Mud Islands Guided Walk and Boat Tour
Enjoy a fascinating guided walking tour at Mud Island, a site of important scientific and conservation interest. Travel by RIB boat to this remarkable RAMSAR site in Port Phillip Bay.
Internationally Significant Habitats
Swift RIB Boat Ride Direct to Shore
Great Spot for Birdwatching and Wildlife Photography
Diverse Birdlife, Beaches to Yourself, Natural Escape
Small Group Tour Up to 12x Guests: Child (8-12yo) $100 / Adults $125
Low Impact Sustainability Focused Guided Tour
2.5 Hour Tour Available Monthly*
From Sorrento Pier, Esplanade, Sorrento VIC 3943.
*Dependent on tide times, please check the latest schedule.
Details & Itinerary
- Avoid the crowds on our 6-12 passenger RIB boats, with plenty of one-on-one to ask questions and more time to explore
- Enjoy an informative and educational low-footprint guided walk with your certified guide for an enhanced personal experience
- Join a fun, relaxed, customisable Mud Islands tour and visit this spectacular place to see abundant and diverse birdlife
SWIFT & STABLE RIB BOAT
You are guaranteed to enjoy your time aboard our fun, swift and stable rigid inflatable boats (RIB) during a WaterMaarq tour. With no crowds, no hassle and almost no sea-sickness, enjoy an adventurous ride meandering between the sand banks to Mud Islands from Sorrento with less time in transit and more time to walk on the island.
Enjoy exploring the island with your guide and discover this spectacular little-known gem of Port Phillip Bay. During a 1.5-hour walk you’ll take in the lagoon lookout and the untouched beaches of the most extensive sand bank in the Bay for a true up close and personal insight into the significant birdlife and important habitat.
As Victoria’s Number One Adventure Tourism operators we are experts in sharing an authentic wildlife tour with our marine science and outdoor education trained guides by your side.
Join the award-winning WaterMaarq on a 2.5 hour RIB boat and guided walking tour of Mud Island and see it for yourself. See guest reviews on TripAdvisor.
ISLANDS OF MOVEMENT
An internationally significant habitat for many birds, the Mud Islands represent a great spot for birdwatching and up to 70 species have been recorded. Listed as a RAMSAR site, which is an intergovernmental treaty for the conservation of wetlands, visiting the island is a unique experience that connects you with a spectacular insight into one of the Bay’s big secrets.
Explore the undiscovered features of the birdlife and be inspired by the gannets, terns, cormorants, silver gulls and pelicans. The month of March is a real feature as flocks of birds gather and it is a particular attraction to bird watchers and wildlife photographers.
Our tours to these sensitive internationally-recognised environments are ethically-minded and are intentionally shorter length, as we seek to ensure the absolute least impact to the unique habitats whilst providing an opportunity to appreciate the wildlife in a suitable manner.
Visit a new world of life and movement on this fun boat and guided walking tour from the pretty seaside town of Sorrento, near Melbourne.
The indicative schedule is as follows:
7:45am At least 15-minutes before scheduled departure, meet at the end of Sorrento Pier where our guide will greet you and provide a briefing for the tour
8:00am Scheduled departure time – leave the pier and zoom away from Sorrento on board our fun RIB boat
8:20am Arrive in the shallows at the island, taking your shoes off to avoid getting them wet as you take a few steps in the water and then ashore onto the sand
8:30am Commence a guided walk to the features of the island, taking plenty of photos and recording memories
10:00am Board the boat for our last zoom through the sandbanks back to Sorrento Pier
10:30am Return at Sorrento Pier
10:35-10:45am Relax to swap stories and photos over a coffee at a local cafe!
What You Should Bring
Small backpack, jacket, shorts or pants that roll up easily, small towel to dry your feet in case they get wet, 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 Guided Walk
An adventurous and personalised 2.5-hour boat and walking tour to the little known Mud Islands of Port Phillip Bay for up to 12 guests. We’ll visit this absolutely stunning location to view birdlife in an unspoilt and protected environment, the most vibrant array of movement and .
When do we arrive?
Be at the pier at least 15-minutes before departure. Allow plenty of time to find parking and make your way out to the end of the pier. At the pier you will be greeted by your host and guide.
Where do we meet?
See the travel directions and details here.
What does the tour involve?
Guided by your informative guide, you’ll enjoy an adventurous transit meandering between the sandbanks to Mud Island. At the island, enjoy plenty of one-on-one time to ask questions and view this incredible haven for birds during a 1.5 hour guided walk.
Can anyone join?
