This bioregion encompasses Victoria’s bays, inlets and estuaries including Port Phillip Bay, Westernport Bay, Corner Inlet/Nooramunga, Shallow Inlet and Mallacoota Inlet. There are 123 bays and inlets along the Victorian coast varying in size from 1950 km² to less than 1 km². Although all are grouped into one bioregion, individual areas are quite distinct from each other, particularly the larger bays.


Marine Protected Areas

  • Point Cooke Marine Sanctuary
  • Jawbone Marine Sanctuary
  • Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary
  • Yaringa Marine National Park
  • French Island Marine National Park
  • Churchill Island Marine National Park
  • Corner Inlet Marine National Park
  • Corner Inlet Marine and Coastal Park
  • Nooramunga Marine and Coastal Park


Significant areas of the Victorian Bays and Inlets

  • West Coast Port Phillip Bay
  • Southern Port Phillip Bay including Port Phillip Heads
  • Northern Port Phillip Bay
  • North Arm Westernport
  • Corner Inlet

Caption: Wave energy in Victoria’s bays and inlets is low, and water is confined in these areas for extended periods đź“· Nicole Mertens
  • Water is confined in these areas for a period of time
  • Wave energy is low
  • Each bay, inlet and estuary is generally basin-shaped and less than 25 m deep
  • The floors of embayments and estuaries are typically muddy or silty
  • Water temperatures and salinity levels fluctuate over a wider range compared to nearby ocean waters

Caption: A juvenile Snapper (Pagrus auratus) in Port Phillip Bay đź“· AJ Morton
  • The highly diverse coastal saltmarsh communities of Corner Inlet/Nooramunga, Westernport Bay and the south-western end of Port Phillip Bay
  • The extensive broad-leaf seagrass meadows in Corner Inlet
  • The exceptionally high diversity of marine species found on the intertidal reef near San Remo at the southern end of Westernport Bay
  • Seafloor beds of lamp shells or brachiopods in Western Port Bay. The ancient forms of brachiopods arose in the Cambrian Period (490 to 545 million years ago)
  • The breeding aggregations of Elephant Fish (Callorhinchus milii) in the south eastern end of Westernport
  • The annual spring migration of Snapper (Pagrus auratus) into northern Port Phillip Bay