Point Addis Marine National Park
Rugged sandstone cliffs overlook the Point Addis Marine National Park that covers 4,600 hectares from the Victorian State limit at sea, along 10 kilometres of coastline between Anglesea and Jan Juc. This Marine National Park is representative of the central Victorian coastline and is exposed to the intense wave action that arrives on this coast largely from the southwest. The waves are a major part of this environment and shape the coastal landforms as well as the animals and plants that live in the area.
The Point Addis Marine National Park also includes the world famous Bells Beach, a beach noted for its waves and surfing. Bells Beach features as one site for international surf competitions including the annual Rip Curl Classic.
Offshore, there are a number of small rocky reefs including Ingoldsby Reef, a popular local diving destination.
Things to Do
Surfing is a major activity within the Marine National Park and Bells Beach is home to international surfing competitions. Addiscott Beach is also popular for surfing.
Ingoldsby Reef is widely used as a popular location for diving.
The local Aboriginal people use the area surrounding the Pt. Addis Marine National Park for traditional practices of fishing and food collection. Middens are located along the shoreline and it is believed that Point Addis may be a burial area, however to date there has been no adequate archaeological survey.
There are two wrecks in this popular diving area. The Inverlochy was a Scottish built international cargo vessel wrecked in December 1902 on Ingoldsby Reef. It sits in about 4 - 7 metres on the side of the reef. The small cutter, or yacht, Naiad was also wrecked here in 1881.
Senator Wrasse (Pictilabrus laticlavius)
Inquisitive and ever active, the Senator Wrasse is one of the most beautiful kelp forest residents of the park area. They are carnivorous fish that hunt a wide range of small animals including snails, amphipods and crabs. The bright green males and reddish females can be seen busily slipping in and out of the kelp fronds. During the spring breeding season, male Senator Wrasse become territorial and you can see them swimming above the kelp, fins erect. Females release millions of eggs above the kelp and if these are successfully fertilised by the male, juveniles will float in the ocean current for two to three weeks. However, few survive this experience. Over 10 species of wrasse are found in southern Australian coastal waters.
Cowrie Snail (Cypraea comptoni)
Beautiful, yet shy and elusive in habit, cowrie snails can be found on reefs in the park feeding on sponges living on the underside of rocks. The snail can draw its skin-like mantle over its distinctive shell and the colour of the mantle assists with camouflage. At only 25 millimetres in length, this is one of the smaller cowries of the 77 found in Australian waters. It lays its eggs in a depression in the rocks and then protects them until they hatch by 'sitting' on them.
Looking After the Park
For the protection of the marine environment, a number of activities are prohibited within the boundaries of Victoria's marine national parks and marine sanctuaries. No fishing, netting, spearing, taking or killing of marine life. All methods of fishing, from the shore or the sea, are prohibited. As users of the marine environment, you can help minimise your impact on these areas by being mindful of the following points:
>>enjoy the marine environment without removing the plants and animals
>>minimise your impact while diving and snorkelling by:
>>being careful to avoid damage to marine life caused by fins
>>developing good skills in buoyancy control
>>securing all gauges and pressure hoses to avoid snagging them on objects
>>take any rubbish home with you - do not dump rubbish into the sea
>>avoid stressing marine life by not chasing or grabbing free-swimming animals
>>exercise great care if approached by large marine animals (including birds) & avoid blocking their paths if moving
>>take care where you anchor your boat (anchor in sand, rubble or mud, avoiding sensitive areas, and use mooring buoys where provided)
>>do not pollute the water with sewage - ensure that if your vessel has an onboard toilet that it has an approved sewage holding facility and that sewage is disposed of appropriately on land
>>take the time to learn more about Victoria's marine animals and plants and the habitats they depend upon
Remember, Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries are NO TAKE ENVIRONMENTS. All objects (artefacts), animals eg. fish and crustaceans, plants, and the seabed are totally protected.
For your own safety, only undertake activities appropriate to your skills and abilities. Take all necessary precautions, be aware of changing conditions, and watch for potential hazards, such as rips. A number of Victorian marine animals are potentially harmful if not treated with respect and care, so ensure that you familiarise yourself with these species. Sunburn and hypothermia are also potentially harmful but easily avoided.
SCUBA diving is a potentially high-risk activity and should only be undertaken by appropriately qualified people that have completed recognised training and certification. Victoria's cool water environments can be extremely challenging to those used to diving in warmer waters so ensure that local knowledge is sought before undertaking a dive in a new location. Dive charter operators can provide some of the best advice on diving in Victoria.
How to Get There
The Pt Addis Marine National Park is accessible from Bells Beach near Jan Juc. Stairs down the cliffs provide surfers with access to a range of breaks near Bells and nearby Winkipop Beaches.
From the Point Addis carpark steps lead down to beaches on both sides of the point.
From Anglesea the Marine National Park is approached along the beach, starting from the beach near the river. Care must be taken in walking this section of beach as the tide often comes in to the base of the cliffs.
Boat ramps are available at Fishermens Beach at Torquay.
Summer activities in the rockpools at both Point Addis and also at Bells Beach are popular for holiday makers, largely delivered through the Coast Action / Coastcare program. A number of private ecotourism companies conduct programs for schools within this area also.
Extensive interpretation of the use of this area by Aboriginal traditional owners is accessible within Ironbark Gully, near the beach at Point Addis.
Marine National Park and Marine Sanctuaries Resource Kit – This education resources kit contains a comprehensive collection of many materials produced by Parks Victoria in relation to the Marine National Park system including lesson ideas for teachers and links to other resources.
>>Angahook-Lorne State Park
>>Barwon Bluff Marine Sanctuary
>>Eagle Rock Marine Sanctuary
>>Point Danger Marine Sanctuary
Information for this National Park has been supplied courtesy of Parks Victoria