Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park
Port Stephens – Great Lakes Marine Park extends from Cape Hawke near Forster and south to Birubi Beach at the northern end of Stockton Beach.

Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

The Marine Park is approximately 980km2 and includes:


  • Offshore waters to the three nautical mile limit of NSW waters.


  • All of Port Stephens, the Karuah River, the Myall River, Myall and Smiths

       Lakes, and their creeks and tributaries to the tidal limit.

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.

The extensive and diverse estuaries and shorelines include remarkable features
such as:

  • The state's largest:
          - Drowned river valley (Port Stephens).
    Brackish barrier lake system (Myall Lakes).
          - Intermittently open and closed lake (Smiths Lake).

  • Broughton Island, the state's second largest island, provides important habitat

       for the threatened Greynurse Shark and Black Rockcod.

  • Cabbage Tree Island (John Gould Nature Reserve), the primary breeding site

       for the threatened seabird - Gould's petrel.

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.

Heterobranchia - snails and slugs, which includes marine, aquatic and terrestria gastropod molluscs.

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.

For more information, Click below.