Seadragon and Seals Snorkel Boat Tour from Sorrento

Enjoy a fun guided RIB boat tour to snorkel with the amazing weedy sea dragons and swim freely with fur seals in Port Phillip Bay.

See Famous Weedy Seadragons

Fun, Swift and Stable RIB Boat Ride

Ethical Swim with Seals Experience

Private Group Tour Up to 12x Children/Adults From $550

Up Close and Personal Guided Tour

1.5 Hour Tour Available Daily

From Sorrento Pier, Esplanade, Sorrento VIC 3943.
All Snorkelling Equipment Included.

Details & Itinerary

  • Avoid the crowds on our 6-12 passenger RIB boats, with plenty of one-on-one to ask questions and more time in the water
  • Enjoy a calm and peaceful snorkelling adventure with your certified guide for an enhanced personal experience
  • Join a fun, relaxed, customisable bay tour that puts you in the front seat

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 over the bay from Sorrento with less time in transit and more time snorkelling. Search for the beautifully colourful and well-camouflaged weedy seadragon, a marine animal unique to the cool waters of southern Australia. Swim with the fun, curious and energetic Australian fur seals, a lifetime experience you’ll remember forever! 

EXPERT GUIDES

Enjoy exploring two snorkel spots with your snorkelling guide and discover the thrill of a true up close and personal interaction with marine life. You will feel safe and calm with our certified guide, soaking up knowledge and information about our local species, all the time finding out insightful tips and developing new snorkelling skills and techniques. Beginning in shallower protected waters you’ll seek out the weedy seadragon in the weedy reef habitat below. Then at the seal haul-out platform positioned at the edge of a sandbank, you’ll twist and turn with the swimming seals.

As Victoria’s Number One Adventure Tourism operators we are experts in taking new and beginner snorkellers from fear to fun with our marine science and outdoor education trained snorkel guides by your side, all in just a few moments in the water.

Join the award-winning WaterMaarq on a 1.5 hour boat tour and enjoy it for yourself. See guest reviews on TripAdvisor.

SEA OF COLOUR

Explore the undiscovered features of the Great Southern Reef, home to marine life only found in temperate waters. Be in awe at the weedy seadragon, in breeding season the males carry the bright coloured eggs on their tails. You’ll get up close and personal to the Australian fur seals, once almost hunted to extinction and now a fully protected species that has proven how resilient they are as a marine animal to recover their population in the wild. 

Port Phillip Bay is the best place to snorkel the extensive Great Southern Reef as it’s protected from the ocean swell, the waters are shallow (on average only 8-metres deep in the bay, even less where we visit the seadragons and seals).

Our tours with the seals are ethically-minded and are intentionally shorter length, as research shows that excessive tour time with the seals can impact the quality of their rest and in turn, their feeding habits, which can negatively effect overall health and well-being.

Visit a new world of colour on this fun boat tour from the pretty seaside town of Sorrento, near Melbourne.

 

Schedule

The indicative schedule is as follows:

8:35am At least 25-minutes before scheduled departure, meet at the end of Sorrento Pier where our guide will greet you and distribute your snorkelling gear

9:00am Scheduled departure time – leave the pier and zoom away from Sorrento on board our fun RIB boat

9:10am Arrive at our first destination to snorkel with the weedy seadragons

9:40am Board the boat for our quick transit to the seal haul-out platform

9:50am Plunge on in to swim freely with the fur seals

10:20am Board the boat for our last zoom across the bay back to Sorrento Pier

10:30am Return at Sorrento Pier

10:35-11am Change clothes and swap stories and photos!

 

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 Snorkel Excursion

A super fun personalised 1.5-hour boat tour in the southern part of Port Phillip Bay for up to 12 guests. We’ll visit the absolutely amazing weedy seadragons, the species of our Victorian Marine State Emblem and then the super cool wild swimming experience with the Australian Fur Seals, the most fun you’ll ever have in the sea with a wild marine animal.

