Australian Marine Parks

Nelson Marine Park is deep and remote. It lies about 200 kilometres south of South Australia, beyond the edge of the continental shelf.

Waters here plunge below 3000 metres. Maps of the seafloor reveal rocky knolls, canyons, plateaus and plains.

Nearer the surface, whales commute through the marine park on the way to and from their breeding and feeding grounds.

The marine park covers 6123 square kilometres.

All of Nelson Marine Park is designated as a Multiple Use Zone.


Waters in this region are recognised as valuable recreational and commercial fishing grounds for open water fishes, including species of tuna and mackerel.

Because Nelson Marine Park is far from shore, it can be more difficult to access than other marine parks.

Learn, and help us learn

Nelson Marine Park sits in a whale super-highway.

Humpback, fin, blue and sei whales migrate through the marine park, travelling between cold food-filled southern waters and the warmer waters to the north where they breed.

We’re still unravelling the mysteries of whale migration.

Around Australia and around the world, scientists analyse whale sighting data and even track individual whales using satellite technology.

If you’re a commercial fisher, recreational fisher, sailor or anyone else who spends time on the water, you can help us learn more about whales by sending in sightings to the Department of the Environment and Energy’s Marine Mammal Centre.

The more we know, the better we can look after these amazing marine mammals.

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

Download map


Park area

6,123 km²

Depth range

2,559 to 5,612 m

Average depth

4,608 m