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 Westernport Bay

Westernport Bay covers 270 square kilometres, is relatively shallow and contains extensive areas of saltmarsh/mangrove and seagrass communities. Churchill Island Marine National Park, French Island Marine National Park and Yaringa Marine National Park are included within the Bay area.

Westernport Bay is also important for its faunal populations. Phillip Island and French Island have significant wildlife populations. The entire bay area north and east of Phillip Island (see map PDF) is a Ramsar site.

The Port of Hastings and Phillip Island, the popular tourist and visitor destination, as well as historical Chuchill Island, are located within the Westernport Bay area.

Management and planning of its cultural, biodiversity, economic and heritage features, along with the impact of development, commercial activities, recreation and tourism involves a number of departments, agencies, regional and local bodies. Maps identifying management and planning bodies, as well as key features of the Westernport Bay Region are included in the Coastlinks Westernport Interactive Map.

· Phillip Island
· French Island
· Churchill Island
· Additional References

See also:
· Port Phillip and Western Port Bay Marine Aquaculture Reserves

· Vegetation Communities (Department of Sustainability and Environment)

· Western Port Welcomes Waterbirds: A study of the human dimensions of waterbird conservation in Western Port Bay, Australia (Central Coastal Board)

· Westernport (Parks Victoria)

Better Bays and Waterways (Environment Protection Authority)

Better Bays and Waterways (Melbourne Water)

· Guide to the Bays (Parks Victoria)

· Port of Hastings

· Coolart Wetlands and Homestead Reserve Future Directions Plan (Parks Victoria)

· Cerberus Naval Training Establishment

· Westernport Explorer - Classroom on the Sea (South East Water)

Related Coastlinks Victoria Pages
· Tourism
· Ports, Harbours and Shipping

· Channels

Coastal Development
Coastal Planning
· Native Fauna

· Policies, Strategies and Investigations
· Reference Material

French Island
French Island is a sparsely inhabited island of 21,800 ha (approximately twice the size of Phillip Island) located in Westernport Bay. The French Island National Park comprises half of the island (11,100ha).

The 145 km coastline comprises significant stands of saltmarsh and mangroves on the mudflats and is bounded on the north shore by the French Island Marine National Park.

French Island is rich in flora and faunal diversity. Nearly 600 plant species have been identified along with over 230 bird species, including many migratory species. Especially notable are short-tailed shearwater colonies, pelican and ibis rookeries, a large koala community and a population of potoroos.

French Island National Park Management Plan (Parks Victoria)

Phillip Island
Phillip Island forms the southern boundary of Westernport Bay. The Island is high on the agenda of visitors to Victoria. The island features many visitor facilities and places of interest, including fur seals, little penguins and koalas.

Recreation activities are very popular and include swimming and surfing, nature walks, bird watching and ferry cruises.

Historical Churchill Island is connected to Phillip Island by bridge.

· Biodiversity Action Planning - Phillip Island Landscape Zone -

· Phillip Island Community Guide

· Phillip Island Nature Park/Penguin Parade

· Phillip Island Tourism

· Phillip Island (Visit Victoria)

· Inter Island Ferries

· Penguin Foundation

Churchill Island
Churchill Island, accessed by bridge from Phillip Island, is steeped in history. Deliciously fragrant gardens surround the historical homestead amidst a variety of bird life. The island is a working farm with Highland cattle, sheep, ducks, chickens and Clydesdale horses. Ranger talks, machinery demonstrations and festivals bring the island to life throughout the year.

· Churchill Island (Phillip Island Nature Park)

· Churchill Island Marine National Park (Parks Victoria)


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