Yes, it’s ideal for bird watching enthusiasts as much as it is for bushwalkers, naturalists, photographers and anyone unfamiliar with this hidden secret of Port Phillip Bay. All you need is a healthy sense of adventure and being prepared to potentially get your feet wet as you step from the boat to shore.
Will I get seasick?
Our Rigid Inflatable Boats are the same as the ones the Navy, Search and Rescue, Water Police, Fisheries and Coastguard operators use around the world. We call them the rally cars of the sea because of the sure-footed, stable and capable handling they have in all kinds of conditions.
Seasickness does not happen often on a RIB boat, they are open so you feel the fresh air, and the boat sits close to the water surface. If you’re worried about seasickness, we recommend talking with your local pharmacist or doctor about the various remedies available and follow their advice for taking precautions.
Featured Bird Life on Tour
Mud Islands displays all of the characteristics of bird colony ecosystems. However, the islands are unique in several ways. In particular, the proximity to large human populations has facilitated the growth of huge populations of commensal birds such as gulls and ibis. This has intensified the bird-dominated ecological processes to extreme levels. The central lagoon is visited by thousands on intercontinental waders in the warmer months. Mud Islands are a haven for many species of shorebird, and remain the spectacular natural wonder of Port Phillip Bay.
Species to look for:
- Silver Gull
- Straw-necked Ibis
- Australian White Ibis
- White-faced Storm-Petrel
- Australian Pelican
- Crested Tern
- Caspian Tern
World Leading Conservation Port Phillip Heads Marine Park
The State of Victoria became a world leader in marine conservation when, after 11 years of investigation, community consultation and debate, it established a system of highly-protected marine national parks and sanctuaries in June 2002.
Marine national parks are highly protected areas that conserve unique marine habitats in their natural state, and provide an insurance policy against environmental impacts. Victoria’s marine areas include rocky reefs, sponge gardens, towering kelp forests, sandy seafloors, seagrass meadows, mangroves and saltmarsh.
Port Phillip Heads Marine Park network is highly protected and reserved for conservation and protection of marine biodiversity and natural processes, maintenance of scientific reference areas and the opportunity to observe Nature in its true form. It provides a core example and the combination of outstanding natural, cultural and recreational values.
2.5hr Mud Island Guided Bird Watching Tour From Sorrento
The Mud Island guided bird watching and walk boat tour departs from Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. It’s an easy drive from near Melbourne or take the ferry from Queenscliff.
Drive yourself to Sorrento and join our 2.5hr RIB Boat Tour.
From Melbourne you’ll need to drive around 90 minutes south to Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula (allow 2 hours in summer, sometimes longer). Once you’re in Sorrento, you should park near the ferry terminal. Make your way to the Sorrento Pier (at the end of the Esplanade).
More Transport Options
Please click here see our detailed directions and additional travel information.
Sorrento Pier address: Esplanade, Sorrento VIC 3943
Things to Bring
Make sure you dress appropriately for the tour and the walk, warm jackets, hats, beanies and good footwear are recommended. Bring your own small towel in case your feet get wet stepping from the boat to shore. Shorts or long pants that roll up easily are a good choice. A camera, binoculars and sunscreen will serve you well, along with a water bottle or flask. A small bag or back-pack is advised for storing your gear on the boat and taking your necessary items on the guided walk on the island.
Tour departure times at 8am and 2pm heavily dependent on tide times. Please contact us with your special requests.
2.5 Hours. Allow 3 hours in total to have plenty of time to check in and make your way around the pier.
Children (8-12 years old): $100
*Children (8-12) must be accompanied by an adult
Things to Know
- It is recommended that you book at least one week in advance of your preferred date to book the best time and day for your tour and avoid missing out
- Port Phillip Bay has regular changing conditions, tide and sea levels and your tour will be optimised for the best experience in line with the forecast and prevailing conditions
- Guests must be physically fit and have sufficient mobility to enter and exit the boat onto the shore as well as negotiate uneven ground, slippery and unstable surfaces
- Passengers with back, neck, shoulder or heart conditions, those who are pregnant or who have injuries/conditions that may cause a risk to their health are advised to not do these tours, or do so at their own risk
- Please arrive 15 minutes before tour departure time
- Tour times may be altered or cancelled due to sea conditions and we will use all reasonable endeavours to provide 24 hours notice
Click Map for Travel Directions
Bookings and Cancellations
Bookings are essential as places are subject to availability. Tours operate daily except Christmas Day and selected public holidays.
Full payment for your tour is required at the time of booking. 100% cancellation fee applies for no-show or cancellations within 24 hours of departure, 50% for cancellations within 48 hours of departure.