Boating on the bay
Port Phillip Bay is a popular place for boating, fishing, yachting and other aquatic pastimes – but it is also a gateway for commercial shipping. This means big ships such as container ships, car carriers and cruise ships are using the bay 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, going to and from the ports of Melbourne and Geelong.
Safety on the bay
Keep well clear of a ship’s path and make sure you can see and be seen at all times. It is the best way to responsibly enjoy your time on Port Phillip Bay.
- Around 4000 ships visit Port Phillip Bay each year.
- Small boats are hard to see from a ship’s bridge. (See illustration below.)
- Just because you can see the ship, don’t assume the ship can see you.
- Many small vessels do not show up on radar.
- Big ships can’t stop quickly or manoeuvre like small boats.
- A ship’s speed may be faster than it seems and modern ship engines are quiet.
- It is illegal to anchor or moor in shipping channels.
Line of sight from a ship’s bridge
Transit Only Zone
There is a Transit Only Zone in the north of Port Phillip Bay where vessels must not anchor or drift. Penalties apply. See the Transit Only Zone page for detailed information.