Australian Marine Parks

Arafura Marine Park is Australia’s most northerly marine park. Its nutrient-rich waters support huge predatory fish, marine turtles and whale sharks.

Arafura Marine Park includes canyons that are remnants of an ancient drowned river system (the tributary canyons of the Arafura Depression). The canyons funnel deep, nutrient-rich ocean waters upward, boosting marine life in the marine park.

Marine life found here includes:

  • Spanish mackerel
  • whale sharks
  • sawfishes
  • marine turtles
  • deep sea sponges.

The Yuwurrumu members of the Mandilarri-Ildugij, the Mangalara, the Murran, the Gadura-Minaga and the Ngaynjaharr clans have responsibilities for Sea Country in the marine park.

Arafura Marine Park is about 250 kilometres north-east of Darwin. The marine park abuts Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone boundary near Indonesia, with which Australia has signed a Joint Declaration on Maritime Cooperation.

The marine park covers 22,924 square kilometres, with depths from less than 15 metres to 500 metres.

It has Multiple Use, Special Purpose and Special Purpose (Trawl) zones.


There’s plenty to do in the adjacent Northern territory Garig Gunak Barlu National Park, including exploring its coastal waters. You can enjoy:

  • fishing
  • boating
  • nature watching
  • photography
  • bird watching
  • viewing the historic ruins of Victoria Settlement (accessible only by boat)
  • bushwalking
  • scenic lookouts
  • camping (permit required).

Click on the map below to see what you can do in the Arafura Marine Park.

Download map


Park area

22,924 km²

Depth range

15 to 500 m

Average depth

120 m