Port Stephens Great Lakes Marine Park
Worth discovering, worth protecting. Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park is a 98,000 hectare marine reserve on the mid-north coast of NSW, Australia.
The largest in NSW, the marine park extends from Cape Hawke Surf Life Saving Club near Forster south to Birubi Beach Life Saving Club at the northern end of Stockton Beach, and includes offshore waters to the 3 nautical mile limit of state waters. It includes Port Stephens and the Karuah River, the Myall River, Myall and Smiths lakes and all their creeks and tributaries to the tidal limit.
Come on in, the water’s fine! One of Australia’s most extraordinary marine playgrounds – the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park is located within the Mid-North Coast. Whether you like to dive, snorkel, boat, fish, surf, swim or explore, you won’t believe the incredible holiday experiences that await you in this massive 98,000 ha marine park, which protects some of the state’s most precious marine creatures and their habitats. The park’s diverse marine life includes many species of dolphins, turtles, fish, invertebrates, seabirds and seaweeds along with threatened species such as the Gould’s petrel, little tern, grey nurse shark and green turtle. Humpback whales travel along the marine park coastline during their annual migration north to breeding grounds. Important oceanic islands, major estuarine wetlands and lake systems feature among a variety of park habitats.
Many significant Indigenous cultural and spiritual sites are located within or adjacent to the marine park including middens, burial sites and traditional campsites. Aboriginal association with the sea and land in the area dates back thousands of years and Indigenous people still gather food in the traditional way.