When you walk from the carpark onto Balnarring Beach you are greeted by a broad gently sloping sandy beach with Phillip Island in the distance. This is a great beach to explore with young children. It has a good high tide line to explore and safe areas on the rock platform away from the water.
To the right are the rock platforms and to get there you can walk along the high tide line and examine the seaweed for its hidden treasures. The amount of seaweed on the beach varies from huge drifts to next to nothing, depending on the wind strength and direction over the past few days. As you explore the seaweed you may find shark eggs, shells, cuttlefish bones or sea urchins. Closer to the water’s edge you will find a variety of shells, some may have holes drilled by carnivorous snails.
On the beach are timber groins which on closer inspection reveal a range of snails that hide from the sun in the cracks of the timber. A rubble area at the end of the first groin is a great place to look for creatures that like to hide under rocks, like crabs and sea stars. It is away from the water’s edge and young children can explore in relative safety.
As with most rocky areas, exploring closer to the water’s edge is the best place to start, but here it drops off into deeper water very quickly, so you need to be careful.
If you walk past the first groin you have an expansive rocky area extending out to the water. The water’s wedge is a great place to explore. Take care walking over the rubble, it can be slippery and the rocks can move under your feet. At the water’s edge, it is not uncommon to find crabs, sea stars, chitons, elephant snails, flatworms and sea urchins hiding under the rocks.
* Mandy and Jacqui will be running beach walks this Saturday 13th March during the Womin djeka festival at Balnarring Park just across from the beach! Go to Womin djeka Facebook or Instagram to find out how to register and we hope to see you there!