Port Stephens–Great Lakes Marine Park extends from Cape Hawke near Forster south to Birubi Beach at the northern end of Stockton Beach.
The Marine Park is approximately 980 km2and includes:
The park was established in December 2005 and its zones and management rules commenced in 2007. Changes to the rules regarding fishing from some ocean beaches and headlands were introduced in June 2018.
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The marine park contains a diverse range of habitats, including beaches, seagrass beds, mangroves, saltmarsh and open waters, which all support distinct groups of plants and animals.
The extensive and diverse estuaries and shorelines include remarkable features such as:
The park offers quality recreational fishing and productive commercial fishing grounds, aquaculture, many popular scuba diving sites, and regionally significant tourism activities such as whale and dolphin watching.
Its diverse marine life includes many dolphin, turtle, fish, invertebrate, seabird and seaweed species, and threatened species such as the Gould's petrel, little tern, Greynurse Shark, Black Rockcod and green turtle.
A number of significant Aboriginal cultural and spiritual sites within or adjacent to the park include middens, burial sites and traditional campsites. Aboriginal people's association with the sea and land in the area dates back thousands of years and local people still gather food in the traditional way.
Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park offers plenty of activities and exploring. Check out what to do and see: