The exciting aspect of diving and snorkelling in the waters of Mornington Peninsula is that every time you immerse yourself, you are guaranteed to see something new and spectacular. The change in seasons also bring with it new marine life to experience. In autumn thousands of spider crabs converged in the bay, while in spring and early summer you can be witness to male weedy seadragons carrying their precious eggs on their tails. You can bring your own gear, or join a snorkelling or diving tour with expert locals to show you the hidden secrets of this truly magical underwater area.
The Mornington Peninsula provides an ideal playground for the novice snorkellers through to the more adventurous scuba diver. Beginners can snorkel the 200-metre long Octopuses’ Garden trail with its underwater signs alongside Rye Pier. For added adventure try a night dive or snorkel, and witness the nocturnal sea animals that come out to play and feed when the sun goes down. All you need is an underwater torch and many creatures attracted by light will quickly emerge. Rye and Portsea pier are ideal to see intriguing creatures such as delicate dumpling squid, octopus and garfish.
Experienced scuba divers come here for the ultimate experience of a wreck dive: more than 60 shipwrecks lie here. Many of these vessels were claimed in the 19th century by the infamous and treacherous Rip at the entrance to Port Phillip, while others were scuttled to become artificial reefs that are magnets for new marine life. Take a diving safari through towering kelp beds, try the Pope’s Eye, an artificial reef built in the 1880s, or explore Chinaman’s Hat with its noisy population of animated fur seals, the Sorrento back beach or the Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary at Flinders.
The Portsea Hole and Port Phillip Heads offer extraordinary vertical dive walls inhabited by bustling underwater communities.