South East

With scenery ranging from tall cliffs and towering dunes to the long white beaches that separate the sea from the estuarine environment of the Coorong, the South East’s marine parks protect some of our most beautiful coast. The area features high-energy surf beaches, platform reefs and freshwater lakes such as Piccaninnie Ponds, which produce a unique mix of salt and fresh water and has been listed as a wetland of international significance.

This area is a paradise for divers, bird watchers, surf fishers and paddlers. It has offshore reefs of varying depths and the opportunity to dive for crustaceans such as rock lobster and abalone.

Fishing for scale fish and crustaceans is vital to the area, both as a livelihood and as a pastime. Fishers will continue to be able to take advantage of the area’s bounty, while sanctuary zones provide a retreat area for all types of marine life to breed, feed and grow to maturity.

The Lower South East Marine Park is also home to South Australia’s only giant kelp forest and important seagrass beds that shelter and feed so many of our fish species in the early stages of their lives.

View the South East regional brochure (2.29mb pdf)

Significant species

Pygmy blue whale
The South East area represents an important feeding ground for the endangered pygmy blue whale. These solitary whales feed on krill and grow up to 24m long. There may be as few as 1200 left in the world.

Southern rock lobster
The South East is a centre for the southern rock lobster fishery.

Giant kelp forest
South Australia’s only giant kelp forest is found in the sea off the Coorong. Giant kelp forests have national protection as endangered ecosystems and shelter a range of other marine life including reef fish, sea snails, sea urchins, algae and crabs.

Parks in the South East region: