These are called bullants. I've holidayed in the area for 40 years, and I've never heard them called red ants. They're about 1" (2.5cm) long, and have a terrible bite, with nippers longer than their head. They're extremely defensive, and will often spin and rear up towards you if you approach with a heavy step.
The Mornington Peninsula National Park stretches from Cape Schanck to Portsea and comprises of countless ocean beaches, high sand dunes, limestone formations that slowly disintegrate into solitary boulders, and underwater plateau, all of which are subjected to the merciless trashing of huge swells arriving unabated from the Antarctic no-man’s land. Here a giant bullant on Rye Ocean Beach.
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Photo taken in Peninsula Coastal Walk, Rye VIC 3941, Australia
Misplaced? Suggest new location