Tootgarook is a strange name for a travel destination, but it actually it means in the original dialect of the Australian aborigines,”The land of the Croaking Frog”. There is a wetland encompassing around three hundred hectares in size here and local protection authorities are careful to see that housing development does not encroach on this. Tootgarook is positioned in a very popular area of the already popular Mornington Peninsula. Fronting onto Port Phillip Bay and backing onto the ocean beach near Rye, this area combines both water and pristine coastal vegetation to walk in.
The visitor to this part of the world can travel from Melbourne, Victoria’s capital city, in a southerly direction around Port Phillip Bay and an hour and a half later ( eighty-one kilometres) arrive at Tootgarook, following the Nepean Highway through Mornington, Dromana and Rosebud .The small settlement of Tootgarook is halfway between Rosebud West and Rye. It is worth stopping here, for further on down the road here heading west, the towns of Rye, Sorrento and Portsea are very crowded and busy during the summer holiday season, between December and March.
The activities here are sailing and boating and water skiing, as well as just swimming and enjoying a family day, at either the surf beach or quiet bay waters in front of the shops. A word of warning for the surfers going to the waters of the Great Southern Ocean at the back of Tootgarook. The waves are very big, the rips and undertow very strong, so check with the local,life saving authorities here . Many international visitors to these waters have fallen foul of these wild conditions, whether swimming, surfing of just fishing off the rocks. The shops here will face the calmer front beach of Port Phillip Bay and offer a view of the blue waters, while shopping or eating on the footpath at one of the many cafes.
Tootgarook is often passed by in the rush of tourists to get to the more popular destinations further down the peninsula, but like all small hamlets, it is a little treasure to call into and enjoy the sun of Victoria. The foreshore has retained many of the original trees and with a little imagination and research into the history of the area from the Rosebud library, a picture can emerge of the original inhabitants, the Australian aborigines, enjoying this bay side paradise with the ocean crashing away in the distance to the south. Fish would have been in abundance as they still are today. Fishing boat hire is available for the visitor .Come visit Tootgarook!