Unbelieveable but true: there’s a greater variety of marine life in southern Port Phillip Bay than on the Great Barrier Reef. So, mask-up and either snorkel or dive to check it out.
The Rip side of Point Lonsdale contains an extensive intertidal rocky platform covered with algae such as Neptune's Necklace, and has a number of larger rockpools suitable for snorkelling.
The Point Lonsdale intertidal platform has the highest recorded invertebrate diversity of any calcarenite reef in Victoria.
The reefs offshore from Point Lonsdale provide spectacular underwater terrain with ledges, rock outcrops and bommies, and beds of bull kelp on sections exposed to large waves.
The channel between the main rock platform and the outer reef is around 20 metres wide and 2- 4 metres deep and contains a small forest of Giant Kelp (yep, it’s as impressive as it sounds).
The Lonsdale Wall is a series of ledges that mark the edge of the historical course of the Yarra River. The wall drops down a series of ledges from 15 to 90 metres depth, extending horizontally for about a kilometre.
The vertical walls, sheltered caves, ledges and overhangs and their associated communities of colourful sponges, fish and encrusting algae provide a spectacular backdrop for the more than 43 species of fish living here. Kelp growing on shallow rocky reefs also provides shelter for sponges, seastars and sea urchins.
The Sponge Garden contains a high diversity of sponges and other filter feeding invertebrates in a variety of colours, shapes and forms. Being in the main flow of current through the Rip, these animals are able to extract plankton from the water that passes by.