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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Bunurong Marine National Park

The Bunurong Marine National Park extends along approximately 5 km of coastline from 2.5 km east of Cape Paterson in Southern Gippsland (120 km SE of Melbourne) to the eastern end of Eagles Nest Beach (about 6 kilometres south-west of Inverloch), and offshore for approximately three nautical miles to the limit of Victorian waters, encompassing a total of approximately 2,100 hectares.

The Bunurong coast is special - a coast full of striking rock formations, attractive sandy coves, rugged sandstone cliffs and prominent headlands. The coastal waters also contain a remarkable range of habitats that support abundant marine life, nurtured by an unusual set of environmental conditions.

The name "Bunurong" refers to the local Aboriginal group that have lived in this area for thousands of years and have used the coast extensively for food gathering.

These coastal waters share the cool waters of Victoria's central and western coasts, but unlike those shores, are relatively protected from the southwesterly swell by the position of far away King Island. The gently sloping rocky seafloor is also uncommon in Victoria.

The park contains extensive intertidal platforms and subtidal rocky reefs that are uncommon along the Victorian coast. These sandstone areas provide numerous microhabitats and contribute to the area having a very high diversity of intertidal and shallow subtidal invertebrates. There is a mixed assemblage of brown algae and seagrass, supporting a high proportion of Victoria's marine invertebrates, including brittle stars, sea cucumbers, barnacles, sea anemones and chitons.

(The above information is acknowledged to Parks Victoria)

I visited this spectacular region on April 8 2009, which included Cape Paterson. My trip included a 3 km (return) walk along the cliff tops from Cape Paterson to The Channel Beach and westerly along the surf beach. I also visited Undertow Bay, Twin Reefs Bay, and The Oaks Bay, which are east of Cape Paterson.

These Bays may be viewed from observation points from signed car parks off the Inverloch Rd, and are accessed by staircases.

See the full set of
Photos of my visit.

1 comment:

  1. Jone Smith6:28 PM

    Great website for info :)