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Snorkelling Around Portsea Pier

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by Lisa Williams (subscribe)
Freelance journalist? Guilty. Adventure, food, people and performing are my passions.
Published February 24th 2011
Weedy Sea Dragon - by Richard Ling
Image by Richard Ling


Sit on the edge of a pier, dangle your feet over the side, take a peek at the water, and what do you see?

Only a meter from the surface, crusty shells cling to pylons, seaweed waves and wraps its way around them, old fishing wire creates webs between them. Unless it's a crystal clear day, everything else seems to fade into the deep green; waiting, circling. And if someone pushed you in right now, you'd be eaten by a shark for sure, right?

Clearly you've never tried snorkelling. Well, the sun is out and the water is ready - I'd say it's about time you grabbed some gear and got wet. And I know just the place.

97 kilometres south of Melbourne, on the Mornington Peninsula, lies Portsea Pier.

Stretching out on top of the water, like an upside down 'L', the pier is home to thousands of species of marine life. Not only will you find yourself swimming along side temperate fish, but giant sting rays that frequent the area, and cleaner shrimps.

The pier is also famous for sightings of Weedy Seadragons. Related to the Seahorse, these strange but beautiful fish are only found along the southern coasts of Australia. Even stranger, the males are the ones to give birth.

Portsea Pier is only 5-6 meters deep, so those who are comfortable duck diving will get an even closer encounter with the locals under the surface.

There are plenty of dive shops along the Mornington Peninsula that hire gear if you don't have your own - Try Bay Play or Dive Victoria, both are in Portsea, only a hop, skip and a jump from the pier.

And when you're done exploring, and are as wrinkly as a prune, why not stroll over to the popular Portsea Hotel, overlooking the pier - We all know that a trip to the beach is only complete with a healthy dose of fish and chips. You can watch the sun melt over the bay as you enjoy a feed, and chat about all of the incredible things you saw on your under water adventure.
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Why? You'll be amazed by what you find under the surface
When: In the summer time, when the weather is fine
Where: Portsea Pier, Portsea
Cost: Petrol, plus $50-$60 for all day gear hire if required
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