Point Danger Marine Sanctuary


Point Danger Marine Sanctuary

Point Danger Marine Sanctuary (21.7 hectares) extends from the high water mark around the prominent limestone headland of Point Danger between the townships of Torquay and Jan Juc. It extends offshore for about 600m to the east and 400m to the south.

This coastline is exposed to strong winds and large swell (mostly from the south and south west) and within the Marine Sanctuary the seafloor is predominantly less than 7m deep.

The main habitats protected by the sanctuary include intertidal and subtidal soft sediment, intertidal and subtidal reefs, and the water column.

The intertidal limestone platform is home to twenty six species of marine plants. The brown algae Neptune’s Necklace (Hormosira banksii) is a key habitat forming algae on the limestone intertidal reef. Patches of small red corallines, filamentous algae and the green sea lettuce are common on the intertidal platform. The sanctuary is home to more than forty four species of intertidal invertebrates which are mostly found underneath rocks on the intertidal reef.

The shallow subtidal rocky reefs are home to a mixture of brown algae, while extensive areas of the seagrass (Amphibolis antarctica) can be found growing over reef and sediment in the more sheltered areas.

The sanctuary is particularly recognised for its diverse sea slug (opisthobranch) fauna found on both intertidal and subtidal reefs with ninety six species having been recorded, many of which are endemic.

Often isolated from the beach by a sandy channel the reef lies just offshore of the point, and is fully exposed only on the lowest summer tides. The top of the reef is covered with a network of small boulders, seaweed beds, crevices and pools.  Key-hole limpets, crabs and mussels are abundant.  Banded Brittle-stars and carnivorous worms emerge from under rocks to feed at nightly high tides while Eagle Rays are often seen patrolling the sandy areas of the park. 

Things To Do

Two male divers return to the water's surface during their dive with their boat in the background of the shot.

Diving and snorkelling at Point Danger

When sea conditions are suitable the reefs in the Marine Sanctuary provide a great place for snorkelling and SCUBA diving with an abundance of fish and invertebrates typical of this cool water environment.

Rockpooling in the marine sanctuary

At low tide, the rock platforms are great places to see marine life. Guided walks are provided by rangers and volunteers as part of holiday programs. The shelf between the beach and the outer edge of the rock platform has a wealth of invertebrate diversity. Be mindful of tidal changes to avoid getting stranded on the reef.

Walking at Point Danger

Enjoy pleasant walks along the shore or take in the views of the Marine Sanctuary from the Point Danger lookout.

Point Danger 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

Point Danger Marine Sanctuary

Point Danger Marine Sanctuary is located in Torquay and is an hour and a half drive from Melbourne via the Princes Highway and Great Ocean Road. 

Join a guided walk to explore local marine life in Point Danger Marine Sanctuary as part of the annual Summer by the Sea program in Torquay. 

Need to know

Point Danger Marine Sanctuary

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