You are here

Home > Park management > Environment > Science and adaptive management > Marine research > Mapping Wilsons Promontory MNP

Mapping Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park

Underwater sand dunes and 85-90m deep holes

Underwater sand dunes and 85-90m deep holes

Photo by: Unknown LDAP UserParks Victoria

Location: Mapping Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park

Full seafloor map

Full seafloor map

Photo by: Unknown LDAP UserParks Victoria

Location: Mapping Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park

Significance of Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park

Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park (MNP) is the largest protected area in Victoria’s Marine National Park system and is the only MNP in the Flinders bioregion. The Wilsons Promontory MNP supports a variety of habitats including shallow subtidal reefs, deep subtidal reefs, intertidal rocky shores, sandy beaches, seagrass, subtidal soft substrates and expansive pelagic areas. These habitats support a number of unique and important species and communities. Wilsons Promontory marks the mixing zone of warmer waters of the eastern Australian coast and the colder waters of Bass Strait to the west, which drives the high species richness and diversity observed as part of Parks Victoria’s research and monitoring programs.

Marine Mapping Partnership with Deakin University

Good park management requires a sound understanding of the natural values that occur within the park. Parks Victoria has been involved in several projects to map marine habitats in the Marine National Park System across the state. Until recently only a small proportion (<10%) of the 150km2 area of Wilsons Promontory MNP had been mapped.

Deakin University recently launched its own research vessel Yolla, equipped with the latest generation Kongsberg multibeam sonar.

Yolla - Deakin University's research vessel

In partnership with Parks Victoria, Deakin has provided complete seafloor bathymetry and backscatter information for the park for the very first time.

The data collected so far clearly shows the effects of the strong tidal currents in the area and has revealed in great detail:

  • Uncharted granite reef formations and large areas of what appear to be previously unknown low profile reef;
  • Complex dune systems including a 30 metre high underwater sand dune;
  • Long sand spits up to several km long;
  • Several deep scoured depressions up to 90 metres deep; 
  • Channels which may have been waterways during the last ice age up until about 14,000 years ago when some of this area was part of the land bridge between the mainland and Tasmania;
  • Historic shipwrecks such as the international cargo and passenger vessel Carpentaria, which ran aground in 1885 on what is now called Carpentaria Rocks.

Historic shipwreck, the Carpentaria

The data is now being processed and will be used to prioritise ground-truthing which will be integrated with sonar products for benthic habitat characterisation and species distribution modelling.

For more information

Article in The Age

Centre for Whale Research – Mapping Paradise video

Seal and seabird research at the Prom by Deakin University

Under the Lens partnership with Museum Victoria (including Wilsons Prom)

Marine Natural Values (PDF, 10.9MB) report for Wilsons Prom Marine National Park.

Click to view the news RSS feed.

Young environmentalists inspire peers to protect and conserve

01 Sep 2017

Over 200 students from schools around Mornington Peninsula and surrounds will come together on Thursday 7th September to explore solutions for global and local challenges during an innovative environmental youth leadership conference at Point Nepean National Park.The national award-winning Kids Teaching Kids Week showcases how youth across Australia learn from…

View all latest news

What's on

Click to view RSS Feed

What was that?

15 Sep 2017 8:00pm - 31 Oct 2017 9:30pm

This play is set in the 19 century and based on the true story of the Chirnside family. Brothers Thomas and Andrew Chirnside came out from Scotland to Australia in 1839. Told by two fictitious characters, Maggie, the head maid and Mr Duncan the butler, you will be transported to…

Click to view RSS Feed

Glen Nayook Working Bee

24 Sep 2017 9:00am-11:00am

You are cordially invited to attend Friends of Glen Nayook working bee which will concentrate on cleaning up the carpark area. Please bring your own tools such as rakes and gloves. Coffee and tea will be provided after the working bee.

Click to view RSS Feed

Discovery Program

25 Sep 2017 - 6 Oct 2017

Parks Victoria’s Discovery program encourages children and adults to explore Victoria’s parks with a Ranger. Programs run every school holidays across the state and include a range of interactive and fun activities.Highlights of the September School Holidays Discovery Program at Wilsons Promontory National Park include:Join in our interactive Bioquest challenge…

Click to view RSS Feed

Junior Ranger Program

25 Sep 2017 12:00am - 6 Oct 2017 12:00am

Parks Victoria's Junior Ranger Program offers fun ranger-guided activities in parks. Discover hidden worlds, learn about Victoria's wildlife and amazing natural and cultural heritage.