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Rockpooling Excursions

Teachers and students are reminded that activities involving the collection or removal of any material, including animals, plants, shells, rocks, sand or seaweed, are not permitted within the Bunurong Marine National Park.

Activities along the coast, including the Dinosaur Discovery and Rockpool Rambles, must take place at low tide. Tide times are charted here for Inverloch or can be downloaded from Marine Science Australia. (The times for Point Lonsdale are close enough to Inverloch tide times.)


Area of Study

The sandstone rock platforms of the Bunurong Coast contain the highest diversity of intertidal and sub-tidal invertebrate species along the Victorian coastline. These include brittle stars, sea stars, sea cucumbers, barnacles, sea anemones, chitons, gastropods and bivalves. There is also an abundance of seaweeds and sea grasses.

The rock platform at Inverloch on Anderson's Inlet is ideal for visiting school groups as the area is sheltered from the open ocean, easily accessible from parking areas and close to toilet facilities.

Aims of Excursion

  • Study the diversity of species on the rock platform
  • Identify specific species on the rock platform
  • Compare the variation in species from high to low tide areas
  • Identify adaptation of plants and animals for survival on the rock platform
  • Examine a rock pool ecosystem
  • Identify omnivores, herbivores and carnivores living on the rock platform
  • Observe interactions between species on the rock platform
  • Identify and draw simple food chains and food webs
Work sheets are available from Bunurong Coast Education for these activities.

Time Required

The best time to visit the rock platforms is in the hour either side of low tide. This lets students see a much greater range of species, including those that inhabit the low tidal zone. Allow at least one hour to explore the area in detail.

Equipment Required

Students should wear sturdy shoes (no thongs or bare feet) as the rock platform contains jagged rocks and shells and can be quite slippery. Students should also wear sun protection.

Supporting Resources

These are all available from the Bunurong Environment Centre, Inverloch.
Rockpooling Around the Bunurong - Eagger and Rowe, $6
Our Coast - CD, $10
Environmental Activities around Inverloch - SGCS, $5
Beachcombing Guide for South Gippsland Coast Areas - leaflet, $1
Shells of the Inverloch Area - leaflet, $1

rockpooling

seahorses