Limmen Bight Marine Park
Following public consultation, in 2012, the Territory Government declared Limmen Bight Marine Park.
Bight Marine Park is approximately 880 km2 in size and is located in
the Gulf of Carpentaria, 340 km southeast of Katherine and 100km northwest of
Marine parks are parts of the ocean that are managed specifically to conserve key habitats and the plants and animals that live within them. Protecting areas that contain different wildlife and habitats helps to maintain the long term health and productivity of our waters, particularly for species other than fish.
Marine parks are often multiple-use, meaning different activities are allowed in different parts of the park. Marine Parks work in unison with other NT legislation, such as the Fisheries Act, to ensure ongoing sustainable development of the Territory.
The marine and coastal areas of Limmen Bight are highly productive and the Limmen Bight Marine Park will help protect
a rich marine environment and biodiversity, including:
- Extensive seagrass beds, which are important foraging areas for dugong and marine turtles, and for seahorses and pipefish;
- Part of the largest (and internationally significant) dugong populations in the Territory; and
- Nesting of threatened Flatback Turtles on Maria Island, and turtle feeding grounds in adjacent waters.
Parks that connect across the land and sea are of special significance. The Marine Park will link with Limmen National Park; ; forming a strong connection across land and sea in this region.
Limmen Bight Marine Park comprises 880 km2 of shallow sea in the Gulf of Carpentaria with a rich array of saltwater wildlife species. The Marine Park includes part of the largest density of Dugongs in the Northern Territory and is also home to some rare, listed Pipefish species. The Park has a rich and active Aboriginal culture. The Marra, Yanyuwa, Alawa and Wandarang peoples have strong cultural affiliation with this saltwater country.
Limmen River mouth looking out into Limmen Bight Marine Park
How to Get There?
Limmen Bight Marine Park is located 340 km south-east of Katherine along the Carpentaria Highway and 100 km north-east of Borroloola. The Marine Park can be accessed via boat ramps at Borroloola and fishing camps on the Roper and Limmen Bight Rivers. It can also be accessed by sea from the Gulf of Carpentaria.
When to Visit
The Park is open all year. The dry season (May-Sept) is the most pleasant months to visit. Please remember that tropical cyclones and storms can affect this area during the wet season.
What to See and Do?
The Marine Park is a multi-use "fishing-friendly" park so therefore one of the main activities on the Park is recreational fishing. However wildlife spotting is an ever-growing activity across the Northern Territory with many visitors coming to the Territory to see specific species in the wild. The range of wildlife species that can be observed and photographed include marine seas Turtles, Saltwater Crocodiles, Dugongs, Dolphins, Freshwater Sawfish and many others. The surrounding islands and mainland are also important areas for a multitude of waterbirds, shorebirds and seabirds.
Please remember: Swimming is not advised as Estuarine (Saltwater) Crocodiles live and travel throughout the Marine Park.
Flatback Sea Turtle Natator depressus
Safety and Comfort
- Ensure that your boat is properly equipped for remote area boating. (include safety EPIRB details)
- Carry and drink plenty of water.
- Wear a shady hat, sunscreen and insect repellent.
- Wear suitable clothing and footwear.
- Carry a comprehensive first aid kit suitable for remote areas.
- Avoid strenuous activity during the heat of the day.
- Beware of theft, lock vehicles and secure valuables at boat ramps.
- Take all your rubbish away with you.
- All cultural items and wildlife are protected.
- Check that your vehicle/boat is not transporting pests like weeds and cane toads.
- All non-fish wildlife are protected.
- Limmen Bight Marine Park Factsheet
- Limmen Bight Marine Park: Overview of cultural and biodiversity values
The largest recreational activity in this area is fishing. Important fish stocks make this marine park a paradise for the fishing enthusiast who enjoys remote areas. The area also includes important commercial quantities of Prawn, Mud Crab and Barramundi. These populations are important for both the commercial and recreational fishers of the region.
Mud Crab Scylla serrata
Plants and Animals
The Marine Park has a multitude of important wildlife. Most of the area has not been extensively surveyed so it is expected that even more important marine species will be discovered in the area into the future.
At least three species of Pipefish (Hippichthys cyanospilos, H. parvicarinatus and H. penicillus) live in the seagrass meadows of the Park. Pipefish are closely related to Seahorses and these species are listed marine species under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
Blue-spotted Pipefish Hippichthys cyanospilos
The Park also protects part of the largest density of Dugongs in the Northern Territory. The important and extensive seagrass meadows provide important feeding grounds for this species. The meadows are also critical for the local marine turtle populations that include Flatbacks, Greens, Hawksbills and Olive Ridleys. Marine turtle populations are in decline across the planet and this area protects one of their important feeding areas, adjacent to important nesting areas.
The Park provides feeding resources for the adjacent waterbird, shorebird and seabird populations. These colonies include species such as the great, intermediate and little egrets, Australian Pelicans, Pied Cormorants, Black-winged Stilts, Red-necked Avocets, Silver Gulls and many other notable species.
Australian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus
Suitable habitat exists for inshore dolphins such as Australian snubfin and Indo-Pacific humpback, and the region is expected to be important for both species.
Park Access - Limmen Bight Marine ParkPhone 08 8975 9940 | Road Conditions
|Park Sites||Access||Comments||Forecast Opening|
|Limmen Bight Marine Park||Open|
|Pt Roper Road||Open
4WD High Clearance Only
|Water over road in some areas, high clearance 4WD needed.||Edit|
|Number 1 Landing Public Boat Ramp (c/o Pt Roper Road)||Open
4WD High Clearance Only
|Motorists advised to drive with care||Edit|
|Please note – access to Limmen Bight Marine Park via Limmen Bight River can only be accessed through the private boat ramp associated with Limmen Bight Fishing Camp.||Open||Edit|