Image: Mark Norman / Museums Victoria
Community type


Habitat type

Rocky reefs, kelp beds and inter-tidal zone

The best way to explore the rocky reef is to get wet by either pulling on a wet suit and snorkel, or go scuba diving. There are numerous snorkelling and scuba diving hot spots in the Derwent estuary. Taroona High School dive regularly on the reef just off the high school in Taroona. Tinderbox marine reserve is the most popular snorkelling and scuba diving area. To the south, the rock platform drops 2 or 3 metres to sand. Look out for feeding tentacles of numerous sea cucumbers that live buried in the sediment. To the north, the reef is wider and extends into deeper water. Leatherjackets and wrasse are common on the reef, and if you look among the kelp you may be lucky enough to see a seahorse, a spiny pipehorse, or an octopus.

Much of the text within the species area of our website was written by Veronica Thorpe, as part of the Derwent River Wildlife Guide (2000).

The DEP has developed a variety of classroom and outdoor activities focused around the key estuary habitats of tidal wetlands, salt marshes and rocky reefs. These include classroom materials, online resources, interpretive walks, games and sensory experiences.