Sir Joseph Banks Group Marine Park
The Sir Joseph Banks Group Marine Park covers some 2627km2 along the western side of lower Spencer Gulf in a shape resembling an inverted "L". It stretches out from the coast near Tumby Bay to include Dangerous Reef and the islands of the Sir Joseph Banks Group and is renowned for it's picturesque settings and great fishing/diving.
Taken from the name of the British botanical sponsor of many expeditions to Australia, the waters begin to become more shallow as we sail northwards and the habitat changes to reflect this. Large stretches of ribbon weed are evident in places, and these can act as a breeding ground/nursery for many marine scalefish species.
The islands in the Sir Joseph Banks Group are mostly granite based with a limestone capping and provide numerous sheltered embayments and beautiful sandy beaches with day trips/over night experiences available and well worth it. A little further out is Dangerous Reef, home to a large colony of sea lions and, of course, the great white shark! Many charter tours operate from Pt Lincoln travelling out to Dangerous Reef and nearby tuna farms.
- The north western point of the marine park is located at the median high water mark at
136°13’33.52”E, 34°18’7.57”S,which is just north of Tumby Bay (approx one third the way to Port Neill).
- It extends easterly in a direct line to the point
- Southerly to
- Westerly to
- Southerly again to
- Westerly again to
- Northerly to intersect with the coast near Point Bolingbroke
(136°5’20.36”E, 34°32’37.8”S),before running north/north easterly along the coast at median high water mark to intersect the location first listed above
Commercial fishing activities, similarly to the Thorny Passage Marine Park, focus around pilchards, abalone and southern rock lobster. Significant numbers of tuna cages provide a very strong aquaculture presence along this section of the coast as well. Recreationally, the fishing in this part of South Australia is excellent, with a large variety of scalefish caught regularly. Whiting, salmon, tommy ruff, garfish, mullet, flathead and squid are all present around the jetty/beaches of Tumby Bay, as well as off the shores of the Sir Joseph Banks Group of islands. If you venture out to the rocky and broken-ground bottoms just offshore, you can add sweep, snook and snapper to the list. Tuna are occasionally caught out off Dangerous Reef as well, if you're seeking a bit more of a fishing thrill! Divers tend to target abalone on the rocky bottom areas, and scallops in the sandy bottomed locations.