Get yourself a snorkel
The beach on the eastern side of the Clifton Springs Boat Harbour
, is great place for snorkelling because the waters are calm and sheltered. The big attraction however, is the old, disassembled jetty, that still has close to eighty timber pylons sticking out of the water.
These underwater posts act as a type of artificial reef and are an ideal host for verdant seaweeds, mussels, anemones, white barnacles, and colourful algae as well as little fish.
The subaquatic world is made complete with many patches of seagrass across the banks of soft, golden sand.
While, the experience is not quite as impressive as what you'd get at say, the tropical Great Barrier Reef, Victorian waters do offers a selection of curious marine life to observe.
On my most recent visit, I sighted a black, prickly, sea urchin, that had embedded itself into a worn out timber cave. A fiddler ray, with its long tail and patterned skin on full display, stared back up at me from the sand and a Stingray was buried, lying in wait with only its beady eyes peaking out. Several sea sponges were also growing on the old, wooden posts; mostly in orange or yellow shades but at least a few in an iridescent pink as well.
The gelatinous covering from a moon snail's egg
Open anemones were harder to spot because a type of perfect, stealth snorkelling was required so that they wouldn't sense my movement in the water and tuck up before I was able to catch a glimpse of them. Still, I managed to spend quite a bit of time looking at a particular type of brown and white striped species with pretty, fan-like arms.
Snorkelling can feel a bit awkward to some. First there's the breathing to master and wearing thick goggles underwater limits visual periphery. At the Clifton Springs Boat Harbour though, if you get a little bit worried underwater, you can always just stand up because it's all fairly shallow.
Snorkel between the posts
There is also far less rubbish than at Melbourne's Metropolitan beaches and another pleasant things about snorkelling at Clifton Springs, is that without it's boardwalk, the pier doesn't have any of the dark or cold, shadowy spots that others do. You also avoid the risk of anyone dropping in a fishing line over the top of your head.
The beach at Clifton Springs Boat Harbour is not supervised by lifeguards and without any crowds, it's probably best to only go out in the water with a partner or friend back on the shore. Apart from that, you can revel in the solitude of this snorkelling location and enjoy having the beach all to yourself.