Stretching from the wild and rugged Kimberley coast to the crisp southern ocean waters of the Great Australian Bight.
There are 17 marine parks in Western Australia covering a range of marine and coastal environments, including iconic marine parks and World Heritage Listed Ningaloo and Shark Bay.
Why are Western Australia’s Marine Parks important?
With over 20,000 km of coastline, including over 7,000 km of island coastline, Western Australia’s marine estate is spectacularly diverse and stretching from tropical to temperate waters. It includes unique and spectacular habitats like internationally protected coral reefs, pristine wilderness islands and bays, to seagrass meadows and rocky limestone reefs. The most recent addition was the Great Kimberley Marine Park, declared in 2016.
Great Kimberley Marine Park
The Kimberley region, covered by the Great Kimberley Marine Park in northern WA is recognised as one of the world’s greatest natural and cultural regions. Its spectacular coastline, extensive wetlands and mangroves and rich marine life make it globally significant. The Kimberley has Australia’s largest inshore reef, extensive seagrass meadows and corals, and the world’s largest population of humpback whales. The Great Kimberley Marine Park was declared in December 2016, and includes Roebuck Bay, Horizontal Falls and the North Kimberley, Camden Sound and Eighty Mile Beach Marine Parks.
Ningaloo Marine Park
World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef is one of the longest fringing (close to shore) coral reefs on our blue planet. Situated 1200 kilometres north of Perth on WA’s mid west coast, Ningaloo Reef compares to the Great Barrier Reef in its outstanding beauty and species diversity. Stretching over 240 kms, Ningaloo Reef is a fringing coral reef system which skirts the Cape Range limestone peninsular, and never extends more than a few kilometres offshore.
Shark Bay is at the most westerly point of Australia, where massive seagrass meadows grow in the shallow protected waters. These meadows are the largest and richest in the world, home to a large dugong population and to at least five globally threatened species. Shark Bay is is also home to stromatolites, colonies of algae which form hard, dome-shaped deposits and are among the oldest forms of life on earth!
Great Australian Bight and the south coast
The Great Australian Bight is one of the most amazing marine environments on the planet – wild, unpolluted and home to whales, sea lions, sharks and albatross. These waters contain globally significant breeding and feeding grounds for protected and threatened marine life such as southern right whales, blue whales, and some of the last colonies of endangered Australian sea lions.
Camden Sound Marine Park
Camden Sound Marine Park is a stunningly scenic area of our continent’s wild west Kimberley coast. Camden Sound is remote, unique, and relatively pristine, home to Australia’s most spectacular wildlife such as humpback and pilot whales, dugongs, sea turtles, and snubfin dolphins.