Flinders is a small, charming seaside fishing village, where tourists gather to explore the tide pools and swim and snorkel at Ocean Beach. Located on the Bass Strait coastline, Flinders is a haven for marine life. Tucked away in this area, a short drive from Melbourne, are a series of secluded natural ocean pools that resemble tropical swimming holes, called the Flinders rock pools.

What to do in Flinders, Australia

The town of Flinders is about an hour and a half from Melbourne by car, and is home to two marine national parks, Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary (a rocky beach with tide pools and a reef where families can explore and observe marine life including anemones and sea stars) and Mornington Peninsula National Park.

The pier at Flinders, at Ocean Beach, near the Flinders rock pools

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Snorkeling, sailing, and catching the squid which are abundant near the beach are favorite activities at Flinders Pier, in town.

For adventurers looking for a short hike and spectacular views, Flinders Blowhole is another natural phenomenon in the area. A wooden boardwalk leads down to the turquoise waters of a cove surrounded by cliffs and a rocky beach. Water doesn’t spout out of the blowhoe, despite the name, but powerful waves crash against the exposed cliff sides, spraying jets of water into the air.

Flinders Bowl tourist attraction newar Flinders rock pools

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Nestled among the cliffs at Cape Schanck, just a short walk from Ocean Beach, to get there, head to Blowhole Track on Borneo Road. There’s a car park where the views are enjoyable, but a wooden boardwalk leads down the beach and cliffs for an even better look at the ocean; some people even climb up to the top of Elephant Rock to feel the full force of ocean. Just wear a waterproof jacket as you’re likely to feel the ocean spray.

What are the Flinders rock pools?

It might sound cliche, but the Flinders rock pools really are a hidden gem – the pools not well known by anybody but locals and concealed within an unmarked landscape of grassy hill sides. But once you find the path down the rock pools, the journey is well worth it.

The Flinders rock pools are naturally formed swimming holes situated among the rocky beach. The waters are so turquoise and clear they look almost tropical. The pools are protected by natural rock walls which keep the rough waves from harming swimmers. The result are peaceful naturally formed pools of sun-exposed water with unobstructed views of the ocean just beyond the rocks.

The best time to swim is at low tide, otherwise the whole beach is submerged under water.

Where are the Flinders rock pools?

People who have been to the rock pools before say to drive down Borneo Road, you’ll run into a small parking area between Punchbowl Road and Keys Road. This where you will start your journey to the rock pools. If you’re having trouble finding it, try inputting Cairns Bay Walk into your GPS. The drive is about a half hour from Flinders.

Once you park, look for the sign that reads “Walking Track – Cairns Bay,” which will point you in the direction of the paths which will eventually lead you down to the beach. There is no sign announcing that you have arrived at the rock pools, but there is a  wooden staircase leading down to the beach. You can traverse the rocks below or take narrow dirt paths through the beach.

Because the rock pools are such an isolated stretch of road that isn’t clearly marked, the beach is secluded and quiet and free from crowds. Resist showing off your adventure to friends or social media, to preserve the peaceful nature of this swimming spot.