What was that?! A flash of a tail and a wave of rolling green. The sea forests parted, and we saw…
Rock pooling is addictive. It’s full of tiny worlds, magical displays, curious creatures, and endless discoveries.
It’s the perfect family adventure, and Melbourne and Victoria have some amazing rockpool destinations that are easy daytrips from the city.
SEE ROCKPOOL BASICS AND TIPS AT END OF BLOG!
Three Minute Read
Best rockpools within 1.5hrs of Melbourne, Victoria
30 - 45 Minutes Out
Jawbone Marine Sanctuary rockpools, Williamstown.
A little known inner Westie gem and the closest Marine Sanctuary to Melbourne’s CBD. This is not just a beach, but 80 hectares of protected sea waters, kelp forests, mangroves, and wetlands.
In the small bay, scramble over rocks and peer into crevices, curl your toes in the perfect white sand and paddle in the calm cove. It’s a perfect swimming spot for young families and keen snorkelers.
Point Gellibrand rockpools, Williamstown.
A rocky beach that is great to explore at low tide, with sea forests, scuttling crabs and more curious creatures.
On the shoreline there is also a 3 metre wide very rare lava blister! It was caused by volcanic eruptions over 2M years ago – it now sits there like a strange circular natural ruin.
Point Cook Marine Sanctuary rockpools, Point Cook
This coastal park is BIG (863 hectares big), however the rockpools are perfectly small. Walk past the old homestead to the skinny shoreline (there’s a walking trail) and discover tiny worlds FULL of colourful shells, little creatures, and a tapestry of seaweed. It’s not a show-stopper, but it’s perfect for detail detectives.
Combine this with a visit to the Coastal Park, Cheetham Wetlands, and surrounding areas.
1 Hour 30 Minutes Out
Port Philip Heads National Park rockpools, Point Lonsdale
Below the lighthouse, facing the ocean; lies pristine white sand, beach caves, and a long rocky shoreline full of endless delight. Neptunes Necklace layer the rock platforms and the rockpools are deep enough to dive right into.
This National Park can rival tropical coral reefs – it’s brimming with colourful sponge gardens, coral outcrops and curious creatures.
Barwon Heads Bluff rockpools, Barwon Heads
Rugged cliffs loom up high above you, and wide stretches of rockpools and reef lie before you. The Bluff is a natural beacon that marks where the river meets the sea.
Beyond the cliffs and the magical rockpools – there are sponge gardens, rays, feather stars, schools of fish, kelp forests and even two shipwrecks caught on the reefs. It’s a snorkelling delight and a wonderful place to scramble over with young kids.
Go Bayside (South-East)
40 Minutes Out
Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary rockpools, Beaumaris.
A popular spot for Junior Rangers and family rockpool rambles on Port Phillip Bay. The rock platforms stretch out far into the Bay even at higher tide (if you’re running a bit late).
Beyond the rockpools are sandstone reefs, sea caves and the chance to see zebrafish and even Port Jackson Sharks (if you’re an experienced snorkeler).
1 Hour 30 Minutes Out
Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary rockpools, Flinders
Carefully scramble over the long rocky ‘mushroom stalk’ until you reach the ‘head’ of Mushroom Reef. This ancient Basalt reef has oodles of crevices, cracks and loose rocks for sea creatures to snuggle down into out of sight.
This intertidal reef is THE most diverse in all of Victoria. It’s a multi-colour wonderland of waving sea forests, glittering shells, tiny fish, shore crabs, sea snails, weedy sea dragons and more.
Also check out the Flinders Blowhole nearby and Bushrangers Bay for amazing rockpools after a 3km walk.
Bridgewater Bay, Blairgowrie
A steep staircase takes you down to a natural amphitheatre with amazing sandstone cliffs and epic views. These rockpools are incredibly green and full of life. It’s a perfect rocky cove to explore for hours.
Sorrento Back Beach (Mornington Peninsula National Park)
These rock pools are HUGE and are also popular swimming holes as well - so it can get busy. The honeycomb shaped reef is really unique and nearly 1 kilometre wide! There are incredible ocean views to Cape Otway, Cape Schanck and out across the Bass Strait.
Go at LOW TIDE, stay safe and don’t get stranded. Wear closed shoes and BEWARE of touching the sea life as it can be dangerous – that deadly and tiny Blue Ringed Octopus can be found in Victoria.