Lakes Coast Visitor Guide

LAKES COAST VISITOR GUIDE I PAGE 13 VIEW US ONLINE FOR FUTURE EDITIONS PHILLIP ISLAND WONTHAGGI INVERLOCH LEONGATHA WILSONS PROMONTORY FOSTER TOORA Cape Paterson is becoming well known for its weedy sea dragon colonies and the up to 87 species of fish that call the cool waters of the Bunurong Marine National Park home, including wrasse. Photos: Parks Victoria Wonders below the waves Don your snorkelling gear and head below the waters of Bunurong Marine National Park to enter a whole new world. Established in 2002, the stunning sub-marine world of the park covers 2100 hectares and about five kilometres of coastline southwest of Inverloch and around Cape Paterson. Full of striking rock formations, the coastline here boasts attractive sandy coves, rugged sandstone cliffs, dunes and prominent headlands. Delve into the watery depths and you’ll find a range of habitats including intertidal reefs, subtidal rocky reefs, algal gardens and seagrass beds – a snorkeler’s dream. Good snorkelling spots include Flat Rocks, which boasts numerous large rock pools, and The Caves, which is accessible at low tide when a large pool opens out to the sea. The marine life of these cool waters is considered special due to the unusual set of environmental conditions. The intertidal sandstone reefs of the area boast the highest recorded diversity of intertidal and subtidal invertebrates in eastern Victoria. The large number of seaweed species produces an underwater patchwork of greens, blue-greens, browns and reds while seagrass meadows and sandy bays provide further important habitats. These diverse environments support many marine animals including seastars, featherstars, crabs, snails, and up to 87 species of fish. Resting under the rock ledges of Eagles Nest and Twin Reefs, Port Jackson sharks can be found, with southern rock lobsters hiding in the clefts and zebra fish, sweep and wrasse darting in and out of the seaweed. Cape Paterson is becoming well known for its weedy sea dragon colonies. Humpback and southern right whales and sub-Antarctic fur seals can also be spotted during the year. Easily accessed by land, there is a launching point at Cape Paterson for boat access to further explore the watery wonders of the park.