Rickett’s Point Marine sanctuary is located just off Beaumaris, where sloping cliffs of sandstone jut out into Port Phillip Bay. At the water’s edge the rock has been worn down into a series of platforms and rock pools, creating a varied and easily accessible marine environment. The diversity of habitats at Ricketts Point is what makes this Marine Sanctuary so interesting. The sanctuary includes rocky (sandstone) inter tidal and sub tidal habitats, sandy beaches and sub tidal soft substrates, with offshore reefs displaying a high diversity of flora and fauna. Near the shore, the rocks are covered in green and red algae that shelter a myriad of smaller creatures, including tiny brittlestars, bristle worms and crustaceans. The soft sea floor is covered in patches of green sea grass or bunches of seaweed attached to small rocks.
The sanctuary is located at Beaumaris off Beach Rd. Access to the Park and Nature Trail is via the Beaumaris Yacht Club car park.
A new triple ramp leads from the car park down onto the hard sand given access to the beach and rock pools to people in wheelchairs. The ramp is in the form of a cross allowing access to the beach at all tide levels. Viewing is best at low tide when the rock pools are exposed. The longest section of the ramp gives direct access to the hard sand and the rock ledge/pools at low tide without the need to traverse the soft sand of the beach. The shorter sections are equipped with one hand rail. The ramp is rated as being fully accessible
Parking facilities are limited to one only designated space. Whist there is only the one designated disabled parking bay there are two normal bays further down the car park towards the yacht club that share a loading/access way.
Like many Victorian parks the picnic facilities do not really cater for people in wheelchairs. There is no over hang on the tables or the provision to roll under the ends. The concrete hardstand areas are not large enough to cater for a wheelchair to sit around the table and all wheels on the concrete. Access to the picnic area is difficult as it is across soft sand and an uneven grassed area. Most of the tables are a long way away from a hard surfaced path. There are no disabled toilet facilities available at this park other than at the Tea House.
Ricketts Point Teahouse
The Ricketts Point Teahouse has been part of the Beaumaris foreshore Reserve for over 50 years. It has gone from a small home with a kiosk to a stylish cafe seating over 200 people. The teahouse is fully accessible with ramped access, wheelchair access to the decked outdoor area overlooking the bay and has accessible toilet facilities. In addition to the designated car parks there is a drop off point right in front of the building.