Greg James

Upper South East Marine Park

Upper South East Marine Park
Thorny Passage Thorny Passage Neptune Islands Gambier Islands Southern Kangaroo Is. Thorny Passage Sir Joseph Banks Group Southern Spencer Gulf Lower Yorke Peninsula Encounter Western Kangaroo Is. Southern Kangaroo Is. Lower South East Lower South East

General Marine Park Information

The Upper South East Marine Park (906km2) is divided into two distinct sections; the first being the southern half of the Coorong down to Kingston, and the second part being from just north of Boatswain Point down to the northern-most headland of Stinky bay, near Nora Creina.

Two similar, yet distinct types of coastline can be found in this marine park. The northern section along the Coorong is seemingly endless, high-energy sandy beaches backed by an extended dune system. Access to alot of these beaches is restricted to 4WD only along the Coorong, but changes to standard car accessibility the closer you get to Kingston as the dune systems start to diminish in size.

The southern section of the marine park starts to see limestone cliffs and headlands breaking up the sandy beaches, getting progressively more frequent the further south you get. You also begin to see massive limestone reef systems (often multi-tiered out from the shore) running non-stop along the coast, especially south of Robe. Huge kelp beds often grow around these reef structures and in the secluded bays. A standard car will provide access to these beaches at various points along the coast, however be careful should you wish to travel along the sand to find a more private fishing location. These beaches can be very treacherous to drive on, and a good 4WD with decent knowledge of soft sand beach driving is required.

GPS Boundaries*

Upper section:

  • The north western boundary is at 1393140.4E, 36820.11S just offshore in line with Salt Creek.
  • Easterly towards the shore, intersecting the beach at the median high water mark near 1393437.99E, 36638.66S.
  • Southerly along the coast to 139510.53E, 364917.65S near Kingston.
  • Westerly into open water to the seaward limit of the coastal waters of the State, at 1393951.88E, 364917.65S.

Lower section:

  • The north western point of this section is at 1394013.23E, 37155.94S which is almost due south of Cape Jaffa, and north west of Boastwain Point.
  • It then runs easterly into shore to the median high water mark, at approximately 1394435.65E, 37155.94S.
  • Extending southerly along the coastline to the northern headland of Stinky Bay, on the rocky point separating Stinky Bay from Nora Creina at 1395056.94E, 371951.82S.
  • It then heads out into open water to the outer boundary of the State's coastal waters, at 139462.09E, 371951.82S.
  • It then returns to the first point listed above, following the seaward limits of the coastal waters of the State.

Fishing Information

A coastal upwelling region off Robe combined with the coastline type and direct access to the Southern Ocean make this part of South Australia one of the richest in terms of marine life. Substantial southern rock lobster commercial fishing operations operate all along the coast, along with abalone divers and some marine scalefish licenses (especially in the upper section near the Coorong for the scalefish).

In the upper section of the marine park, the recreational fisho will find mulloway (especially in November - February), salmon, mullet and even some shark along the sandy surf beaches. As you head south out of the Coorong towards Kingston, the reef systems start to crop up with southern rock lobster and abalone, and some sweep, tommy ruffs and garfish.

The lower section of the marine park is quite a bit more rugged and rougher than the upper section. The extensive reef system houses enormous amounts of southern rock lobster, abalone, rock crabs and octopus, with sweep, garfish, salmon, whiting, mullet and tommy ruffs all present. The sandy beaches are also good for mulloway (best at night in the trenches just beyond the surf zone), and trolling just past the breakers should produce decent sized salmon (especially if the water is a bit stirred up). Shark can also be caught by the keen fisho, and even skate in the sheltered parts of the bays on the lee sides of the rocky headlands.

*Note: GPS boundaries are approximate positions only. For more detailed information, please refer to the DEH website.