Greg James

Lower South East Marine Park


Lower 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 Western Kangaroo Is. Southern Kangaroo Is. Encounter Upper South East Upper South East

General Marine Park Information

The Lower South East Marine Park is 360km2 in size, and similarly to the Upper South East Marine Park is divided into two distinct sections; the first running along the shoreline for the length of Canunda National Park, and the second part being from just east of Port MacDonnell to the Victorian border.

The coastline of this part of South Australia continues on from the lower section of the Upper South East Marine Park, with long high-energy sandy beaches backed against dune systems, and broken up by rocky headlands. Extensive primary and secondary limestone reef systems parallel the coast, with pronounced deep water reefs also starting to come into evidence.

The area around Carpenter Rocks and the mouth of the Glenelg River also contain several tidal creeks, and is home to the fabulous short-finned eel. This eel is quite remarkable in that once per lifetime, it makes a huge migratory journey upto the deep water of the Coral Sea near New Caledonia in order to spawn!


GPS Boundaries*

Upper section:

  • The northern tip of this section is median high water mark at Cape Buffon (near the township of Southend) at the start of the Canunda National Park, at approx. 140񴚈7.97擡, 373354.76擲.
  • It extends south easterly along the coastline for the length of the Canunda National Park, terminating at 1402141.18擡, 375148.37擲 near Admella Beach.
  • Westerly out into open water to the seaward limit of the State's coastal waters at 140170.76擡, 375148.37擲.
  • North west along the outer boundary of the State's coastal waters to 140񳋚2.14擡, 373618擲, before heading north easterly into shore at the point of commencement.

Lower section:

  • The north western most point of this section is on the eastern part of MacDonnell Bay at median high water mark, near 1404414.1擡, 38񳟃4.40擲.
  • Easterly along the coastline at median high water mark to the Victorian border, 1405756.92擡, 38񳙰5.45擲.
  • Southerly out into open water to the seaward boundary of the coastal waters of the State, at 1405756.92擡, 38񴚉0.45擲.
  • Westerly, generally paralleling the coast along the seaward limit of the State's coastal waters to 1404414.1擡, 38񴚊2.48擲, before heading north to return to the coast at the first point listed above.

Fishing Information

Continuing on from the southern half of the Upper South East Marine Park, extensive commercial fisheries operate along this section of the South Australian coastline, primarily targetting abalone and the southern rock lobster. In the larger ports towards the south eastern edge of the state, there are also some commercial deep water scalefish licenses operating, targetting shark and orange ruffy.

Recreationally, a fisho will find these waters teem with mulloway, salmon, shark, garfish, sweep and mullet close to shore (and lobsters/abalone on the reef systems of course!). If you head out to open water a bit, you can also catch tuna, snapper, orange ruffy and even the odd trevally. Big garfish can be found north of Carpenter rocks in the cold winter months (check local weather conditions before heading out first!), and migratory salmon are best caught using lures between February and April just on the outer edge of the surfzone of the many sandy beaches in this area.

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