Top 10 Places to Snorkel in Victoria

by Catalin Andries on July 26, 2023

Welcome to the aquatic wonderland of Victoria, Australia, where azure waters and vibrant marine life beckon adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. With an impressive array of snorkelling spots to explore, this region promises an underwater experience like no other.

Whether you are an experienced snorkeler or a novice looking to dip your toes into the crystal-clear waters, Victoria has something for everyone.

We know that it would be nearly impossible to name every single snorkelling location, that’s why we’ve decided to focus on only 10 of them!

From hidden coves and rocky shorelines to protected marine parks, each destination offers a unique glimpse into the captivating marine ecosystem thriving beneath the waves.


BLAIRGOWRIE PIER, 📍 MORNINGTON PENINSULA

Photo by Pat Whelen on Unsplash

Nestled in the southeastern corner of the picturesque Port Phillip Bay lies the vibrant underwater community surrounding Blairgowrie Pier. Embrace the shallows near the shore to encounter the weedy sea dragons, or venture further out to witness a kaleidoscope of colours with sponges, schools of fish, and crustaceans.

Beyond the pier pylons, the sandy bay floor provides ample gliding space for graceful rays and flatheads.

Moreover, Mornington Peninsula boasts other exceptional snorkelling spots awaiting exploration. Discover the captivating Rye Pier, marked by a signposted Octopus Garden and exploration trail.

For more adventurous souls with boats or guided tours, Pope's Eye and Chinaman's Hat beckon with their awe-inspiring beauty. Located just 90 minutes' drive southeast of Melbourne, Blairgowrie Pier promises an unforgettable snorkelling escapade amidst nature's aquatic wonders.

 


KITTY MILLER BAY, 📍 PHILLIP ISLAND

Photo By Bass Coast Shire Council via VicScreen

In the southwestern corner of Phillip Island, Kitty Miller Bay stands as one of the region's most well-protected and cherished beaches.

Spanning an impressive 500 metres, this pristine shoreline boasts a thriving ecosystem with vast rock platforms, seaweed gardens, and lush seagrass beds, creating a bustling habitat for zebra fish, leather jackets, rays, and the intriguing Port Jackson sharks.

For novice snorkelers, the shallows of the western edge offer a gentle and inviting experience, while those seeking more adventure can explore the waters to the east with a little extra confidence.

As you delve into this aquatic wonderland, exercise caution as water conditions can change unexpectedly, and please note that the beach is not patrolled for your safety. Located merely under two hours away from Melbourne, Kitty Miller Bay awaits, promising a memorable and awe-inspiring coastal escapade.


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BUNURONG MARINE NATIONAL PARK

Stretching along the captivating South Gippsland coastline for an impressive five kilometres, Bunurong Marine Park invites you to embark on a journey through diverse habitats. From mysterious caves and gullies to vibrant reefs and ledges, the park offers an abundance of exploration opportunities.

Delight in the company of over 80 species of fish, including the stunning blue-throated wrasse, charming old wife, and elusive Tasmanian blenny. Encounter an array of shark varieties, from the fascinating Port Jacksons to the formidable gummies.

Keep your eyes peeled for the graceful starfish, elusive lobsters, and mesmerising marine snails that add to the park's allure.

For the ultimate snorkelling experience, head to Bunurong's most beloved beaches: Eagles Nest, Shack Bay, and Flat Rocks.

These stunning spots promise a world of underwater wonders waiting to be discovered. Located just around two hours' drive southeast of Melbourne, Bunurong Marine Park is a safe bet when it comes to amazing snorkelling.


POINT ADDIS MARINE NATIONAL PARK

While Bells Beach is renowned for its iconic swells, Point Addis Marine National Park holds a captivating secret – an extraordinary spot for diving and snorkelling.

Embracing the park's coastline and outer reefs, this picturesque point boasts an astonishing array of marine life. Prepare to be amazed by iconic species like the weedy seadragon, magnificent giant cuttlefish, and the vibrant blue devil fish, gracefully hiding under ledges amidst the sponge gardens.

During calm weather and low tide, visitors can explore rock pools and embark on diving and snorkelling expeditions.

Situated just 100 km southeast of Melbourne's CBD near Torquay, this marine sanctuary provides accessible snorkelling spots from the shore and diving spots via boat and shore.

TIP: As the carpark is a fair distance away, consider carrying a bag for your snorkelling gear and be sure not to forget essentials like a water bottle and sun protection for a comfortable and enjoyable experience.


ST LEONARDS PIER, 📍 BELLARINE PENINSULA

Nestled at the tip of the Bellarine Peninsula, St Leonards Pier stands as one of the most fascinating snorkelling destinations southwest of Melbourne. Over the years, the pier's pylons have become a haven for a diverse and thriving community of underwater creatures.

