Jervis Bay Marine Park
Established in 1998, the Jervis Bay Marine Park is one of the oldest marine parks in NSW. It covers an area of approximately 22,000 hectares including the semi-enclosed waters of Jervis Bay and over 100kms of coastline and adjacent ocean, extending from Kinghorn Point in the north to Sussex Inlet in the south. The tidal waters of Currambene Creek, Moona Moona Creek, Carama Imlet, Wowly Gully, Callala creek and Currarong Creek are also included in the park.
The waters inside Jervis Bay are influenced by the warm water flowing south in the East Australian Current and cooler waters flowing north from the Bass Strait, as well as periodic upwellings of cold nutrient- rich waters from the nearby continental shelf. The dramatic range of landforms within the marine park provide the framework for a variety of habitats including deep water cliffs, exposed and sheltered sandy beaches, rock platforms, rocky reefs, soft-sediment bottoms, kelp forests, small estuaries, expansive seagrass meadows and mangrove forests.
The area supports more than 230 species of marine plants and hundreds of species of invertebrates. Over 216 species of reef fish, sharks and rays occur around the shallow reefs of the marine park. Endangered grey nurse sharks can be found in several locations and are a popular attraction for SCUBA divers. The harmless Port Jackson shark (below left), one of the oldest known living sharks, form large breeding aggregations among the shallow reefs and seagrass beds, and their empty egg cases (below right) can be found washed up on the shores of the bay in their hundreds.
Some of the most extensive seagrass beds in NSW are found in Jervis Bay. These help to stabilise surrounding soft sediments and contribute to the crystal clear water for which Jervis Bay is known. These areas are commonly called "nursery areas" and provide food and shelter for many recreationally and commercially important fish species such as bream, mullet, snapper and flathead and calamari.
Several threatened shorebirds use habitat within the marine park for foraging, roosting or nesting, including Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers (right) and the Hooded Plover. In all, over 120 species of resident and migratory birds including shorebirds, waders, waterfowl, birds of prey occur in the region.
Marine mammals are a common sight in the marine park. Humpback and southern right whales attract many spectators during their seasonal migrations and often enter the bay with young calves to rest. The northern-most colony of Australian and New Zealand fur seals can be found at Drum and Drumsticks and bottlenose and common dolphins are also regularly observed throughout the marine park.
Jervis Bay Marine Park Education Kit Downloads
Introduction 1.29 MB
Module 3: Estuaries 2.35 MB
Module 4: Sea Country 2.91 MB
Additional Fact Sheets:
Shipwrecks and Maritime Heritage
History and Management 1.90 MB
What’s Special about the Jervis Bay Marine Park 1.38 MB
Caring for the Marine Environment 1.39 MB
Slideshow: Plants and Animals of the Jervis Bay Marine Park 2.78 MB
Please contact us to request a copy of the education kit on CD-Rom or for further information about taking your students on a marine parks school excursion. The CD-Rom includes resources for all six marine parks.