Cape Howe Marine National Park

Cape Howe Marine National Park

Cape Howe Marine National Park

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Cape Howe Marine National Park is part of an Aboriginal cultural landscape. Parks Victoria respects the deep and continuing connection that Traditional Owners have to these lands and waters, and we recognise their ongoing role in caring for Country. 

Cape Howe Marine National Park (4,060 ha) is the fourth largest Marine National Park in Victoria and is located on the eastern border of New South Wales near Gabo Island. 

The marine animals and plants in the park reflect its location and include many species associated with both the warmer waters of the East Australian Current as well as as cooler waters from the west.  As such there are a number of species of fish including sharks and rays that are not often seen in other parts of Victoria.  

Cape Howe Marine National Park contains extensive shallow and deep subtidal reefs  interspersed by large areas of soft sediments and beds of shells. The park is alive with a variety of fish, with an assortment of warm and cool water species like Eastern Blue Groper, Purple Wrasse, Blue-Throated Wrasse, and Herring Cale. Kelp forests that form a major habitat for reef species were once extensive in the park but in recent years have been heavily impacted by overabundant native Black-spined Sea Urchins that have increased in numbers due to a warming and strengthening East Australian Current.  

Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales regularly occur in the park with hundreds of humpbacks passing through the park on their migration between the tropics and Antarctic waters, sometimes followed by pods of Killer Whales.  Little Penguins are common too, foraging from the rookery at Gabo Island. Both Australian and New Zealand Fur Seals are found within the park. In 2021 an critically endangered Grey Nurse Shark was observed in the park during monitoring programs.  

Bordering the park is Croajingolong National Park with sand dunes formed from ancient pink granite and purple sandstones which outcrop near Cape Howe. There is also a small intermittent estuary, the outflow from Lake Wau Wauka, running directly into the park.  

Things To Do

 

Diving in Cape Howe

The park contains sites suitable only for experienced and competent SCUBA divers. It is in a very remote location with access possible by boat from Mallacoota or across the border in NSW.
The view north from the lighthouse at Gabo Island with the mountains of Croajingolong National Park in the background

Gabo Island

Separated from the mainland by a 500 metre channel, the island is well known for its historic lighthouse which is Australia's second tallest. The island has beautiful views of Croajingolong National Park. Visitors can stay in accommodation on the island.
Four friends walk across the sand dunes along the Wildernous Coast Walk close to Mallacoota Inlet.

Wilderness Coast Walk

The Wilderness Coast Walk extends 100km from the eastern shores of Sydenham Inlet in Croajingolong National Park, to Wonboyn in the Nadgee Nature Reserve, New South Wales. This spot boasts a beautiful scenic walk along bright sanded beaches.

Wildlife

 
Seals
Dolphins
Fish
Weedy Seadragon
Little Penguins

Tours and adventure experiences in parks

One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.

There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.

Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more. 

Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.

Find a Licensed Tour Operator

How to get there

Cape Howe Marine National Park is located 15km east of Mallacoota adjacent to Croajingolong National Park and can be accessed via boat, or walking along the Wilderness Coast Walk, from Mallacoota. 

When to go

Summer is a wonderful time to visit Cape Howe Marine National Park for SCUBA diving by trained and experienced divers.  

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