Point Hicks Marine National Park (3,810ha) adjoins Point Hicks Lighthouse Reserve and the Croajingolong National Park in East Gippsland along 9.6km of coastline from 2km east of Clinton Rocks to Stable Bay.
The main habitats protected by the Marine National Park include the water column, subtidal and intertidal soft sediments, and subtidal and intertidal reefs. More than 80 per cent of the subtidal area of the park is deeper than 20m.
The reefs here are among Victoria's most interesting and beautiful, but were a deadly concern to early sailors who pressured the Government into constructing the lighthouse that still dominates the cliff tops. Fortunately today, these underwater crags can be admired for their stunning sea-life.
The subtidal reef consists of highly exposed granite slopes, boulders, rock gullies and outcrops and includes shallow reefs, as well as deep reefs that extend below 80m depth. Eastern temperate and southern cosmopolitan species co-occur, as a result of the mixing of warm eastern and cool southern waters.
As well as subtidal reefs, the environment around Point Hicks includes attractive intertidal rock platforms and offshore sands.
Diving around Whaleback Rock or Sensation Reef is a truly amazing experience. The water is often very clear, with sunlight glinting off schools of silver fish. As you drift down, you feel dwarfed by massive granite boulders. A forest of gently swaying brown seaweeds hides a seafloor where orange, red, purple, pink, and white sponges and other invertebrates intertwine in intricate and beautiful patterns.
Many other creatures are visible between the sponges, under rocks and poking out of the seaweed holdfasts. There are brightly coloured sea-stars, brittle stars, abalone, fan worms, hermit crabs and delicate nudibranchs (sea-slugs). Fish include schools of Butterfly Perch, Silver Sweep and Long-Finned Pike, with Banded Morwongs common amongst the deeper boulders.
Point Hicks Marine National Park represents Victoria's warmer eastern marine environment. Many marine species occurring here will not survive in the cooler waters further west.
Things To Do
Diving in Point Hicks
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