Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary
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Located at Aireys Inlet, this park protects 17ha of ocean waters and projects about 300m offshore. Composed of both hard basalt and rubbly limestone, the cliffs are full of caves and ledges. The shore is covered with boulders and offshore there are two large rocks: Eagle Rock and Table Rock. Table Rock has been levelled by incessant waves whereas Eagle Rock is a tall volcanic stack capped by limestone.
The intertidal and subtidal, basalt and sandstone reefs provide habitats for many species. The rock platforms are covered in the iconic brown seaweed Neptune’s Necklace which is unique to Australia and New Zealand. Within the rockpools you can find fascinating creatures such as octopus, chitons and decorator crabs. Offshore, Eagle Rock and Table Rock are fringed with swirling Bull Kelp and in deeper waters colourful sea tulips and encrusting sponges can be found. The beautiful habitat provided by these species supports a vast array of marine life from wrasse and mullet to Cat Sharks, Port Jackson Sharks, skates and rays. Many birds use the area as feeding and roosting habitat and at certain times of year you may also be able to spot whales passing through the area.
Along the shore, there are ancient Aboriginal cooking and feasting sites called middens. The middens in this area date back over 2,000 years. Within them, one can find remnants of a range of molluscs including Turban Snails, Elephant Snails, mussels and even Maori Octopus. These invertebrates were critical food sources for coastal Aboriginal people.
This park can be reached from shore or via boat (launching point in Urquhart’s Bluff, Point Roadknight and Airey’s Inlet Rivermouth Beach). Car parking is available on Eagle Rock Parade, Reserve Road and Inlet Crescent. Access from Eagle Rock Parade is via stairs only.
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 suggest that a variety of indigenous communities have an association with this coastal region including the Wadawarrung or Wathaurong, the Kirrae Wurrung, Framlington Aboriginal Trust and Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative and Southern Otways Indigenous Group.