#PlacesOfNRM – Abrolhos Islands

The Houtman Abrolhos islands are located approximately 60km off the coast of Geraldton and are made up of 122 islands surrounded by clear blue waters and an abundance of sea life.

There are three major island groups; the Wallabi, Easter and Pelsaert Groups which stretch from north to south across 100 kilometres of ocean.

The islands and their surrounding reef communities are subject to Western Australia’s warm, southward-flowing Leeuwin Current. This creates a meeting place for tropical and temperate sea life, forming one of the State’s most unique marine areas.

 

Large breeding colonies of seabirds exist on many of the Abrolhos Islands and depend for their food on schools of pelagic baitfish. More than 90 species of seabird have been identified in this area. Smaller seabirds provide food for white breasted sea eagles, which have been found in unusually large numbers throughout the Abrolhos Islands.

Many ship wrecks have been discovered throughout this island chain over the centuries, caught along the beautiful but treacherous reef-surrounded atolls. The most notable discovery was the Batavia which was wrecked in 1629.

The Abrolhos Islands can be experienced via scenic flights. From the air, the coral reefs and islands form a stunning abstract and the most incredible range of greens and blues. On clear days you can also spot whales and dolphins from the air.

These beautiful islands can also be accessed by private boat or on one of the many Abrolhos Islands tours. During these tours you can watch sea lions play in the waters, or bask on coral beaches. You may also see marine mammals such as the bottlenose dolphin and migrating humpback whales also inhabit Abrolhos waters during their journey south for summer and north for the winter months.

 

Information source: Geraldton visitor centre and Australia’s coral coast.

 

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