Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary
Address: Great Ocean Rd, Marengo, Victoria 3233
Freecall: 131 963
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.
Before you go
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Content: Parks Victoria
The Sanctuary is located near Apollo Bay close to the shore at Marengo.
Additional business information
Geological, Hydrological and Landform Features
Henty and Little Henty Islands have been flattened over thousands of years by the waves and now barely show above the surface. The topmost parts of the reefs are exposed at low tide and still visible at high tide. The substrate is relatively smooth cretaceous sandstone surrounded by sand. The reef edges consist of crevices and ledges contributing to habitat diversity. Average depth around the reefs is 5 metres with a depth range to approximately 16 metres. The northern side of the reef is protected from prevailing swells. Strong currents flow in the channel between the reefs. Because of their configuration, the reefs provide a wide variety of microhabitats in a small area. It is the only offshore reef sheltered from prevailing swell along the Great Ocean Road between Anglesea and Peterborough.
For your own safety, only undertake activities appropriate to your skills and abilities. Take all necessary precautions, be aware of changing conditions, and watch for potential hazards, such as rips. A number of Victorian marine animals are potentially harmful if not treated with respect and care, so ensure that you familiarise yourself with these species. Sunburn and hypothermia are also potentially harmful but easily avoided. SCUBA diving is a potentially high-risk activity and should only be undertaken by appropriately qualified people that have completed recognised training and certification. Victoria?s cool water environments can be extremely challenging to those used to diving in warmer waters so ensure that local knowledge is sought before undertaking a dive in a new location. Dive charter operators can provide some of the best advice on diving in Victoria.
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