Coastal Discovery Program 2024

Looking for things to do, and ways to find out more about the wonders of the coast this summer?

Dates: 2-30 January 2024

Cost: Free!

Activities are provided by: 

Frequently asked questions

What do I need to wear and bring?
  • Sun protection and a water bottle for outdoor activities.
  • Enclosed footwear for Rockpool Rambles and Bluff Discovery Walks (no bare feet or thongs).

Do I need to book?

  • Bookings are essential for all Rockpool Rambles and Bush Detectives – marked in the program with *
  • Bookings are not required for other activities.
Can Barwon Coast book activities for me?
No – bookings must be made with the individual activity providers as detailed on the back of the activity program.
Where do I meet for activities?
  • The meeting places for Rockpool Rambles and Bush Detectives are provided when you book.
  • For all others, meeting places are noted on the back of the activity program.

Can I take my dog on activities?
No – this is to comply with dog control zones and ensure safety of all participants (e.g. avoid hazards from tripping on leads, being around unfamiliar dogs/people, activities taking place in small/confined areas like rock platforms and pathways used by other people too).
Seeing Eye Dogs and Registered Assistance Animals are welcome with their owners.
What ages can join the activities? 
All ages are welcome to learn about our beautiful coast!
Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.
What to expect:
  • Rockpool Rambles: Junior Ranger activities run by Parks Victoria are targeted at primary school-aged children and their families. Other Rockpool Rambles run by Friends of the Bluff are for all ages.
  • Barwon Bluff Discovery Walk: Typically suited to families with older children and adults.
  • Birds in the hood- Hooded Plover talk: A video and talk with opportunity to ask questions, suited to families and adults.
  • Lobster Pot After Dark: An interactive talk, displays, activities etc on topics noted in the program (different each time), suited to families and adults.
  • Barwon Estuary Heritage Centre: There really is something for everyone in here! Limited space to move prams etc. around but they can be left outside the door. Drop in and stay as long as you like, an unstructured activity.
  • Coastal Discovery Stalls: From colouring in, to touch tables of marine treasures, to in-depth conversations on coastal curiosities, this is for all ages! Drop past and stay as long as you like, an unstructured activity.
  • Bush Detectives: aimed at families.
Do activities accommodate prams, wheelchairs and other accessibility needs?
What level of fitness or mobility do I need for activities?
Indoor and stationary activities aim to accommodate everyone (e.g. seating is provided) – this includes Barwon Estuary Heritage Centre, Coastal Discovery Stalls, Lobster Pot After Dark and Birds in the hood.
Barwon Estuary Heritage Centre (aka The Lobster Pot) is a heritage building with some small steps. There are tables and display cases to navigate around. When busy, prams will need to be left outside but young children are welcome! Seats for children and adults are available inside.
Outdoor activities take place on uneven ground, sand and/or rock platforms beside the ocean, and may involve staircases for access. These activities may be adapted to accommodate different needs – Rockpool Rambles, Bush Detectives. Please check when you book.

What about the weather?
Please wear and bring sun protection and a water bottle on all outdoor activities.
  • For your comfort and safety, activities will be cancelled in extreme weather (e.g. heat, wind, ocean conditions).
  • For activities booked with Friends of the Bluff, Summer by the Sea and Parks Victoria, you’ll receive notification beforehand.
  • The Barwon Estuary Heritage Centre will be closed on days where the temperature is expected to reach 30 degrees C+, as it has no air conditioning.


Keep safe this summer

Managing extreme heat

Extreme heat can affect anyone, but older and younger people and those with medical conditions are at greater risk. Heat can cause illnesses such as heat cramps and heat exhaustion which can lead to the life-threatening condition, heatstroke, which is fatal in up to 80% cases.

Take note of weather forecasts, read current heat health alerts and for more information visit the Better Health Channel.


Learn the new Fire Danger Ratings

A new national Fire Danger Rating system was introduced in 2022, so whether you’re at home or travelling, you’ll see the same system being used.

Each rating has a clear set of messages including actions the community can take to reduce their risk. Learn more from the Country Fire Authority.


Prepare for emergencies

The VicEmergency website and app is your one-stop shop for advice on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies and natural disasters. 

It’s important to think ahead and stay updated on risks you might be exposed to on holidays too, such as bushfires, road incidences and marine hazards.

Download the VicEmergency app to your smartphone via Apple App Store or Google Play Store, and tune into your local ABC radio station.