You don't have to be a thrillseeker to come face to face with wild sharks. At Ricketts Point near Beaumaris, in southeast Melbourne, snorkellers and divers regularly see summer visitors, Port Jackson sharks - up to 1.6 metres long - and one-metre banjo sharks.
Port Jackson shark
Banjos are particularly beautiful fish, with yellowish-brown bodies decorated with blue-grey bands. They are non-aggressive and you can get great views of them as they squat calmly on the sea floor.
Marine Care Ricketts Point has been running since 2003. A volunteer group, it runs tours, surveys and educational activities as well as regular snorkelling and diving trips.
If you join in, you're likely to see non-aggressive sharks as well as toad fish, leather jackets, porcupine fish, zebra fish and angel fish. Not to mention sea stars, anemones, sea urchins, crustaceans, sponges and all manner of small sea critters.
With Marine Care Ricketts Point, you'll learn that Port Phillip Bay hosts two groups of fish – territorials, which live more or less permanently in an area - and travellers, which rest, feed or reproduce there then move on.
Common travellers include those sought by fishermen: King George whiting, snapper, garfish, flounder, flathead. Watching a snapper swimming around, the light studding it with iridescent blue spots, sure puts a new meaning on fish'n'chips. BYO snorkelling gear or hire locally at Aquability.