Glaneuse Reef in Point Lonsdale is an exquisite site situated approximately 1.5 hours from Melbourne and is home to some of the best rockpools along the southwestern coastline. The reef is part of the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park, which also includes Swan Bay, the Mud Islands, Point Nepean and Pope’s Eye. The reef extends from Point Lonsdale Lighthouse (a historically important icon of the area) to a series of open rockpools that are easily accessible from the shore.
While the area is a popular holiday destination during January, the rest of the year it remains relatively uninhabited and is an ideal spot for both experienced and inexperienced snorkelers. The reef is easily distinguishable at low tide due to Neptune’s necklace (Hormosira banksii) covering the entirety of the reef.
For several reasons, the reef is best snorkeled approximately two hours before or after low tide to avoid waves and strong currents. During this time period, a series of rockpools and small tunnels become available, creating a perfect underwater garden to be explored. Amongst the rocky outcrops a multitude of species can be found including rays, wrasse, zebrafish, anglerfish, old wives, weedy seadragons, Port Jackson sharks and many more. If little or no ocean swell is present, a steep precipice (5 to 6 metres in depth) off the back of the reef can be explored. There, larger species of fish can be seen floating amongst the rocky crevices.
On a clear Summer’s day, this is a spot nothing less than magical and few spots match it in terms of accessibility, species diversity and picturesque landscape. So whether you are an experienced snorkeler or diver, or it’s your first time, this spot is a must-see.
- Only a 1.5 hour drive from Melbourne.
- Easily accessible for unexperienced snorkelers or divers.
- Wide variety of species to be seen.
Level of difficulty
Ease of accessibility
Cover image taken from Wikimedia Commons.