Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary


Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary

The Marengo Reefs Sanctuary covers 12.5 hectares surrounding and including a reef system known as Little Henty Reef lying offshore from the township of Marengo near Apollo Bay. 

The sanctuary is less than 50 metres offshore and access is via boat, swimming, small water craft, or during very low tides by foot at Hayley Point (Marengo) to the inner reef. 

The two islands in the park, Henty and Little Henty Islands, have been flattened over thousands of years by the waves and now barely show above the surface.  But their remote location ensures that they are packed with sea-life.  

A rich intertidal reef lies along the top of the sandstone islands.  Rockpools, gutters and ledges hide a huge variety of sea snails, from large abalone to tiny periwinkles.  Numerous filter-feeding animals, such as tubeworms, barnacles and bryozoans trap floating food brought by the waves.  

Colourful seaweed ‘gardens’ thrive under the large writhing fronds of Bull Kelp that fringe the islands.  The large brown seaweeds grow luxuriantly, interspersed with beds of attractive red and green algae.  The channel between the two islands is a rare sheltered haven on this wild coastline, supporting profuse growth of sea squirts and sponges.

The larger island is well known as a haul out area for Australian Fur Seals and has been declared a Special Protection Area and access onto the island is prohibited. 


Things To Do


Snorkelling and diving in the sanctuary

When conditions are suitable Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary is a great loctaion for snorkelling and can be accessed from the beach at Marengo. Be aware of strong tidal currents in this area.

Boat tours in Marengo Reefs

Regular tours of the Marine Sanctuary depart from Apollo Bay harbour and provide a chance to see the Australian Fur Seals that haul out in the park.
A woman with a large hiking pack takes in the view from Blanket Bay Campground.

Great Ocean Walk

The Great Ocean Walk extends just over 100km between Apollo Bay and the Twelve Apostles near Princetown. The spectacular walk weaves its way through tall forests, coastal heathlands, wild rocky shores, river estuaries and windswept cliff-tops presenting amazing views.

Marengo Reefs 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

Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary

Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary is on the Great Ocean Road near the township of Marengo which is just 3km from Apollo Bay. 

A great time to hit the water and snorkel around the inner sections of the reef. 

Need to know

Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary

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