Friends of Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary Website
Jump onto your new website which includes an interactive flight over Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary- a wonderful way to see the reef, a short underwater video – ‘Delve Deeper’ which may tempt you into the water, stunning photos from Friends member Rebecca Hosking and more entries being loaded up all the time.

New Members can also join via the website.


Whales having Fun: Mum & Bub Hanging Out

Last weekend and still this week, a Southern Right Whale and her calf have been sheltering close to the coast between Aireys Inlet and Anglesea. They have been staying very close in, providing a rare opportunity to observe them easily and take photos.

Southern Right Whales are endangered & were hunted to the edge of extinction by the early 1900s. They’re called the “Right” whale to catch because they contain large amounts of fat and were slow and easy to hunt.

Thankfully, they have been protected locally since 1935, and numbers are slowly recovering. Because females don’t have babies until they are 10 years old and only have a single calf each year, population growth is slow. Southern Rights spend the summer in the colder parts of the Southern Ocean where food is rich, straining tiny organisms through there baleen plates and bristles. Come winter, they swim to us and other Southern land masses to breed and calve.

When you spot a whale, check out the head and blow. Their head is huge and usually covered in barnacles. The blow hole pattern is a V shape. Then you know you’ve got a Southern Right.

Editorial by Sharon Blum – Caon


Friends of Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary Calendar of Events

Sea Search Marine Monitoring Winter Program @ Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary Inlet Steppy Beach Platform 

Leader: Park Ranger Peter Hay

When and Where:  Friday August 9th

Meet Step Beach Car Park at 8am or down on the platform after school drop off at 9am. We expect to be finished by 10am. Coffee anyone?

Sea Search is Parks Vic’s program to involve community groups like ours in marine data collection and surveillance.

FERMS is doing intertidal rocky reef habitat, and we are aiming to collect data 4 times a year. Once per season. We had our first go in March, and now it’s time to go again. We have identified the mystery sea weeds from last time and Ranger Pete will GPS the sample points for us prior to the day, to help things go smoothly.

Being involved helps us gain knowledge of the what’s on and affecting our intertidal platform. We contribute to sanctuary management, and it’s a great was to connect and just spend time in the place we all love.

Tides are tricky this time of year. I know this time is unlikely to suit members who don’t live in town, but future events will. Put your warm and weather proof gear on, some very sensible shoes and join us if you can.

What to bring: Warm clothing & wear sturdy footwear such as sneakers that you are happy to get damp/wet. No gumboots or thongs as they slip on algae. Water Bottle. Sunscreen.

Night Marine Rockpool Ramble @ Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary Inlet Beach Platform

Guides: Nicole Maher & Frances Northeast

Date: 1st week school holidays: Sunday Sept 22nd  from 7.00pm-8.30pm

Experience an underwater wonderland. As evening falls the rockpools come truly alive as all decorator crabs dance across the pools, truly and gobies dart back and forth, seastars creep across the pools, huge red bait crabs, sometimes as big as dinner plates come out to play and hopefully our favourite Maori octopus awaken for the evening.  This is a great adventure activity for all ages

  • Suitable: All ages.
  • What to bring: Torches for each person is mandatory. Warm clothing
    & wear sturdy footwear such as sneakers that you are happy to get damp/wet- it’s all part of the adventure. No gumboots or thongs as they slip on algae.

Meets: Inlet Beach Carpark Grass Area.

Bookings essential.

Limited numbers: 0419 110 097- Nicole

Marine Biology Session: Great Marine Snail Identification @ Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary Inlet Beach Platform

Date: 10am Sunday 10th November

Guide: Nicole Maher

Discover more about the often overlooked but fascinating molluscs that inhabit our temperate rockpools. Learn how to identify different specifies and discover who eats what or who,  and work out for yourselves whether our rockpools are ecologically in balance.

Suitable: All ages.

What to bring: Warm clothing & wear sturdy footwear such as sneakers that you are happy to get damp/wet- it’s all part of the adventure. No gumboots or thongs as they slip on algae. Water Bottle. Sunscreen.

Meets: Inlet Beach Carpark Grass Area.
Bookings requested: 0419 110 097- Nicole

Mystery Seaweeds from our last Sea Search revealed…
Part of the fun of Sea Search is discovering new and wondrous plants (algae) and creatures. These two algae species had us stumped, so we contacted Jacki Polkington- Sea Search Parks.

