What are tides?
The twice daily rise and fall of the sea along the coastline is called the tide.
Check out the local tide times at Willyweather – Barwon Heads Bridge Tides
What causes tides?
As the earth rotates a bulge of water is formed due to the strong gravitational attraction of the oceans towards the moon, and to a lesser extent the sun. This appears on the shoreline as the rise and fall of the tide. When moon and sun are aligned the tidal changes are at their greatest and these are called king tides.
Why do we need to consider tides when visiting rockpools?
The best time to explore intertidal rocky shores is during periods of low tide when many of the animals and plants are exposed to the air. Holes and depressions in the rock platform trap water and form rockpools that can also provide a glimpse of life beyond the shoreline.
What are good low tides to visit Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary?
Tide times are calculated in advance and are presented in tide tables that are often included in daily newspapers or relevant websites. These tables show the relative height of the water as compared to a standard reference point given the height of 0.0 metres.
The best low tides to visit the rock platform at the Bluff are less than 0.35m although you can still see some of the diversity at tides less than 0.5m. It is important however to also consider the effects of large waves than can wash over the platform and reduce the area available for exploring.
Tides times can ALSO be obtained in advance from the Bureau of Meteorology website at http://www.bom.gov.au/oceanography/tides/ .