Marine protected areas
In 2002, the very best samples of Victoria’s marine biodiversity including rocky reefs, seagrass meadows, and ocean beaches were hand-picked to be protected forever.
Victoria established one of the world’s first representative system of fully protected 13 large marine national parks and 11 smaller marine sanctuaries. Parks Victoria was appointed as the managers of these parks.
People often think about tropical coral and warm water when we talk about Australia’s marine life, but here in Victoria we have some of the rarest and most diverse habitats in the world. We work with partners and volunteers to manage Victoria’s marine protected areas not just because these places offer us a place to enjoy, or because they contribute to a healthy liveable environment, but because these places are important. They’re beautiful and rare and brimming with life.
Management of marine protected areas
Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) span Victoria’s five marine bioregions and aim to conserve and protect ecological processes, habitats and associated flora and fauna. Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries are “no-take” areas, while the other Marine and Coastal Parks, Marine Parks and a Marine Reserve are managed or multiple uses.
Parks Victoria manages MPAs using an asset-led and objectives-based approach, which includes clear and measurable statements of desired condition of the natural assets they were established to conserve, and acceptable levels of threat to those assets. This asset-led approach to management sits within an Adaptive Management Framework, which is a structured way of learning by doing.
Explore Victoria’s 24 marine national parks and sanctuaries
Marine deep dive
7 unexpected things found in our parks
Meet some of Victoria's unique marine life
Kelp forests recovering after urchin culls
Parks Victoria Technical Series
Take a virtual dive
360 video: Swim with the seals at Gabo Island
360 video: Fly over Wilsons Prom
A guided tour of Victorias Marine Protected Areas
Rockpool ramble at Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary
360 video: Spider Crabs at Port Philip Bay
Watch the recordings of our special 2022 webinar series in celebration of the twenty-year anniversary of Victoria’s Marine National Parks.
The webinars will take you on a journey beneath the waves to learn more about our local marine environments, find out what is being done to help look after these special places in the sea, and meet some of the wonderful people involved in caring for them.
The weird and wonderful life of underwater parks
Join Dr Mark Norman, Chief Conservation Scientist and internationally-renowned marine expert, and hear from marine rangers from across the state, sharing stories about Victoria’s weird and wonderful underwater species.View recording on YouTube
From little things big things grow
This webinar will provide an overview of how Victoria's marine protected areas have evolved over time and what we now know about these special places in the sea.View recording on YouTube
Searching for urchin
Over the past decade there has been a significant loss of these kelp forest through overgrazing by native sea urchins. This webinar will explore current issues and program underway to try and manage their impacts.View recording on YouTube
Victoria's marine biodiversity
As part of celebrating Biodiversity Month this webinar will provide an overview of the spectacular diversity of animals, plants and habitats found in Victoria’s Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries.View recording on YouTube
Get on board volunteering for our marine national parks
Find out from some of our volunteer marine champions about how you can get involved and make a difference for our local marine life.View recording on YouTube
20 years on - what have we learned
Meet some of the hard-working Parks Victoria Rangers that care for Victoria’s Marine National Park system and find out why they love these underwater parks.View recording on YouTube
Get wet in Victoria's marine national parks
This webinar will introduce you to some of the amazing places on our coast to explore, while also learning how to keep yourself safe and comfortable in the water.View recording on YouTube