region: Gulf of Carpentaria

Australia > Queensland > Gulf of Carpentaria

The Gulf of Carpentaria embraces the Cape York Peninsula of Queensland on the East, Australia’s Northern-most point, and the Arnhem Land, the top end of the Northern Territory, on the West. It is bounded on the North by the Arafura Sea, the body of water that lies between Australia and Papua New Guinea. 

The area is known for its pristine waters, fringing reefs, isolated coral colonies, and soft sandy seafloors. It is of cultural value for the Lardil, Yangkaal, Kaiadlit, and Gangalidda people, who have responsibility for the sea country of the Gulf of Carpentaria Marine Park. The Gulf’s communities of large plate corals, abundant soft corals, and dense sponge gardens are important breeding grounds for many different native animals. 

A rare modern example of an epicontinental sea (a shallow sea on top of a continent), the Gulf’s shallow waters and many river systems that run into it make it the perfect home for various species that move between fresh and salt water. In addition, the warm weather, highly diverse range of coral, invertebrates  and phytoplankton for food, and coral and rocky reef habitats for protection create a paradise for a wide range of seafood, including crabs, shrimp, snapper, emperor and grouper. 



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