Discovery Bay Marine National Park
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Discovery Bay is Victoria’s marine gateway to the Great Australian Bight and the immense expanse of the Southern Ocean. Situated 20km west of Portland and covering 2770ha, this park protects part of the largest coastal basalt formation in western Victoria. These basalt rocks were formed from lava which cooled and hardened over the last million years. The park is framed by the cliffs of Cape Bridgewater to the east and the white sand dunes of Discovery Bay to the north.
The dynamic history of the coast is also depicted underwater. In deep water (30-60m) there are low reefs forms from ancient shorelines or dunes when the sea-levels were much lower than today. Between these reefs, there are plains of sand winnowed into symmetrical ridges by the endless movement of the water.
There is a rich diversity of fascinating marine life within this park due to the cold, nutrient rich waters of the area. The deep calcarenite reefs support technicoloured sponge gardens whilst the shallower reefs are covered in a brown alga, Ecklonia radiata. One can find majestic fish and a diverse array of invertebrates including Southern Rock Lobster, Black-lip Abalone and gorgonians. The waters also support Great White Sharks and during the summer breeding season, Blue Whales.
Visitors can access this park from the shore or via boat (launching from Portland or Bridgewater Bay).
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 Gournditch-Mara people.
Further information is available from Aboriginal Affairs Victoria AAV and Native Title Services Victoria