Australian Marine Parks

Cod Grounds Marine Park protects an important habitat for critically endangered east coast grey nurse sharks. Diving here is an extraordinary experience.

Several pinnacles rise from the seafloor, and are surrounded by:

  • sandy gutters
  • ledges
  • caves.

These features are home to:

  • fish
  • squids
  • crabs
  • lobsters.

In turn, grey nurse sharks feed on them.

Cod Grounds Marine Park is offshore from Camden Haven, 30 kilometres south of Port Macquarie. The marine park covers 4 square kilometres, with depths from 21 metres to 46 metres.

It is zoned as National Park.


Diving at Cod Grounds offers a special opportunity to meet critically endangered grey nurse sharks.

Licensed operators offer local knowledge. They also follow guidelines for responsible diving, so you can enjoy seeing the sharks without harming them.

There is currently a prohibition on anchoring and mooring in the marine park to protect equipment being used for the acoustic monitoring trial. 


In Australia, grey nurse sharks are fully protected by environmental law. This wasn’t always the case.

They used to be fished commercially. They were an easy target for spear fishers because they live in relatively shallow coastal waters and have a habit of resting almost motionless just above the seafloor.

Grey nurse sharks reproduce very slowly, usually a litter of two pups every two years. It is taking a long time for populations to recover.

The Australian Government has a species recovery plan for these sharks.

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

Download map

Park area

4 km²

Depth range

21 to 46 m

Average depth

40 m