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The coast

Pied Oyster Catcher (photo: Fiona Smith)

Pied Oyster Catcher (photo: Fiona Smith)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Coast Tea-tree (photo: Matt Hoskins)

Coast Tea-tree (photo: Matt Hoskins)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Moonah tree (Photo: Peter McConchie)

Moonah tree (Photo: Peter McConchie)

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Ninety Mile Beach

Ninety Mile Beach

2 years ago from Parks Victoria

Location: The coast

Often lashed by the wind laden with salt spray, the coast is very dynamic and a difficult environment for living things, with some of its physical features such as dunes and cliffs subject to continual change. Exposure to the power of large waves generated in the Southern Ocean has produced the rugged, eroded landforms that characterise much of our western coastline. In more sheltered areas there are a wide range of other habitats.

Wind, salt, and unstable low nutrient soils made largely of sand that hold little water are the critical influences on the vegetation of the coast and plant communities growing in these areas have evolved a range of strategies to help them cope with this challenging environment.

Plant communities typically found along the coast are:

  • Coastal Dune Scrub –includes plants well suited to the most exposed section of the coast and include many pioneering dune binding plants such as Hairy Spinifex (Spinifex hirsutus)
  • Coastal Moonah Woodlands – often growing on calcareous dunes and cliffs on the coast dominated by the Coastal Moonah (Melaleuca lanceolata subsp. lanceolata)
  • Coastal Banksia Woodland – restricted to near coastal localities on secondary dunes behind Coastal Dune Scrub, these areas are dominated by a woodland over story of Banksia tees
  • Coastal Saltmarsh – in flatter areas of low energy coastlines some areas are dominated by succulent plants that can cope with high salinity soils and some inundation and exposure to salt water and poor drainage.

More about the coast

  • Hardy shrubs such as Coast Tea-tree, Coast Beard-heath, Seaberry Saltbush and Coast Wattle occur on secondary dunes or exposed rock headlands
  • Moonah, Boobialla, Drooping She-oak and Coast Banksia are found on the stabilised dunes and swales on the landward side
  • The most prominent group of large coast dwelling animals are birds such as Orange-bellied Parrot and Pied Oystercatcher which depend directly on saltmarsh plants or a wide range of invertebrates (animals without backbones) for food
  • The Little Penguin and Short-tailed Shearwaters (Muttonbirds) nest in burrows in the dunes.

Key Threats

  • Issues related to impacts from increasing visitor use, combined with edge effects from urban development are key threats to this ecosystem.
  • Rising sea levels and greater frequency of storm events due to climate change may impact on vegetation, estuaries as well as coastal assets.

Where to see the coast and intertidal shores

Parks Victoria Ranger Kelton Goyne with Acacia linearifolia Click to view the news RSS feed.

New Wattle Species for Victoria

29 Aug 2014

A species of wattle not previously found in Victoria has been discovered in the north east, in Mount Lawson State Park near the New South Wales border. Acacia linearifolia is a wattle with very narrow, long and straightphyllodes or leaves. Local Parks Victoria Ranger Kelton Goyne discovered about six trees…

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Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

18 Sep 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Enjoy the great natural beauty of the Billy’s Creek area and learn some local history while enjoying a free guided walk run by Friends of Morwell National Park. The park is home to many species of native orchids, marsupials and birds, as well as relics of past land usage. Billy’s…

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Heart Foundation Walking - Park Walk

19 Sep 2014 10:00am-11:00am

Combining rare coastal woodlands and a beautiful coastline, this loop walk immerses the walker in natural beauty and a real sense of remoteness. Come along and enjoy this free guided walk by the Friends of Edwards Point Coastal Park.

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Kooyoora Wildflower Show

20 Sep 2014 12:00am - 21 Sep 2014 12:00am

Local wildflower display, bus tours, presentations, photographic competition, plant and local products sales, activities and more. Lunch, morning and afternoon tea will be available. Location: Inglewood Eucy Museum 20 Grant Street North, Inglewood

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Please note there is no Hanami Day event this year

20 Sep 2014 12:00am - 21 Sep 2014 12:00am

There will be no Hanami Day event this year, but visitors are encouraged to enjoy the gardens anytime during the cherry blossom flowering season that usually occurs across 2-3 weeks in September. Good places to enjoy the flowers include: George Tindale Memorial Gardens, Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens and the National…