The Arches Marine Sanctuary
The Arches Marine Sanctuary (48ha) is located offshore in 20m of water to the south of Port Campbell township. This area is characterised by high energy waves and cool water from the Southern Ocean that have also shaped the nearby Twelve Apostles.
Reefs within the Marine Sanctuary consists of spectacular dune limestone formations such as canyons, tunnels, arches, caverns, ledges and vertical sink holes in 19-25m of water which support a diverse range of algae, sponges, bryozoans, hydroids, gorgonians and sea stars characteristic of deeper Bass Strait waters.
The upper surfaces of the arches are covered with kelp and an understorey of red seaweeds while the undersides and canyon walls provide habitat for sessile invertebrates making this a spectacular dive site when conditions allow.
The walls are covered with arrangements of colourful creatures including large red and orange sea-fans that emerge vertically from the rock, stinging hydroids that form feather-like colonies, and delicate lace corals, sponges, and gelatinous tunicates of a variety of shapes and colours cover many surfaces.
Fish species seen here are typical of those found in western Victoria at places like the nearby Twelve Apostles Marine National Park, however The Arches Marine Sanctuary is also notable as an important site for Port Jackson Sharks that are frequently seen during the day sleeping under ledges within the park.
Things To Do
Diving at The Arches
Gibson Steps and Beach Walk
Twelve Apostles Overlook Trail
Tours and adventure experiences in parks
One of the best ways you can get into nature is with a Licensed Tour Operator.
There are more than 400 Licensed Tour Operators across Victoria who are ready and waiting to help you experience and connect with Victoria’s spectacular parks and waterways.
Discover more than 60 different types of nature-based experiences including hiking, mountain biking, boating, four-wheel driving, indigenous culture tours, birdwatching, surfing, diving and so much more.
Licensed Tour Operators know all the best places to go and will plan and prepare your visit to ensure you are safe and can enjoy your nature-based adventure to the fullest.