What conditions are best for snorkelling at Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary?
(Disclaimer – This information is of a general nature and anyone snorkelling in the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary does so entirely at their own risk. Marine Care Ricketts Point Inc disclaims liability for any loss or damage (direct or indirect) sustained as a result of anyone relying on this information.)
Bring your own mask, snorkel, fins, wetsuit and on colder days, hood, booties and gloves.
Check weather, wind and tide details HERE, Conditions are generally better early in the day and when the wind is blowing offshore, that is, from the north or the east. Water access is also easier when the tide is higher.
To check if the conditions are likely to be suitable before you leave home view the area in front of the Beaumaris Yacht Club live HERE
Check the EPA Beach Report HERE provides information about water quality and whether it is safe to swim, particularly after rain. The EPA generally recommends against swimming within 48 hours of heavy rain.
Water temperatures vary from about 16 degrees Celsius in November/December to about 23 degrees in February/March, and below 11 degrees in mid-winter. You can view a year round surface temperature chart HERE
Check current temperatures HERE
What am I likely to see?
Our Fish Identification Chart shows you some of the species you may encounter on a snorkel in the Sanctuary. Also The Urban Sanctuary is an informative publication, on sea weeds and invertebrates (shell fish, crabs etc), that live in the Sanctuary.
Where can I snorkel?
McGregor Rock, Quiet Corner (Melway Map 85 K6) - Park in Central Avenue Black Rock, cross Beach Road and descend the wooden steps to the beach. There are no public toilets in this area.
The sign on the blue stone wall near the foot of the steps shows a recommended snorkelling trail.
Note – Parking is not available on Beach Road until after 10am on the weekends. Before then, it is a Clear Way for cyclists.
Beaumaris Yacht Club (Melway Map 86 B8) - Parking (fee payable) is available in car park beside the Yacht Club. Public toilets are available.
Wheel chair access is available via the access ramp and a shower and toilet for disabled snorkelers are also available.
Here are some suggested sites in this area –
The Lagoon is the area between the shore and the 2 fixed markers out from the Yacht Club. You can stand up in much of it, so it is an ideal spot for new snorkelers.
The North Valley is about 50 metres north of the 2 fixed markers. It is a sandy area bordered by reef on all sides.
The inter-tidal reef immediately south of the wooden access ramp is known as the Tea House Reef. The seaward side of Tea House Reef provides a range of habitats in approximately 2 metres of water.
A shallow reef runs between the 2 fixed markers out from the Yacht Club and the green marker further north. You can snorkel along one side of the reef and return along the other.
Mile Marker Reef, Ricketts Point (just north of Beaumaris Life Saving Club) (Melway Map 86 C9) - Parking (fee payable) is available in car park. Public toilets are available.
Enter the water in front of the Life Saving Club and swim around until you are in front of the white triangle marker. The ‘drop off’ is well worth exploring.
Table Rock Point (Melway Map 86 E10) – Park in Rennison Street, cross Beach Road and descend the steps to the north of Table Rock. Public toilets are available.
Enter the water near the base of steps and snorkel around Table Rock, finishing at the Sea Scouts Jetty. From there, you can either snorkel or walk back to the starting point.
Anything else I should know?
- Make sure your mask, snorkel, fins and wetsuit fit properly. Seek advice from experienced snorkellers or a reputable dive shop if you need it. Practise in a pool or in the shallows until you are confident
- Know your limitations and snorkel within them. Snorkelling with a buddy is recommended
- Enter the water over sand, not rocks or seagrass. Shuffle your feet to avoid stepping on Stingrays or other marine life
- Don’t rush, take time to ‘smell the roses’
- Look but don’t touch. Some marine life is poisonous
- Avoid damaging marine life with your fins
- Look out for boats and tow a dive flag if necessary
- Remember – this is a Marine Sanctuary and removing anything is strictly prohibited.
How do I join the Marine Care Summer Snorkelling Program?
Marine Care Ricketts Point runs snorkels at 9am on most Saturday mornings from late November to the end of February. The program is for Marine Care financial members only. To join Marine Care Ricketts Point, go to our Membership Page
Members are advised of the location by email on the Wednesday preceding the snorkel.
Everyone who participates in the Summer Snorkelling Program must complete our Activity Participation Form certifying that they are medically and physically fit to undertake the snorkeling activity. The onus is on the individual to consult their doctor if they have any doubts about a medical condition that may affect their ability to snorkel.
Members must also register their attendance at each snorkel and attend the safety briefing.