Waratah Bay

Waratah Bay, a small coastal town in South Gippsland two and a half hours’ drive southeast of Melbourne, is not a common snorkelling spot. So, who knew that hidden under the waves was an expansive brown kelp forest bursting with underwater life?

The ornate cowfish (Aracana ornata) is one of many colourful marine species to be found at Waratah Bay. Image: Cathy Cavallo

The ornate cowfish (Aracana ornata) is one of many colourful marine species to be found at Waratah Bay. Image: Cathy Cavallo

Wait for a calm day, then head to the main beach at Waratah Bay and turn right, walking down towards the rock pools before the point (and while you’re there, watch out for hooded plovers along the beach!). Begin your snorkel at the rock pools and head east; you’ll first come across some rocky reefs, home to colourful cowfish, sea stars and marble fish.

Soon the underwater landscape will change, morphing into a dense, brown kelp forest. If you are lucky enough to visit Waratah Bay when the sea is still and clear, you will be rewarded with stunning underwater scenery. You are also likely to catch glimpses of some of Victoria’s (non-dangerous) elasmobranchs – including Port Jackson sharks, southern eagle rays, and banjo sharks – gliding through the kelp beds. Simply unforgettable! 

If you're lucky, you may spot a Port Jackson shark at this serene snorkel spot. Image: Cathy Cavallo

If you're lucky, you may spot a Port Jackson shark at this serene snorkel spot. Image: Cathy Cavallo

SUMMARY:

  • A little known snorkel spot to be enjoyed away from the crowds
  • Close to Wilsons Promontory 
  • Impressive underwater scenery
  • Dense kelp beds rich with marine life

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY

EASE OF ACCESSIBILITY

WILDLIFE

SCENERY

OVERALL RATING


Ella Kelly

Ella is a PhD Candidate at the University of Melbourne, where she spends a lot of time thinking about why some quolls don’t eat cane toads (if only she could ask them!). She also enjoys talking and writing about science, and would ultimately love to have an actual impact on the conservation of Australia’s biodiversity.

You can find her on Twitter at @ecology_ella.

 


Banner image courtesy of Cathy Cavallo.