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Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary

from Parks Victoria
Spot the Pipefish in the Seagrass
from Parks Victoria
from Parks Victoria
from Parks Victoria
from Parks Victoria

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Snorkelling/SCUBA Diving

Just past Apollo Bay, off the world famous Great Ocean Road, Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary protects 12ha of ocean waters. About 150m offshore, this sanctuary protects a reef system known as Little Henty Reef. Two sections of the reef, the inner and outer reef, are usually exposed and separated by a narrow channel known as ‘The Gap’. Composed of sandstone they support wonderful intertidal and subtidal reefs which are packed with sea life.

Visitors exploring the intertidal reef may come across many invertebrates including sea snails, tubeworms and abalone. In slightly deeper waters there are beautiful seaweed gardens including towering Bull Kelp forests and beds of delicate green and red species. Between the two small islands, calmer waters support colourful soft corals, sponge gardens and sea urchins. The diverse range of habitats provides resources for a huge range of species including Australian Fur Seals, schools of Zebra Fish and many species of wrasse.


Accessible either by a short swim from shore or via boat (launching point in Apollo Bay).

Please note that access to the reef is permitted only on Little Henty reef (closest to the shore). Access to the outer reef is restricted and is for management purposes only due to the Australian Fur Seals that inhabit the reef.

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 sanctuary is part of the Country of the Gadubanud people. Other indigenous communities such as the Kirrae Wurrung, Framlingham Aboriginal Trust, Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative and the Southern Otways Indigenous Group have an association with the coastal region of this area.  Middens near the sanctuary containing turban shells and abalone demonstrate the use of resources from this area. Australian fur seals were hunted by many coastal Indigenous communities around Australia and were likely to have been a significant resource.

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

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  • Enjoy the water This sanctuary is an excellent site for both scuba diving and snorkelling. Closer to shore is a great site for…