We recently highlighted some of the best outdoor pools in Sydney and now, it’s Melbourne’s turn to show off the public baths, beach rock pools and outdoor pools in and around Victoria’s capital city. The rock pool name comes because most are naturally occurring rock pools, shallow and sheltered from the tides by rocks strategically placed by nature and a part of some of Melbourne’s beautiful coastal beaches. Melbourne’s rock pools are quite different from the ones we highlighted in Sydney. They are more like tidal pools that appear at low tide. Baths are the historic name from many pools because the rock pools and tidal pools at beaches were used for bathing throughout history. But don’t worry, you won’t find anyone bringing a bar of soap to these newer, more modern pools!  Before planning to visit any of these outdoor pools, check online for their schedules. Also, websites for the different pools list conditions, entrance fees (if applicable) and special events. Even though we are highlighting these outdoor pools for fun in the summer, most are open all year long and some are even heated in the winter. Research the different outdoor pools in Melbourne and be sure to incorporate some of them into your Victorian holiday. In part one of our look at outdoor pools in Melbourne, we will be taking a tour of the rock pools or tidal pools near Melbourne, Geelong, and the Mornington Peninsula.

Barwon Heads

Barwon Bluff Photo Credit BarwonBluff.com.au

Rock Pools in Melbourne

Saint Pauls Beach - Rock Pool

St. Pauls Beach Rock Pool Photo Credit: TheMorningtonPeninsula.com

Rock Pools are shallow pools at beaches that are either formed by rocks blocking off the ocean waves or they appear during low tides when the water recedes and leaves the perfect, shallow, and safe place to play in the water. You can look up the tide times here. Some beaches are marine preserves, but be sure to be mindful and respect the environment and beaches whether they are protected or not. Take nothing but pictures and leave nothing but footprints. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes that are skid proof when wading through shallow pools. Also this is a live marine environment so you should expect to see marine life in the water and beware of marine stingers and especially cautious of any of the blue ringed octopus which are extremely poisonous. The rock pools we will feature today are around the beaches of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula, and near Geelong.

Rickett’s Point Rock Pool

Rickett's Point - Rock Pools

Rickett’s Point Rock Pool Photo Credit: WeekendNotes.com

Watkins Bay

“Watkins Bay Beaumaris Victoria” by Melburnian – Own work (digital photograph by author). Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons

Beaumaris is one of the suburbs of Melbourne and one of the best local rock pools happens in Watkins Bay at Rickett’s Point at low tide when an extensive grouping of rock pools become fully exposed. You can wade through the pools finding shells and all types of sea life; but remember this is a protected Marine Park to respect the environment.

Red Bluff Rock Pools

Black Rock - Victoria

Red Bluff at Black Rock Photo Credit: “Black Rock Victoria” by Melburnian – Own work (digital photograph by author). Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons

Red Bluff is the burnt red coloured shoreline of Black Rock. It features dramatic cliffs with varying coloured rocks. The burnt red colour comes from the oxidised iron in the cliffs. One of the coastline’s many features are the rock pools found in the nooks and crannies of the shoreline.

Point Gellibrand

Point Gellibrand

Point Gellibrand Heritage Park Photo Credit: Parkweb.vic.gov.au

Point Gellibrand - Rockpool

Point Gellibrand Rock Pools Photo Credit: WeekendNotes.com

At low tide, the rock pools extend pretty far out at Point Gellibrand which is just past Williamstown. You can do plenty of shallow ocean exploring here and there is also a lava blister just off the shore. It is one of the rarest geological phenomena in the world. It is definitely something you should explore along with the rook pools. It is also worth mentioning that if you are visiting this area of Melbourne that there is a rich history and many historical buildings to explore too. It is the site of Victoria’s first permanent settlement and seaport.

St. Paul’s Beach at Sorrento

St Pauls Beach

St. Pauls Beach Photo Credit: Pinterest

St Pauls Beach - Rock Pool

St. Pauls Beach Rock Pool Photo Credit: TheMorningtonPeninsula.com

St. Pauls Beach at Sorrento is another site of a great beach rock pool and picturesque vacation spot on the Mornington Peninsula. It is not in Melbourne, but well worth the 1 ½ hour drive to the tip of the Mornington Peninsula on the Port Phillip side of the peninsula on the Bass Strait coast. St. Pauls Beach is a sandy bay surrounded by rugged and jagged cliffs and features craggy outcrops and rock pools. It is a fun place to explore.

Portsea Ocean Beach

London Bridge - Portsea

London Bridge at Portsea Ocean Beach Photo Credit: WeekendNotes.com

London Bridge

The London Bridge at Portsea Ocean Beach Photo Credit: Parkweb.vic.gov.au

The London Bridge at Portsea Ocean Beach is one of those well-known and often photographed rock formation that has been formed from the erosion of wind and waves over time. Portsea is located on the tip of the Mornington Peninsula next to Sorrento and is also on the Port Phillip side.

Point Lonsdale

Point Lonsdale Lighthouse

Point Lonsdale Lighthouse Photo Credit: “Point Lonsdale Lighthouse 006” by Maias – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons


There are low tide rock pools at Point Lonsdale right underneath the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse.  Point Lonsdale is located on the west side of the Bellarine Peninsula.  You can take a tour of the lighthouse when you aren’t wading in the rock pools. Port Lonsdale is one of several beaches with great rock pools just southeast of Geelong and about a 1 ½ hour drive from Melbourne.

Barwon Heads Bluff

Barwon Bluff - Rock Pool

Barwon Bluff Photo Credit BarwonBluff.com.au

Barwon Bluff - Rock Pool

Barwon Bluff Photo Credit BarwonBluff.com.au

Barwon Bluff is a Marine Sanctuary encompassing 17 hectares of reef. You will find a very large diversity of marine life here because of how this area was created. The Barwon River enters the cool waters of Bass Strait and the Southern Ocean. The tides and waves have created a unique landscape that is complex and beautiful. Barwon Bluff is another one of the beaches in the area near Geelong and a 1 ½ hour drive from Melbourne.

The Nobbies

The Nobbles

The Nobbies Photo Credit: Family-Getaways-Melbourne.com


The Nobbies Photo Credit: VisitPhillipIsland.com

The Nobbies are a great family beach for exploring and playing in the rock pools. The Nobbies are on Phillip Island which is just off the coast of Melbourne south of the Mornington Peninsula. The Nobbies are a headland and in addition to rock pool fun at the beach, there are other unique landscape features to explore like a blow hole and plenty of local wildlife. Bird watching is on point here and you can also spot Little Penguins, and Australia’s Largest Fur Seal Colony.

Hiring a Car in Melbourne

Melbourne Map

Melbourne Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Melbourne Car Hire Map

Melbourne Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au

There are plenty of convenient places to hire a car in Melbourne. Many car rental locations in Melbourne are close to the different beaches. You can hire a car on Mornington Peninsula  or hire a car in Geelong. Having your own vehicle with your throughout your Melbourne holiday will add a convenience and freedom to go where you want when you want. Here are some other Melbourne holiday ideas from our blog:

Things to Do in Melbourne

Free Things To Do in Melbourne

Free Things To Do Near Melbourne

Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

Melbourne with Kids

Refresh and Relax on the Mornington Peninsula

5 Stops on the Great Ocean Road

The Great Ocean Road – Road Trip

Road Trip: Sydney to Melbourne

Escape to the Countryside South Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges