Rambling in Phillip Island Rock Pools

At low tide on Phillip Island rock pools abound.

Go for a ramble and discover a fascinating marine ecology. Find myriad plants, animals and organisms to delight everyone.

A lot of species are more common in summer.

If the rock pools are covered by the tide, go for a wander along the beach and do some beachcombing. There are so many fascinating things to discover!

Children exploring rock pools

Wear shoes or sandals to protect your feet against sharp rocks, shells and spiny animals.

Be careful about putting hands in the water or under rocks - some creatures are venomous or have spines.

Be aware of the blue-ringed octopus. This creature is found in Australian waters and is deadly. Under no circumstances should you touch this animal - it can cause death to humans.

It grows up to 10cm long and is a brownish colour but blue rings show on its arms when it is disturbed.

Lift rocks towards you to minimize disturbance and replace gently in the same spot.

Don't lift large rocks in case they break or crumble.

If you must lift animals out of the water, make sure you put them back quickly, and where you found them.

Some creatures need different conditions, such as minimal waves.

Any change of environment, however subtle, can be harmful.

Always be alert for rogue waves and the incoming tide.

Click on images to enlarge


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Sea stars

Brown biscuit sea star

Biscuit sea stars come in many colours

Snake brittle star

Spiny sea star

Crimson sea star

Small green sea star

Eight armed sea star

Seven armed sea star

Spotted pink five armed sea star
Pink five armed sea star

Five armed sea stars

Creatures

White-striped anemone

Red Waratah

Ragworm

Ragworm

Elephant snail

Ischnochitons

Sea urchin

Notched shore crab

Seaweed and Algae

Neptune's necklace

Sea nymph

Bull kelp

Holdfast

Sinuous ballweed

One thing to be careful of in Phillip Island rock pools are sharp shells.

Among the rocks there are different types of mussels, especially flea mussels which form beds on rocks – wear shoes as they can be sharp!

Flea Mussels on Rocks


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