Station Pier

Port Heritage Trail - Site 12

Since 1854, Station Pier has been the arrival and departure point for immigrants, visitors and troops bound for battlefields around the world.

In over 150 years of operation, Station Pier has played an important role in almost every phase of Australia’s history. It was there in times of war and peace, in times of commemoration and celebration, for servicemen and women returning home, for migrants from distant lands and refugees from war zones.

Railway Pier

Gold discovery in 1851 brought an influx of ships carrying goods and passengers to Melbourne. As the Yarra River was too shallow for big ships to navigate, passengers and goods were ferried by smaller boats to the shore, then transported overland to Melbourne.

In 1854, the Melbourne and Hobson’s Bay Railway Company built Railway Pier at Sandridge (Port Melbourne). This allowed ships to unload goods and passengers directly onto the pier for transport by rail to Melbourne. 

Extended to 2171 feet (661 metres), Railway Pier was in use until the 1920s when it was replaced by Station Pier, completed in 1930.

Station Pier

At that time, the Harbour Trust spent over £600,000 including dredging the Port Melbourne Channel and the area around the pier to accommodate the new luxury ocean liners.

Some historic milestones

  • The first English cricket team to tour Australia arrived here in 1861.
  • The exhumed remains of explorers Burke and Wills arrived from Adelaide in 1862.
  • The great horse Carbine, winner of the Melbourne Cup in 1890, was loaded to return to Britain on Good Friday 1895.
  • In 1899, the first Victorian and Tasmanian contingents left for the Boer War.
  • In 1908, the pier hosted the visit of the Great White Fleet from the United States of America.
  • In 1940, Australian troops headed to various WWII theatres of conflict from Station Pier. 

Post-war immigration

In the post-war years, Station Pier became the welcoming point for newly arrived immigrants. Between 1949 and 1966, an average of 61,000 passengers arrived every year in Port Melbourne reaching almost 111,000 at its peak in 1960.  

Today

Today, Station Pier is managed by the Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne) and retains its heritage status but has been transformed over the last few years into a modern cruise ship terminal which also hosts navy visits throughout the year, together with the Bass Strait passenger service to Tasmania.

Port Heritage Trail - Site 12

Since 1854, Station Pier has been the arrival and departure point for immigrants, visitors and troops bound for battlefields around the world.

In over 150 years of operation, Station Pier has played an important role in almost every phase of Australia’s history. It was there in times of war and peace, in times of commemoration and celebration, for servicemen and women returning home, for migrants from distant lands and refugees from war zones.

Railway Pier

Gold discovery in 1851 brought an influx of ships carrying goods and passengers to Melbourne. As the Yarra River was too shallow for big ships to navigate, passengers and goods were ferried by smaller boats to the shore, then transported overland to Melbourne.

In 1854, the Melbourne and Hobson’s Bay Railway Company built Railway Pier at Sandridge (Port Melbourne). This allowed ships to unload goods and passengers directly onto the pier for transport by rail to Melbourne. 

Extended to 2171 feet (661 metres), Railway Pier was in use until the 1920s when it was replaced by Station Pier, completed in 1930.

Station Pier

At that time, the Harbour Trust spent over £600,000 including dredging the Port Melbourne Channel and the area around the pier to accommodate the new luxury ocean liners.

Some historic milestones

  • The first English cricket team to tour Australia arrived here in 1861.
  • The exhumed remains of explorers Burke and Wills arrived from Adelaide in 1862.
  • The great horse Carbine, winner of the Melbourne Cup in 1890, was loaded to return to Britain on Good Friday 1895.
  • In 1899, the first Victorian and Tasmanian contingents left for the Boer War.
  • In 1908, the pier hosted the visit of the Great White Fleet from the United States of America.
  • In 1940, Australian troops headed to various WWII theatres of conflict from Station Pier. 

Post-war immigration

In the post-war years, Station Pier became the welcoming point for newly arrived immigrants. Between 1949 and 1966, an average of 61,000 passengers arrived every year in Port Melbourne reaching almost 111,000 at its peak in 1960.  

Today

Today, Station Pier is managed by the Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne) and retains its heritage status but has been transformed over the last few years into a modern cruise ship terminal which also hosts navy visits throughout the year, together with the Bass Strait passenger service to Tasmania.