Named after its mushroom shaped reef, Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary protects 80ha of the open coast of Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula. Composed of sandstone rock platforms extending from the shore, the park includes sheltered rock pools, coves and a shallow reef on the ocean side. The reef is formed from ancient basalt which has weathered beautifully, allowing creatures to hide within crevices and cracks or under loose rocks.
This area is famous for its diversity of marine life and has attracted scientists for over 100 years. The intertidal soft sediment is an important feeding and roosting habitat for many birds. When searching the rockpools one can find many crabs, multicoloured cushion seastars, numerous species of snails and delicate anemones.
The seafloor (2-3m) is covered with canopy forming brown algae and patches of seagrass which attract many species of fish such as morwongs, wrasse, cowfish and Victoria's marine emblem, the Weedy Seadragon. If you're lucky you may be able to spot a Black and White Seastar. This amazing creature is one of only two seastars known to brood its young in its stomach.
Before you go
Conditions can change in parks for many reasons. For the latest information on changes to local conditions, please visit the relevant park page on the Parks Victoria website.
Be bushfire ready in the great outdoors. Refer to the Bushfire Safety section on the Parks Victoria website for tips on how to stay safe.Visit Website