Hunter Marine Park extends from shallow shelf waters out to the deep ocean. It includes shelf rocky reefs and canyons.
Tuna, albatross and whales feast here, benefitting from upwellings of nutrient-rich waters where ocean currents meet the canyons. Humpback whales and grey nurse sharks also use the area as a feeding ground.
Over 50 of the fish species that live in this area are endemic; they aren’t found anywhere else. Fishing is a significant activity in the region, and includes commercial fishing, recreational fishing, charters and game fishing tournaments.
The marine park adjoins the New South Wales Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park, offshore from Port Stephens in central New South Wales.
It covers 6257 square kilometres, with depths from 15 metres to 6000 metres, and includes a Habitat Protection and Special Purpose (Trawl) zones.
Hunter Marine Park and the adjacent New South Wales Port Stephens–Great Lakes Marine Park are great places to fish and watch wildlife.
You can join a fishing charter or whale-watching tour from Port Stephens and Nelson Bay. Find out more about the Port Stephens–Great Lakes Marine Park.
Humpback whale. Photo: Eric Woehler
The Worimi People are the traditional owners of the Port Stephens area. The Worimi People have strong cultural connections to sea country (garuawa) including within Hunter Marine Park and neighbouring, state managed Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park.
These important cultural connections were celebrated in a recent collaboration between the Worimi People, artist Melissa Lilley, Parks Australia and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
Djarrawarra Wakulgang – Mulloway: The Greatest One
Djarrawarra Wakulgang – Mulloway: The Greatest One. Artwork: © Melissa Lilley (Mombie), 2019.
To the Worimi People of the temperate east (baara) coast (mulumun), the mulloway (djarrawarra) is recognised as ‘king’ (maathang) of the sea country (garuwa) systems, or quite simply, the ‘greatest one’ (wakulgang).
Mandaygang Biiwa: Big Mob Mullet
Mandaygang Biiwa: Big Mob Mullet. Artwork: © Melissa Lilley (Mombie), 2019.
The mullet (biiwa) is highly regarded by coastal (mulumun) Aboriginal People as an important food (buwatja) source and a fish (makurr) of cultural significance. This ‘bread and butter’ fish (makurr) has always provided a reliable food (buwatja) resource that is readily available for all Aboriginal communities along the coast (mulumun).
Wubaray: Black Dolphin
Wubaray: Black Dolphin. Artwork: © Melissa Lilley (Mombie), 2019.
The black dolphin (wubaray) is a sea country (garwua) species that has the greatest of importance to Worimi People. Wubaray is seen as a totemic (bakuwi) animal of high significance, not only because it is a special sea country (garuwa) mammal but also because it is a critical part of traditional Worimi cultural stories.
To read the three stories and learn more about Worimi People’s cultural connections to sea country, please download the Worimi Sea Country (Garuwa) Artworks: A Cultural Interpretation.
15 to 6,000 m
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