Point Cooke Marine Sanctuary
Point Cooke Marine Sanctuary is located in the north east corner of Port Phillip Bay, a mere 30 minute drive from Melbourne. The park protects 290ha of a typical Port Phillip western shoreline which makes it the largest park in Victoria’s system of marine national parks and sanctuaries. The park is largely protected from the hype of the suburbs by the coastal dunes and adjacent wetlands of the Point Cook Coastal Park and Cheetham Wetlands. Off the coast a series of basalt cliffs rise from the muddy seafloor, the remains of a larval flow that poured across the plains thousands of years ago.
A combination of narrow sandy beaches, rocky reefs and mud flats, this park hosts a huge diversity of marine and coastal life. The predominant alga on the reef is a thick brown alga, Ecklonia radiata. Within its fronds it houses countless tiny marine animals and plants. Prickly sea urchins are abundant near crevices, while the exposed sections of rock support a range of life including masses of tube worms, carpets of anemones and meadows of tufting coralline and filamentous algae. In darker corners, sponges grow plentifully. Small skates and sharks patrol the surrounding seagrass beds, feasting on bivalves lying in the sediments. These seagrass beds also act as a nursery for a variety of fish species. Pods of bottlenose dolphins visit the sanctuary and in summer, swarms of jellyfish pulsate over the reef.
Point Cooke Marine Sanctuary and the surrounding Point Cook Coastal Park and Cheetham Wetlands are protected as a Ramsar site. This means that the area has international significance due to its importance for migratory wader birds. The sanctuary provides a feeding are for many bird species including the Double-banded Plover and the Lesser Golden Plover.
This park is a short drive from Melbourne and is easy to access via the shore or boat (launching point in Williamstown or Werribee).
Aboriginal Traditional Owners
Parks Victoria acknowledges the Aboriginal Traditional Owners of Victoria - including its parks and reserves. Through their cultural traditions, Aboriginal people maintain their connection to their ancestral lands and waters.
Indigenous tradition indicates that the sanctuary is part of Country of Boonwurrung.
27 Feb 2014
Inspiring children and their families to get out and connect with nature will be a focus of Parks Victoria’s celebrations during Parks Week from 3-9 March 2014. Parks Victoria’s Chief Executive, Dr Bill Jackson said this is a great time of year to enjoy all that Victoria’s parks have to…
12 Mar 2014
The Grey-headed Flying-fox is the largest flying-fox (also known as a fruit bat) species in Australia. Each month the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology conduct the monthly bat count at Yarra Bend Park at dusk on the Wednesday evening closest to the risen full moon. This data is critical…
15 Mar 2014 9:00am - 16 Mar 2014 5:00pm
The Back to Steiglitz community art group will have an exhibition in St Paul's church, Steiglitz. There will be 4 artists displaying their works in a variety of mediums and styles. Historic buildings will be open to the public. The Back to Steiglitz group will provide food and drinks for…
16 Mar 2014 2:00pm-4:00pm
To celebrate Cultural Diversity Week Mornington Peninsula Shire and Parks Victoria invites you to a screening of Alias Ruby Blade - A story of love and revolution The acclaimed documentary film follows Kirsty Sword Gusmao who aspired to be a filmmaker and instead became a revolutionary. Whilst working for the…
23 Mar 2014 9:00am-3:00pm
Help create koala habitat and learn about koalas. Enjoy a day helping Koalas in the wild. Search for koalas, monitor their behaviour, remove weeds from their habitat and take records of all other wildlife seen, all in the company of a highly experienced Koala Researcher. Part of the day is…
Happy International Women’s Day! Photo: Ranger Deb Cross at the Gil Groggin Fir...Happy International Women’s Day! Photo: Ranger Deb Cross at the Gil Groggin Fire north of Buchan.View post | Sat, 08 Mar 2014 09.42
The Mt Zero area in Grampians National Park has re-opened in time for the long w...The Mt Zero area in Grampians National Park has re-opened in time for the long weekend to provide visitors with a walking experience in the Northern Grampians. Many areas in the park are now open after the fire in January. Full details here http://ow.ly/ukBMTView post | Fri, 07 Mar 2014 17.11
Thanks to all our Facebook friends who have sent in their favourite park photos...Thanks to all our Facebook friends who have sent in their favourite park photos this week to help inspire your next park visit. Enjoy your local parks and beyond this long weekend to help celebrate the end of Parks Week.Friends Parks Week photosThanks to all our Facebook friends who have sent in their favourite park photos this week to help inspire your next park visit. Enjoy your local parks and beyond this long weekend to help celebrate the end of Parks Week.View post | Fri, 07 Mar 2014 13.45
Introducing the newest recruit to join the Werribee Park horticultural team, See...Introducing the newest recruit to join the Werribee Park horticultural team, See Me. He is from the Karen people of Burma and lived for 15 years in a refugee camp before coming to Australia. See Me is being sponsored by Matchworks and will be working with us for the next 11 months while he completes a Certificate Three in Horticulture. We’re celebrating the many park connections with Victoria’s rich multicultural community during Parks Week. http://ow.ly/ui2jQView post | Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16.14
Clean Up Australia Day events at Kalimna Park and Golden Point Reserve last week...Clean Up Australia Day events at Kalimna Park and Golden Point Reserve last weekend resulted in 4 cubic metres of rubbish being removed from the bush in and around Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park. We would like to say a big thank you to all the volunteers for their efforts on the day. http://ow.ly/uhMnvView post | Thu, 06 Mar 2014 11.43