Weedy Seadragon

Portsea Pier

Easy accessibility and a high diversity of marine life has made Portsea pier one of the most popular dive spots around Melbourne, particularly for beginners.

An hour and a half out of Melbourne’s CBD, Portsea pier is located right next to Portsea’s town centre and best dived on a weak southerly wind.

Shallow sea grass beds and kelp gardens on the west side of the pier are accessible to snorkellers, but with depths getting to 5m towards the end of the pier, the area is also a great dive spot - particularly for beginners. 

The area hosts a diverse range of marine fauna such as weedy sea dragons, smooth stingrays, banjo sharks, leather jackets, and the occasional wobbegong.

Colourful sponges growing on the pier pylons provided an ideal habitat for crabs and blennies as well as several species of nudibranchs including the impressive Verco’s Nudibranch.

It’s important to note that during the summer months the area can be busy with boat traffic, predominately on the east side of the pier, so appropriate awareness is necessary whilst using the area.

Furthermore, due to Portsea’s close proximity to Port Phillip heads, Portsea can be subject to strong surges. 

Level of Difficulty

Ease of Accessibility

Wildlife

Scenery

Overall Rating

Summary 

  1.        Great easy scuba dive for beginners

  2.         Great for snorkelling

  3.         Sea grass bed and kelp gardens

  4.         Home to weedy sea dragons

  5.         Easy access from Car-park

  6.         Busy during summer months

  7.         Can be subjected to strong surges

Location of Portsea Pier. 

Location of Portsea Pier. 

Flinders Pier

Flinders Pier is an iconic Victorian dive site. Lush fields of seagrass provide a home to a variety of fauna, including the stunning Weedy Sea Dragon.

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Just over an hour’s drive south from Melbourne with an easily accessible carpark positioned right of the pier, Flinders Pier is perfect for a day trip out of Melbourne.

Located in a protected pocket of the Mornington Peninsula coast, the waters around Flinders Pier are accessible under most weather conditions, although it’s best dived on a northerly winds below 20 knots on an outgoing tide, and best avoided when strong southeast winds are present.

Maximum depth across the pier is 7 metres, though interesting flora and fauna can still be found at shallower depths of 1 to 3 metres, making this an enjoyable site for snorkelers and divers alike.

Most people come to Flinders in search of the Weedy Sea Dragon, and for good reason; Flinders is arguably the easiest place in the world to find one of Australia’s most iconic marine creatures.

Whilst Weedy Sea dragons may be the main attraction, a wide range of marine fauna can be found here, such as cuttlefish, rays, banjo sharks, crabs and various fish species.

Summary:

  1. Home of a large Weedy Sea Dragon population

  2. Lush seagrass beds

  3. Great areas for either snorkeling or diving

  4. Easy access from carpark

Location of Flinders Pier

Location of Flinders Pier

Level of Difficulty

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Ease of Accessibility

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Wildlife

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Scenery

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Overall Rating

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Wild Melbourne crew member, Christopher McCormack, gets a close encounter with a graceful Weedy Seadragon. 

Wild Melbourne crew member, Christopher McCormack, gets a close encounter with a graceful Weedy Seadragon. 

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All images courtesy of Evatt Chirgwin