Australian Marine Parks

Arnhem Marine Park’s swirling tropical waters and tidal eddies attract large numbers of foraging seabirds.

Arnhem Marine Park is a dynamic region with with localised upwellings and marine life hotspots thanks to:

  • tidal eddies
  • internal currents
  • areas where the gently sloping seafloor is disrupted by pinnacles.

Foraging seabirds feast here. The marine park is important for breeding terns, including high numbers of bridled terns.

The coastal Aboriginal people of West Arnhem Land have responsibilities for sea country in the marine park. The marine park contains sites that are registered under Northern Territory Aboriginal Sacred Sites Act 1989.

The marine park is north of Maningrida and adjacent to the Goulburn Islands. It covers 7125 square kilometres, with depths from less than 15 metres to 70 metres.

It is a Special Purpose Zone.


Bridled terns are elegant, medium-sized terns with a grey-black bill, long slender wings and a long, deeply forked tail.

They are gregarious, roosting in groups at colonies. They will forage in mixed flocks with Arctic jaegers, white-winged black terns, common terns, sooty terns, and roseate terns.

Bridled terns breed on tropical and subtropical islands, feeding on fish, crustaceans, cephalopods and insects.

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

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Park area

7,125 km²

Depth range

15 to 70 m

Average depth

36 m