9222; www.nepeanhistoricalsociety.asn.au/quarantine.html
■ Until 1988, Point Nepean was a prohibited area reserved for defence and quarantine purposes. Now a national park, you can visit the fort and other interesting sites. Download maps and information from the website, or pick up a brochure from the visitor centre.