Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary


Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary

Below the lighthouse at Airey’s Inlet is the Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary (17.9 hectares) which extends from the high-water mark around the base of Split Point between Castle Rock and Sentinel Rock in the township of Aireys Inlet. It extends offshore for about 300 metres and includes the 20-metre-high Eagle Rock a tall volcanic stack capped by limestone, and Table Rock, which has been levelled by the incessant waves.

The main habitats protected by the sanctuary include intertidal and subtidal soft sediment, intertidal and subtidal reefs, and the water column. The intertidal sandstone platform and basalt boulders are home to 25 species of algae.

The shore rock platforms are covered in swathes of Neptune’s Necklace, a brown seaweed that looks like strings of beads.  Marine life abounds in the deeper rock pools, with animals including octopuses, decorator crabs, chiton, and schools of tiny silver fish.

The offshore rocks are fringed by swirling Bull Kelp and Crayweed, which thrive in the breaking waves.  On calm days, however, a snorkel around the rocks can be very rewarding. Colourful sea-tulips and encrusting sponges grow on the rocks.  

Twenty-five species of fish are found in the sanctuary including the Blue-throated Wrasse, Rosy Wrasse and Sea Sweep, while harmless Port Jackson Sharks, Sparsely-spotted Stingarees, and Rusty Catsharks are often seen particularly around reef ledges. 

Things To Do


Rock pools in Eagle Rock

The reefs around the base of the cliffs have a diverse range of marine life, with many types of marine molluscs to be discovered in the pools on the rock shelf between the beach and Eagle Rock. Always watch where your hands are going in rockpools to avoid potentially dangerous creatures like the Blue-ringed Octopus.

Snorkelling and diving in Eagle Rock

When conditions are calm Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary offers some great opportunities for diving and snorkelling along the edge of the rock platforms and reef. Conditions here are often unsuitable because of the high wave energy of this coastline.
Two men with surfboards look out over the ocean

Sightseeing at Eagle Rock

Visit the cantilevered Eagle Rock lookout and the Split Point Lighthouse on the adjacent coastal reserve for great views. Walk along the beach from the river and explore the sea-cave under the lighthouse. Please avoid touching the limestone formations as this leads to discolouration.

Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary

This area is well known for its wildlife. Keep an eye out for:

Weedy Seadragon

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

Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary

Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary is located in Aireys Inlet and can be reached by the Great Ocean Road. 

Need to know

Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary

By using our site you accept that we use and share cookies and similar technologies with certain approved third parties. These tools enable us to improve your website experience and to provide content and ads tailored to your interests. By continuing to use our site you consent to this. Please see our Privacy Policy for more information.