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Pope's Eye, Queenscliff

(10+ reviews on the web)
Nature / Park
The Pope's Eye is the uncompleted foundation for an island fort intended to defend the entrance to Port Phillip in the state of Victoria, Australia. The undefined area of the fort, generally assessed at 4ha, is one of six separate areas that comprise the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park and is a popular site for divers.FeaturesThe fort has been protected as a marine reserve since 1979 and is now part of the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park. It is located about inside Port Phillip Heads, east of Queenscliff, north of Portsea, and is less than south-west of the former Chinaman's Hat. It is named after a naval midshipman and has no religious connotations.Construction of Pope’s Eye began in the 1880s, under the supervision of Sir William Jervois, by dumping bluestone boulders on a submerged 12m deep sandbank until they formed a horse-shoe shaped artificial reef, open to the north-east, just above high-water level. Construction ceased before completion as a fort because improvements in naval gunnery enabled the entrance to Port Phillip (The Rip) and the associated shipping channel to be protected by guns at the nearby Swan Island fort, as well as at Fort Queenscliff and Fort Nepean, making Pope’s Eye redundant for military purposes. The reef now hosts a navigation beacon.
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  • Popes Eye can be accessed from either Portsea or Queenscliff. A man made lagoon, the centre of the lagoon where many of the boats dock is a safe place for snorkelling, although not very interesting. O...  more »
  • An easy dive with a wall to follow outside the eye in bot directions. Plenty of fish life in the day and an abundance of iridescent cow fish at night. Snorkelers can enjoy a shallow dive 2-3 metres in...  more »
  • have boated here a few times but on our last occasion there where no other boats anchored and we discovered a reef that goes right around the popes eye where the boats are normally anchored the depth ...  more »