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Cape Howe Marine National Park

Sea Squirt (photo: Mark Norman)
from Parks Victoria
Sea Squirt (photo: Mark Norman)
from Parks Victoria
Half-banded Sea Perch (photo: Mark Norman)
from Parks Victoria

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Park Statistics

Snorkelling/SCUBA Diving

Situated in the far east of Victoria alongside the border with New South Wales, Cape Howe National Park is 4,050ha. This park protects habitats that support a mixture of cool water southern marine species and warmer waters species more common in the north. The habitats found in the park include kelp forests, granite and sandstone reefs, sandy beaches and soft sediments. The reefs range from intertidal to subtidal, up to depths of approximately 50m. The rocky habitats have complex form and structure and are constantly exposed to the prevailing easterly swell.

The marine life of the area is fascinating and diverse because species of both warm and cool areas can reside here. Beneath the dense canopy created by the brown seaweed Phyllospora is a beautiful underwater community of sea squirts, coralline algae, sea tulips, sponges, colourful seastars and many large shells. Tiny brittlestars, crustaceans and brightly coloured worms can be found within the aggregations of sea squirts.

Within the deeper waters there are dense sponge gardens composed of sponges, hydroids, gorgonian corals and sea whips. These magnificent habitats are alive with fish including wrasse, herring cale and sunfish. Hundreds of Humpback Whales pass by Cape Howe on their migration from Antarctica and sometimes they are followed by a pod of Orcas.

You might also see Little Penguins which forage at the rook on Gabo Island.


Cape Howe Marine National Park is accessible via a long and remote walk in on foot or via boat (launching point in Mallacoota).

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 traditions indicate that this park is part of the Country of the Bidwell Indigenous people and that other Indigenous people, including the Yuin Nation, also have an association with the coastal region of this area.

Further information is available from Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and Native Title Services Victoria.

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Popular things to do

  • Snorkelling and Diving The best way to experience the fascinating underwater world at Cape Howe Marine Park is to jump in the water…