Named after its mushroom shaped reef, this park 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 protected environment allows children to discover the wonderful creatures that live here – numerous rectangular crabs that scurry under rocks, multicoloured cushion seastars, spiralled shells of many shapes and sizes and rows of colourful anemones. At low tide, the mushroom-shaped platform is exposed.
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.
Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary can be accessed from 2 Golf Links Rd, Flinder