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Pope's Eye, Queenscliff

4.4
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.
The 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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Pope's Eye Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
18 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We visited here as part of a seal cruise with WaterMaarq and it was amazing. We hopped in the water to go snorkeling and saw an array of marine life include a mantra ray. But the highlight was the juv...  more »
  • This man made base of a fort commenced in the 1880's to fortify Port Phillip Bay was never completed. Bluestone blocks were dumped into 12 meters of water to form an area believed to be about 4 HA. It...  more »

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