Jawbone Marine Sanctuary
Discover a pocket of tranquility and protected coastal habitats beside Williamstown. The small area of Jawbone Marine Sanctuary is incredibly diverse and contains examples of all marine habitats of northern Port Phillip.
The west of the promontory is comprised of saltmarsh and the largest area of mangroves within Port Phillip – the only Victorian mangroves growing on a basalt coast. Fine clayey sand and patches of seagrass lie offshore.
The eastern side of the sanctuary has rocky environments, from the high up areas only occasionally touched by storm waves to submerged boulders and ledges that lie beneath the lowest tides. Soft basalt rock has weathered into smaller rocks and pools that are a home for tidal creatures. Sandy beaches lie between the clay and rock.
Visitors can encounter a range of marine and bird life in these diverse habitats. Explore the pretty gardens of green or pink coralline algae in the rockpools and try to spot urchins and crabs within the crevices or large turban shells, limpets and snails. Snorkelers and swimmers can keep an eye out for glass shrimp and small fish darting amongst the seaweed in shallow waters and admire the brightly coloured sponges, nudibranchs and many fish around the submerged boulders.
From below the water, divers can see some of the heritage registered shipwrecks that are evidence of the strong maritime history of Williamstown. Birdwatch along the boardwalk or use the hides to catch a glimpse of migratory seabirds and shorebirds among the mangroves, mudflats and saltmarshes.
Things To Do
Wandering on the boardwalk
Snorkelling and diving
Sea kayaking and canoeing
Jawbone Marine Sanctuary
This area is well known for its wildlife. Keep an eye out for:
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.
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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.