Rockpool Secrets

What will you find hanging onto a rock? Or peeping from the shadows? Here are a few common plants and invertebrate animals you might see on our rocky shores.

Go at low tide, wear good shoes and always supervise your children. Be careful when looking for life as some creatures are dangerous (such as the Blue Ringed Octopus).

  • Perriwinkle Gumnut Trails rockpool illustration

    Blue Periwinkle

    Found high up on the rocks to hide from the waves. The Periwinkle is very common and the size of your little fingernail.

    You will find these sea snails in crevices to stay protected from wind and sun.

  • Smooth Limpet Gumnut Trails Rockpool illustration

    Smooth Limpet

    The limpet always finds a rock that matches their shell colour - so they are protected and don’t dry out.

    They can grow up to 5cms long.

  • Honeycomb Barnacle Gumnut Trails Rockpool Secrets Illustration

    Honeycomb Barnacle

    A crustacean with a segmented hard shell that will be found stuck to a rock.

  • Chiton Gumnut Trails Rockpool Secrets Illustration


    A large mollusc that has 8 distinct overlapping plates on their shell - they grow up to 4cm long. Their suction foot keeps them attached to rocks.

  • Shore Crab Gumnut Trails rockpools illustration

    Shore Crab

    These crabs are frequently spotted under rocks and in rockpools - the tide brings in lots of food for them to feast on.

    They are up to 7cms wide.

  • Sea Lettuce Gumnut Trails rockpool secrets illustration

    Sea Lettuce

    Found on reefs and rockpools, this bright green alga is important food for snails and shelter for other animals.

  • Neptunes Necklace Gumnut Trails rockpool secrets illustrations

    Neptune's Necklace

    These long strands of beaded seaweed are found at low tide draped over rocks and shores. They contain water to stop drying out.

  • Bull Kelp Gumnut Trails rockpool secrets illustration

    Bull Kelp

    Kelp forests are an important part of Victorian reefs and oceans. They can grow up to 8ms in length.

  • Common seastar Gumnut Trails rockpool secrets illustration

    Common Seastar/Starfish

    This seastar pushes its stomach out to eat and digest its food. It eats whatever it can fit its stomach over.

    Seastars can grow their arms back and some have up to 50 arms!

  • Sea Urchin Gumnut Trails Rockpool Secrets Illustration

    Sea Urchin

    When pollution is high you will find a lot of these purple sea urchins. They take over and eat the Kelp forests.

    They can be 3 - 10cms wide and have long spikes.

  • Blue Ringed Octopus Gumnut Trails rockpool gallery illustration

    Blue Ringed Octopus

    They are small, invisible and masters of camouflage - they hide in crevices and rocks and turn blue to warn predators. Their toxins cause paralysis.

    DO NOT TOUCH and be very careful about putting your hands in rockpools.