Frequently Asked

When do we arrive?
Be at the pier 25-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 dress in your wetsuit and receive your snorkelling equipment.

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

What does the tour involve?
Guided by your expert in-water guide, you’ll enjoy two snorkelling spots with a swift transit in between. Enjoy plenty of one-on-one time to ask questions and receive tips and advice about snorkelling, the local Mornington Peninsula region and the exquisite temperate marine life of our gorgeous Port Phillip Bay.

Can anyone join?
Yes, it’s perfect for new and experienced snorkellers, families and anyone who wants a first hand look at our local reef and to be surprised by the colourful life under the surface. All you need is basic swimming skills and a keen spirit for adventure.

If you prefer to stay on the boat and observe and support your friends and family whilst they swim, you can do that too!

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.

How cold is the water?

The Bay waters here on the Mornington Peninsula are beautiful with sandy beaches and exposed coastal cliffs. The water is generally cleaner and clearer and in summer months reaches temperatures up to 21 degrees. Winter temperatures are as low as 8c and Late Spring/Early Autumn average is around 17c+ .

Featured Marine Life on Tour

The Weedy Seadragon is a mesmerising feature of this tour. Their colour, body shape and movements are the perfect camouflage to become hidden in the weedy reef below. Found in kelp-covered rocky reefs from 1-50m deep, their real reputation is for the males that carry up to 250 eggs during peak breeding season (early to late summer / Nov-Feb). With only around 50 individuals existing in the local habitat, the VNPA Dragon Quest is a great initiative set to better understand the populations, because so little is known. You might even have one named after you!

In equal first place for building guest’s excitement levels are the Australian Fur Seals. Once upon a time hunted extensively for their pelt (fur), the Sealing industry almost wiped them out with only a few hundred individuals left in the population which meant the industry became unviable. Fortunately protections were put in place and nowadays these fully-protected local marine animals that can hold their breath for longer than five minutes, dive deeper than 100m and that can sleep both in the water and on land, number in their thousands and swim playfully with humans. 

Other species to look for:

  • Cuttlefish
  • Southern Calamari (Squid)
  • Blue-throat Wrasse
  • Zebra fish
  • Sand Crabs
  • Smooth Stingrays
  • Blue-spotted Stingarees

All Snorkelling Equipment Included

Begin with a chat about what you’re likely to see, a thorough safety briefing, and an equipment demonstration. You’ll be provided with high-quality snorkeling equipment, including a wetsuit, mask, snorkel, and fins. All you need to bring is your swimwear, a towel, and a sense of adventure.

Take the plunge and discover the underwater secrets of Port Phillip Bay on a guided snorkelling experience from Sorrento. Enjoy more time to explore with a small group of up to 12 guests and high-quality equipment.

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. 

1.5hr Seadragons and Seals Snorkel Boat Tour From Sorrento

The Seadragons and Seals guided snorkelling boat tour departs from Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsula. It’s an easy drive from near Melbourne or take the ferry from Queenscliff.

 

Tour Details

Drive yourself to Sorrento and join our 1.5hr RIB Boat Tour.

Getting There

By Car

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 warmly for the tour, warm jackets, hats, beanies and good footwear are recommended. Bring your own swimwear and towel. We recommend two towels, one for use during the tour and one for afterwards if you prefer. Arrive with your swimwear already on underneath your clothing to make it easier to get changed into your wetsuit before the tour at the pier. A small bag or back-pack is advised for storing your gear on the boat. And don’t forget your favourite camera!

Departures
Regular tour departure times at 9am and 11am. Please contact us with your special requests. 

Tour Duration
1.5 Hours. Allow 2.5 hours in total to change into your gear before and after the tour.

Prices
Private Tour
1-6 Guests: $550
7-12 Guests: $960

*Children (5-14) must be accompanied by an adult

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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 as we snorkel swim in open water and use a ladder to enter and exit the boat
  • 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 25 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

 

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.

     

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