Just past Apollo Bay, off the world famous Great Ocean Road, Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary protects 12ha of ocean waters. About 150m offshore, this sanctuary protects a reef system known as Little Henty Reef. Two sections of the reef, the inner and outer reef, are usually exposed and separated by a narrow channel known as ‘The Gap’. Composed of sandstone they support wonderful inter-tidal and sub-tidal reefs which are packed with sea life.
Visitors exploring the intertidal reef may come across many invertebrates including sea snails, tubeworms and abalone. In slightly deeper waters there are beautiful seaweed gardens including towering Bull Kelp forests and beds of delicate green and red species. Between the two small islands, calmer waters support colourful soft corals, sponge gardens and sea urchins. The diverse range of habitats provides resources for a huge range of species including Australian Fur Seals, schools of Zebra Fish and many species of wrasse. Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak and Apollo Bay Fishing and Adventure Tours provide guided scenic tours to the reef.
Visitors can access Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary by a short swim from shore (making sure to check sea conditions and being mindful of rips) or via boat (launching point in Apollo Bay). Please note that access to the reef is permitted only on Little Henty reef (closest to the shore). Access to the outer reef is restricted and is for management purposes only due to the Australian Fur Seals that inhabit the reef.
Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary is an excellent site for both scuba diving and snorkelling. Closer to shore is a great site for beginner snorkellers if conditions are good, whereas further out can be more challenging due to ocean swell. Click here for Park Notes on Marengo Reefs Marine Sanctuary
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Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Great Ocean Road region the Wadawurrung, Eastern Maar & Gunditjmara. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging. We recognise and respect their unique cultural heritage and the connection to their traditional lands. We commit to building genuine and lasting partnerships that recognise, embrace and support the spirit of reconciliation, working towards self-determination, equity of outcomes and an equal voice for Australia’s first people.