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Sanctuary zones

Sanctuary zones are ‘look but don't take' areas managed solely for nature conservation and low impact recreation and tourism. Sanctuary zones provide the highest level of protection for vulnerable or protected species and important habitats, so extractive activities like recreational fishing, commercial fishing and collecting are excluded. The public is encouraged to visit and enjoy sanctuary zones, with the following activities very welcome:

whale breaching
You may scuba dive
throughout all marine park zones.
Photo © Ann Storrie
  • swimming
  • snorkelling
  • scuba diving
  • beach walking
  • boating
  • water sports such as surfing, kayaking, windsurfing, kite surfing, stand up paddle boarding
  • low impact tourism like whale watching and sea lion viewing.

Sanctuary zones:

  • are fantastic places to enjoy snorkelling or diving, as they have abundant marine wildlife
  • protect the full range of marine plants and animals in a particular area, not just fish
  • protect important habitats such coral reefs, seagrass meadows, mangroves, rocky shores, sandy sea floors and are often situated alongside islands where seabirds, turtles, sea lions and penguins go ashore to breed
  • provide safe places for threatened marine animals and protect nursery areas for rock lobsters and schooling areas for fish
  • provide sites for scientists to monitor relatively undisturbed marine environments, which they can compare to adjacent areas where activities like fishing are allowed.