Great Victorian Fish Count Special Event


Put on your citizen science cap and join this very special tour whilst contributing to the protection and conservation of Victoria’s unique marine biodiversity.


Exclusive Boat Tour

$49/$59 Children/Adults

SAVE 50%

2 hours

Departs Sat 14 Dec at 8:30am

Visit a unique snorkelling spot only accessible by boat and then swim with seals!

From Sorrento Pier, Esplanade, Sorrento VIC 3942. 

Details & Itinerary


Join the award-winning WaterMaarq on a 2 hour boat tour and apply citizen science techniques for the Great Victorian Fish Count on the Mornington Peninsula. Have fun snorkelling and swimming with seals on a boutique tour for 10 guests.

Explore the undiscovered Great Southern Reef, home to marine life only found in temperate waters. You’ll get up close and personal to seals, rays, and unique fish like nowhere else. Visit a new world of colour on this fun boat tour from the pretty seaside town of Sorrento, near Melbourne.

On board Apollo, the tour will be a mixture of science and fun as your guide Jack shares the secrets of Port Phillip Bay’s underwater world. First up you’ll snorkel over the features of the Great Southern Reef, identifying fish and recording them on your tablet. This is exciting as you’ll be discovering first hand which fish species live in Victoria’s temperate waters. The colours and movement will surprise you as you collect important data on important fish species and any others not usually found in our waters for the biggest citizen-science event on Victoria’s marine calendar.

Emerging from the water and hopping back onto the adventurous RIB eco-boat Apollo, we’ll zoom over the swim with the most fun marine animals possibly on the planet, the Australian Fur Seals. Here you’ll swim freely and enjoy a marine interaction like no other.

On tour you’ll be exploring the vast chain of the Great Southern Reef beneath the water and its unusual yet often majestic marine life.

The Count has been running  since 2002, led by the Victorian National Parks Association in partnership with Museum Victoria, Parks Victoria, Coastcare Victoria, RedMap, local dive operators and local community groups.

The data collected is uploaded to the Atlas of Living Australia (an online store for biodiversity data, currently with over 67 million records) to improve our knowledge of Victoria’s marine species.

According to Phillip Wierzbowski, from Coastcare Victoria, the Great Victorian Fish Count is “an experience that not only contributes to citizen science while admiring the diversity of Victoria’s marine life, it is great fun too”.

The Great Victorian Fish Count is supported by the Victorian Government.



The indicative schedule is as follows:
8:05am Meet at the Sorrento Pier to dress in your snorkelling gear and be ready to depart
8:30am Depart on board Apollo
8:45am Arrive at first snorkel site, prepare for fish count
9:30am Complete fish count
9:45am Zoom across the bay to swim with seals!
10:30am Return at Sorrento Pier, change clothes and celebrate citizen science success!

What You Should Bring

Swimwear, 2x towels in case it is cold (one for the tour, one for after), small bag with drink bottle, underwater camera, hat, sunglasses, warm clothing. We supply you with a warm wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins.

Best Things About This Tour

Enjoy an award winning experience sponsored by WaterMaarq at 50% off the regular 2-hour boat tour price. Regular tour pricing Ad/Ch $119/$99, pay only $59/$49 for the Great Victorian Fish Count tour!

A super fun 2-hour boat ride in the southern part of Port Phillip Bay for just 10 people. We’ll visit a super cool snorkelling spot where you will find awesome features of the Great Southern Reef, plenty of colour and fish to see (and count!). Then after you’ve recorded data for an amazing biodiversity programme, then you’ll swim with Australian Fur Seals, the most fun ever with a wild marine animal.

Frequently Asked

When do we arrive?
Be at the pier with all your own gear 25-minutes before departure. Allow plenty of time to find parking and make your way out to the end of the pier.

Where do we meet?
See the travel directions and details here.

What does the Great Victorian Fish Count involve?
Under the supervision of your expert marine science guide, Jack, you’ll be provided with a tablet to record the fish you see, including hints for species identification. As you snorkel around, enjoy looking for fish and then note what you see. It’s really easy! The data recorded is then uploaded to the Atlas of Living Australia. 

Can anyone join?
Yes. All you need is basic swimming skills and a keen eye to look for our local fish and identify them. 

Guided by Experts


All Snorkelling Equipment Included


Snorkelling Adventure by Boat