Cape Paterson, Victoria, Australia
Cape Paterson: 5/10 (Moderately hazardous) The Bay Beach is a very popular snorkelling spot, abundant with sea life and kelp gardens. The Bay is protected by a natural rock break, preventing waves from entering; however at times it can be quite crowded, causing poor visibility. Surface conditions are best during a southerly wind. Safety Note: At times a small rip can be present, so assess the conditions before entering.
Bunurong Marine National Park: All of the beaches along this park are excellent for snorkelling in the right conditions, but the most popular are Eagle’s Nest, Shack Bay and Flat Rocks. Being a marine national park, fishing is prohibited and therefore marine life is diverse and plentiful. Rock ledges and gullies provide excellent skin diving opportunities, and kelp beds lure in different types of rays and Port Jackson sharks, which you can find relaxing under rock ledges. The conditions can be rugged and a southerly wind is almost a requirement to smooth off the choppy water. Safety Note: Swell can change suddenly, so be alert to your surroundings. Only snorkel when the water is flat.
Inverloch: 3/10 (Least hazardous) The area between the bottom of Abbot Street and the bottom of Venus Street is superb for snorkelling, in the right conditions. At low tide, many rock pools can be viewed on foot, but at a calm high tide these pools can be snorkelled over. Many fish follow the tide up over these rocks to feed on the various kelp species. Keep your eye out for large sand crabs, sea hares, sea stars, sea anemones and stingrays, as they are also abundant in the area. Safety Note: Booties or other foot protection are advised. Best time to snorkel is in southerly winds, early in the day. Be very cautious of currents running along the beach.
Kitty Miller Bay: 4/10 (Moderately hazardous) A secluded cove at the base of one of Phillip Island’s extinct volcanoes, the bay is protected by rocky outcrops either side which flatten the swell during calmer conditions and reefs in between. Best snorkelled either side of the low tide at a flat swell, there is a rock wall barrier in the south west corner which is lively with rays and many types of fish such as Blue Throat Wrasse, Trevally and Leatherjackets.
Harmer’s Haven: A very rocky beach that is particularly good for snorkelling and spotting many types of crustaceans and molluscs. More suited to an experienced snorkeller, these rocky ledges can be sharp with limpets and small mussels. Caution needs to be taken when snorkelling around them.
- These beaches may have strong rips and currents and may not patrolled by Lifesavers. For more information visit www.lifesavingvictoria.com.au
- Rock fishermen are advised to exercise extreme caution. Download the rock fishing safety brochure (multiple languages)
- For multilingual information on rips and beach safety visit https://beachsafe.org.au/surf-safety/multilingual