We playfully called this ‘zigzag’, but it’s actual scientific name is  Cystophora retrota. TheCystophora genus is quite a large genus and very diverse in appearance,  so it can be challenging but also fun to identify!While this lovely algae with its distinctive club- like ‘ vesicles’ is  known as Caulerpa cactoides

The Victorian Environment Friends Network has asked us to pass on this invitation the Friends 2013 Discovery Weekend at Mt Evelyn from 13 to 15 September 2013. It is obviously not marine, but may be of some interest to you.

You can get more information from: Bernie Fox <>

Discover the Yarra Ranges at the Victorian Environment Friends Network

15th Biennial Discovery Weekend

Friday 13th to Sunday 15th September, 2013 at Oasis Camp, 6772 Monbulk Rd, Mt Evelyn

(Melway map 120 D3, website:

This action-packed Discovery Weekend Includes:

Excursions: to the Friends of the Helmeted Honeyeater, Kurth Kiln historical site, Birdsland Reserve, and the famous Puffing Billy.

Great speakers:

  • Prof. Chris Walsh (Melb. Uni.) on innovative stormwater retention.
  • Matt Ruchel (Victorian National Parks Association) on saving our parks.
  • Local Yarra Ranges groups on recovery from bush fires.

Also: Presentation of the 2013 Best Friend Awards, group displays, and more!

Spaces are limited, so don’t hesitate – fill in the registration form and send it in ASAP to avoid disappointment.

Cost is only $140, including meals and accommodation – a shared cabin with ensuite (lower bunks).

The VEFN acknowledges the support of Yarra Ranges Council and the Victorian National Parks Association in organising this conference.

Events Contacts
Nicole Maher
(03)5289 7052- Work Phone @ Great Escape Books or mobile 0419 110 097

Nicole Maher is the 2013 Co-ordinator of Marine Sanctuary Events.

  • If you have any suggestions for future events we would love to hear from you.
  • Similarly if you have have questions regarding events, requirements, or levels or physical exertion, please feel free to contact me.


Rockpool Rambling – Safety for the organisms.

If rocks are turned over they must be replaced gently and safely, back into the same position. Creatures rely on rocks for shelter from the elements and predators.  Plants may require the micro climate created on the underside of a rock to be viable.

Creatures should be held and viewed in a container with water if picked up from rock pools. It may be appropriate to hold creatures under water using cupped hands for viewing, low to the ground.

All creatures must be placed back in the same place they were found after a quick viewing.  Creatures often live in family groups, e.g. crabs, or will have sought out that particular spot for shelter, predator protection, or food access.

Participants are able to gently touch some creatures whilst in the container (ensure you have washed your hands of excess sunscreen). E.g. sea stars, sea snails, chitons.

Please avoid trampling of any plants or animals as much as possible.

Rockpool Rambling – Safety for the participants.

Appropriate footwear must be worn by participants, when walking on the rock platforms. Old runners, secure sandals and wetsuit booties are good. Bare feet and thongs are not acceptable.

Dress in sun-protective clothing including hats and sunscreen, and warm layers and rainwear on colder days.

Don’t run on the rock platforms as the plants, animals and rocks may be sharp and slippery.

Be aware of the potential risk of moving too close to the seaward edge of a rock platform. If you find a wave coming around you on the platform, remain stationary, brace yourself, lowering your centre of gravity, then move in shore once the wave has passed.

Mind your hands and avoid cuts or scrapes overturning and replacing rocks.

Be aware of the presence of the blue- ringed octopus never place your hands where you can’t see your fingers or other hand parts, whilst on the rock platform.

Be aware that other local marine creatures may cause harm. This includes anemone species (only the waratah anemone should be touched by participants, and only once on the tentacles), sea urchins (spines may cause puncture wounds) and cone shell (only small species are found in southern waters, but cone shells are capable of stinging).

September is Biodiversity Month!
Join us for an evening rockpool ramble at Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary.
This is a special ‘no moon’ event, which means it will be great for using torches and spotlights.
Monday 2nd Sept – Evening Rockpool Ramble
When: 7:45pm at Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary. Meets at top of Steppy Steps, Eagle Rock Parade, Aireys Inlet.
No moon will make it really dark, so it is best for just the bigger kids (8+). BYO torches, sturdy footwear.
RSVP appreciated to or (this is us!)
Lead by Peter Crowcroft, Environmental Education Program Coordinator | Great Ocean Road Coast Committee