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Understanding parks

Marine parks

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South Australia’s marine parks help protect and conserve marine biological diversity and habitats, natural and cultural features and allow for ecologically sustainable development.

Some of our marine life is found nowhere else on earth. South Australia boasts iconic species such as the southern right whale, bottlenose dolphin, leafy sea dragon, blue devil fish, great white shark, Australian pelican, little penguin, Australian sea lion and giant cuttlefish.

Marine park sanctuary zones are the core conservation areas, just like national parks on land, protecting vital feeding, breeding, nursery and resting areas for our marine plants and animals. South Australia is fortunate to have a state-wide network of 19 marine parks with 83 sanctuary zones. Visit the marine parks website for more information.

Where can I visit a marine park?

Just a short drive from Adelaide is Encounter Marine Park - South Australia’s most visited marine park. Here you can go whale watching, diving on shipwrecks, kayaking with dolphins, snorkeling from a reef, boating, fishing, or you can take a tour.

Many national parks are alongside marine parks, where the beach meets the ocean. Find coastal national parks with water activities by using our Find a Park tool. Refine your search by ‘Diving’, ‘Fishing’, ‘Kayaking/canoeing’, ‘Snorkeling’, ‘Surfing’, ‘Swimming’ or ‘Whale watching’ then choose the parks you want to explore.