Immerse yourself in South Australia's marine parks

Immerse yourself in South Australia’s marine parks

Marine Parks Man­ag­er Chris Thomas shares his thoughts on the first anniver­sary of ful­ly oper­a­tional marine parks.

Think nature-based tourism and imme­di­ate­ly, most of us think of South Aus­trali­a’s nation­al parks.

There’s noth­ing like wak­ing to a crisp morn­ing in Deep Creek Nation­al Park, watch­ing the sun set over Alli­ga­tor Gorge, or relax­ing in the post­card beau­ty of Dal­housie Springs in the Witji­ra Nation­al Park.

But what about our new marine parks?

Stretch­ing the entire length of the state’s coast, these parks help man­age and pro­tect SA’s most impor­tant nat­ur­al marine habitats.

Just like parks on land, marine park sanc­tu­ary zones are set aside for con­ser­va­tion and these are our nation­al parks of the sea.

In our marine parks you can expe­ri­ence one Australia’s best dives off Chinaman’s Hat, snorkel with the sea drag­ons, kayak the Upper Spencer Gulf or just sit on the beach and read a book. And you can do so safe in the knowl­edge that these won­der­ful places are man­aged, and pro­tect­ed by law.

Today, 1 Octo­ber, marks the first anniver­sary of ful­ly oper­a­tional marine parks. A year ago the sanc­tu­ary zones came into full effect. 

To mark this mile­stone, we would like to take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to thank our part­ner organ­i­sa­tions and ded­i­cat­ed vol­un­teer groups and shed some light on what real­ly hap­pens – and is pos­si­ble – in South Australia’s marine parks.

Every day, our knowl­edge and under­stand­ing of these won­drous marine envi­ron­ments grows.

In the last year, we con­duct­ed one of the first research expe­di­tions to some remote off­shore island marine park sanc­tu­ary zones in Nuyts Arch­i­pel­ago Marine Park and West­ern Kan­ga­roo Island Marine Park.

On Kan­ga­roo Island we are part­ner­ing with local vol­un­teers to iden­ti­fy and track the dol­phins of Kan­ga­roo Island’s marine parks.

Soon, our research teams will vis­it the Sponge Gar­dens Sanc­tu­ary Zone off Kan­ga­roo Island, for the first deep sea video sur­vey of this mys­te­ri­ous under­wa­ter for­est and known whale migra­tion highway. 

There are many more great sto­ries of sci­ence, research and con­ser­va­tion with­in these parks that I can’t wait to share with you.

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living