Jawbone Marine Sanctuary
Address: Accessed via Bayview St, Williamstown, Victoria 3016
Freecall: 131 963
Jawbone Marine Sanctuary, named after its shape, is located in Williamstown and protects 30ha of coastal waters. The little promontory, west of the beach at Williamstown, has been fenced off from the rest of the world for over 80 years by a coastal rifle range. This forgotten and unspoilt place is now considered a haven for coastal and marine life right next to Melbourne.
Patches of all marine habitats from northern Port Phillip Bay are packed into this small area. On the west of the promontory, there is saltmarsh and the largest occurrence of mangroves within Port Phillip Bay. They also happen to be the only mangroves in Victoria which grow on a basalt coast. Offshore there are areas of fine clayey sand and patches of seagrass. The eastern side has a complete set of rocky environments. There are areas high up on the shore that only occasionally get wet from storm waves and submerged boulders and ledges that lie below the lowest tides. The soft basalt rock has weathered into smaller rocks and pools that support a full range of tidal life. In between the clay and rock lie some small sandy beaches.
Before you go
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Content: Parks Victoria
Located at Williamstown, adjacent to the former Williamstown Rifle Range.
Additional business information
Globe Fish have big eyes and fleshy lips and are also conspicuous by their covering of large yellow spines. These spines enable the Globe Fish to be masters at personal defence. Sucking in water, the fish inflate themselves into a ball and extend their spines outward to create an impenetrable shield. In the southern end of the bay it is not uncommon to see large schools of Globe Fish hovering over reefs. Globe fish feed on small molluscs as their plate-like teeth are effective at grinding shells.
Looking After the Park
For the protection of the marine environment, a number of activities are prohibited within the boundaries of Victoria's marine national parks and marine sanctuaries. No fishing, netting, spearing, taking or killing of marine life. All methods of fishing, from the shore or the sea, are prohibited.
Activities and attractions