in Port Phillip Bay
Weedy Seadragon in Port Phillip Bay © Jarrod Boord

Australian Animals

Meet the Creatures in Port Phillip Bay

Take a look at some of Melbourne’s spectacular marine life

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If you look across Victoria’s Port Phillip Bay, it’s hard to imagine the metropolis of marine life living below the surface. There are sponge gardens that explode in a kaleidoscope of colours and towering kelp forests where rocky reefs provide refuge for some weird and wonderful species.

Our work to restore the Bay’s shellfish reefs is helping to provide future habitat and support biodiversity in the Bay.

Weedy Seadragons

This spectacular fish, a close relative of the seahorse, is Victoria’s official marine emblem. With a body wrapped in rings and decorated with elaborate seaweed-like accessories, it’s a master of camouflage.

They live in sheltered reefs and seagrass beds in shallow bays. Even if you’re not a diver or snorkeler you can still spot them around piers and jetties.

in Port Phillip Bay
Weedy Seadragon in Port Phillip Bay © Jarrod Boord

Nudibranch

Nudibranchs are a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs, not to be confused with sea slugs.  There are more than 3,000 species and they all look different. Many are extraordinarily coloured with striking forms, while others are more subdued, preferring to blend in with their surroundings.

are a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs, not to be confused with sea slugs.
Nudibranch are a group of soft-bodied, marine gastropod molluscs, not to be confused with sea slugs. © Antionio Martin, Shutterstock

Western Blue Groper

Blue gropers are known as the friendliest fish in the sea because of their inquisitive and a mellow nature. They all start life as females and only a few dominant individuals eventually transform into males. Slow growing, they reach a metre or so in length and can live for up to 70 years.

in Port Phillip Bay
Western Blue Groper in Port Phillip Bay © Leucopogon

Bottlenose Dolphin

Port Phillip Bay is home to a resident population of Bottlenose Dolphins, sometimes referred to as Burrunan Dolphins, that rarely mix with dolphins from outside the Bay.

in Port Phillip Bay
Burrunan Dolphin in Port Phillip Bay © Polperro Dolphin Swims

Watch incredible footage taken from our live Reef Cam in Port Phillip Bay

Make sure you keep watching the video, you might see a dolphin.

Reef Cam Highlights Watch these highlights at Pope's Eye, Port Phillip Bay