During a typical afternoon, prepare to be awed by the sight of seahorses, colourful nudibranchs, curious puffer fish, and intriguing stargazers with their unique eyes atop their heads. Rays gracefully glide through the waters, adding to the enchantment of this marine oasis, while octopuses and dumpling squid emerge under the cover of night.

Located a mere 90 minutes southwest of Melbourne, St Leonards Pier invites snorkelers to immerse themselves in the captivating world beneath the waves. Has it caught your attention?

 


HALF MOON BAY,📍 BLACK ROCK

For those craving an underwater adventure without the hassle of lengthy travel, Half Moon Bay in Black Rock is the perfect destination. Situated on the eastern shores of Port Phillip Bay, this spot beckons snorkelers with its diverse underwater terrain, ranging from jetty pylons to rocky reefs and serene seagrass beds.

As you dive beneath the waves, a bustling underwater world awaits, teeming with fascinating marine life. Marvel at the graceful sea urchins, delicate anemones, and colourful nudibranchs. However, be cautious of the beautiful yet venomous blue-ringed octopuses that call these waters home.

Countless fish species add to the allure of this vibrant marine ecosystem. Moreover, concealed beneath the waves, lies the renowned wreck of HMVS Cerberus, an 1860s-built vessel scuttled in 1926, waiting to be explored by curious snorkelers.

Located just 30 minutes from Melbourne, Half Moon Bay offers easy access both by car and public transport.


BEWARE REEF MARINE SANCTUARY

For avid divers seeking a true paradise beneath the waves, Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary stands as an unparalleled destination. Rising dramatically from the sandy Gippsland seafloor, this isolated rock reveals a breathtaking tapestry of life in every imaginable shape and hue. The reef's remarkable charm lies in its unique blend of both warmer and cooler temperate species, a result of its strategic location between the eastern Australian current from the north and the refreshing westerly current flowing through Bass Strait.

While exploring this underwater wonderland, divers are in for a delightful surprise - encounters with inquisitive fur seals. These playful creatures possess a natural curiosity and often enjoy interacting with divers. Rather than pursuing them, allow the seals to approach you for an unforgettable experience.

Situated approximately 400 km east of Melbourne's CBD near Cape Conran, Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary can be accessed by boat. Embark on an underwater adventure like no other and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Beware Reef Marine Sanctuary.


RICKETTS POINT MARINE SANCTUARY

Rawairocks, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Nestled along the shores of Port Phillip Bay, Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary beckons with its crystal-clear shallow waters, inviting sandstone reefs, and captivating sea caves. It is a haven for discovering the wonders of the bay's marine life. Grab your snorkel and be prepared to encounter delightful zebrafish and even the impressive Port Jackson Shark.

The sanctuary offers a unique opportunity for experienced divers and snorkelers to explore the offshore sandstone reefs and mesmerising sea caves that make this area truly special.

Merely 23 km from Melbourne's CBD, Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary offers easy access. Snorkelling spots are accessible from the shore, while diving spots can be reached via both boat and shore.


POINT COOKE MARINE SANCTUARY

Photo Credits to williewonder /lFlickr

Despite being the largest of Victoria's Marine Sanctuaries, Point Cooke Marine Sanctuary often goes unnoticed. Yet, beneath the water's surface, a vibrant ecosystem thrives.

Exposed sections of rock provide a habitat for diverse marine life, including tube worms, anemones, and colourful algae. Small sharks and skates patrol the eelgrass beds and muddy seafloor. On fortunate days, unsuspecting snorkelers may chance upon large gatherings of Southern fiddler rays or encounter the elusive Southern Blennie, a fascinating fish known for its entertaining behaviour.

Located just 30 km from Melbourne CBD, this sanctuary offers excellent opportunities for both snorkelling and diving. Snorkelling spots are accessible from the shore, while divers can explore sites accessible by boat or shore.

For history enthusiasts, there's an added bonus. Within the sanctuary lie two heritage-listed shipwrecks, the Henrietta and the Diane, waiting to be explored by both divers and snorkelers.


📍FLINDERS PIER

Tangerineduel, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Flinders Pier, situated just over an hour's drive south from Melbourne, offers the perfect day trip destination. Easily accessible, the pier has a convenient car park located right beside it, making it hassle-free to reach.

Nestled in a protected area along the Mornington Peninsula coast, the waters surrounding Flinders Pier are open for exploration in most weather conditions. However, for the best diving experience, it is recommended to venture out on days with northerly winds below 20 knots and during an outgoing tide. It's advisable to avoid strong southeast winds.

The pier's maximum depth reaches 7 metres, but even at shallower depths of 1 to 3 metres, there is an abundance of fascinating flora and fauna to discover. This makes Flinders Pier a delightful spot for both snorkelers and divers, promising an enjoyable underwater adventure for all.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Chances are, some of the places described above are near you, and others have been on your list for years. In case you’ve already visited some of them, drop a comment and let us know how it went.

If not, make a point of adding them to your list of future snorkelling adventures!


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