Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park
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Located 30km south of Sale and adjacent to Gippsland Lakes Coastal Park, this park covers 5km of coastline. This untamed stretch of coastline runs alongside the slender strip of sand dunes that protect the Gippsland Lakes.
Beneath the water, vast plains of sand stretch in every direction. However, the sand is not as monotonous as it may appear; wave action and currents sort sand particles into different groups and layers whilst surface features, such as mounds and ripples, are a result of animal and wave action. The coast does not have any rocky headlands or platforms, and offshore there are only a few ribbons of reef which are periodically covered by sand. These formed as shorelines or sand dunes during ice-ages when the sea level was lower than today.
The huge subtidal sandy expanses characteristic of the area, are teeming with marine life. In fact, they are known to have one of the highest species diversity levels of any place on the planet, with 860 species discovered within 10 square meters. These sand dwelling critters can include tube building worms, small molluscs and many tiny crustaceans.
Larger animals are less common, but octopuses, brittle stars, crabs and an unusual coral species can be found. You may also see a Stargazer peering up at you from the sand or many pelagic (free-swimming) fish species feeding on the smorgasbord of tiny animals within the sand. Young Great White Sharks can be found in the area chasing snapper, one of their favourite foods.
Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park is accessible by road or via boat (launching point in Seaspray or McGauran’s Beach).
Things to do
This park is a fantastic place to visit for nature walks as the beaches are long and beautiful. Visitors also enjoy swimming, surfing and boating in the area. Snorkelling and diving will introduce people to an underwater world very different to many of Victoria’s other Marine Protected Areas.
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 this park is part of the Country of the Gunaikurnai indigenous people.