Marine life

Maori Cod

The park's diverse marine life includes many dolphin, turtle, fish, invertebrate, seabird and seaweed species.

  • More than 200 fish species, including the grey nurse shark, great white shark and black rockcod.
  • Three sea-turtle species – loggerhead, green and hawksbill.
  • Mud flats and beaches support more than120 migratory and resident shore birds, including the little tern and the bush stone-curlew. Summer migrants from overseas include the Mongolian plover and grey-tailed tattler.
    • Two common dolphins you may encounter are the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the common dolphin (Delphinus delphis).
    • Bottlenose dolphins are very social animals that live together in pods. Inside the Port, they can often be seen travelling, feeding or socialising in the shallow waters between Nelson Bay and Corrie Island.
  • Offshore, the common dolphins are regularly seen riding the bow waves of boats.  They are one of the most abundant dolphin species.
  • The park is a fantastic place to see the humpback whales on their migrations north and south. The whales leave their rich feeding grounds in the Antarctic each autumn and travel north to their breeding and calving grounds on Australia's east and west coasts.  Around this time each year, both the park's headlands and tour boat operators provide ideal platforms to watch the whales pass by.

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