Australia’s oldest marine sanctuary and one of the bay’s most cherished spots – Popes Eye – in Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park now has an above and a below water camera.

Popes Eye is an uncompleted foundation for a fort that was intended to defend the entrance to Port Phillip Bay in the 1880s. A marine sanctuary for last 38 years, it is home to thousands of fish and supports a breeding colony of seabirds.

From under the water you will see countless fish swim past as you become hypnotised by the swaying algae beds. This is a chance to see into the depths for the resident Victorian scalyfin and leatherjackets, and even keep an eye out for the elusive Blue groper. Above the water, there is a birds-eye view of the Australasian gannets and black-faced cormorants nesting and roosting in the area as they fight, feed and fool around.

The cameras are also a great way to check the visibility, tidal flow and winds.


Please note: Reef Cam and Gannet Cam are currently offline for upgrades and a new operator! We’ll let you know here as soon as they’re back online.

Watch the Reef

Anytime you are checking the cameras and you see something remarkable, email our ReefWatch coordinator on the contact details below. Please include the date and time of the event. Your observations could help us track unusual sightings within the bay, or form part of our educational outreach showcasing the marine life of our southern reefs!

Caption: Look closely and you can see a swell shark cruising just above the algae 📷 ReefCam


Caption: Dolphins and curious seals occasionally swim past the camera 📷 ReefCam


Caption: Rays are usually bottom dwellers, but you can sometimes see them flutter over the reef in search of food 📷 ReefCam


Caption: Sometimes it feels like the fish might be trying to watch you 📷 ReefCam


Caption: Why should fish have all the fun? A snorkeler swims by the camera 📷 ReefCam

Kade Mills, ReefWatch Coordinator