Ninety Mile Beach (Victoria)

The Ninety Mile Beach is a sandy stretch of south-eastern coastline of Victoria, Australia along the Gippsland Lakes region of East Gippsland on Bass Strait. The beach is just over 151 kilometres (94 mi) long running north-eastward from a spit near Port Albert to the man-made channel at Lakes Entrance. The beach is located just over 250 kilometres (160 mi) from Melbourne and can be reached from the South Gippsland Highway passing the coastal towns of McLoughlins Beach, Woodside, Seaspray, Golden Beach, and Loch Sport.

The beach is made up of long sandy dunes which separate the various lakes and lagoons from the ocean. For the northern part of its route the beach runs along a sandbar on what amounts to a series of tidal islands and behind which are several large lakes and numerous shallow littoral lagoons. The three main lakes are Lake King, Lake Victoria and Lake Wellington. The area comprises The Lakes National Park.

During mating season some species of shark, including the famous Great White Shark gather in the shallow waters along the beach to breed, signs are put up to advise visitors of this. The beach's length ensures that the waves break too close to the beach for good surfing, and there are strong rip currents and cross-currents making the conditions somewhat hazardous for the inexperienced swimmer. The local authorities recommend that anyone who wishes to swim should do so at Woodside, Seaspray and Lakes Entrance, which have life saving beach patrols during the summer season. The three lakes have different colored water depending on their surrounding conditions. One has brown water from the tannins that leach from the trees and dead leaves that drop onto the water, another has crystal clear water with a blue tint an gets very dark as it becomes deeper in the middle. The lakes all have water which is very rich in natural minerals and is extremely clean due to the banks and lake beds being purely sand. People who regularly visit the lakes exfoliate their skin by rubbing it with the fine white sand then rinsing with the crystal clear water.

  • Western edge of 90 Mile Beach

  • 90 Mile beach

  • 90 Mile beach

The beach is a white sand beach, with crashing waves and a natural bush environment which is habitat to wild dingoes, birds and other small burrowing mammals. It is part of the Ninety Mile Beach Marine National Park, which covers 2,750 hectares and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) of coastline, 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Sale. There are basic camping facilities within the park at Emu Bight, as well as accommodation at Seaspray and Lakes Entrance.

Rotamah Island, which is part of the Lakes National Park, has a large bird observatory, and can be visited by boat from Paynesville, about 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) away.

The beach is believed to be the third longest uninterrupted beach in the world, behind Praia do Cassino on the Brazilian southern coast and Padre Island on the US Gulf Coast.

Wild horses were introduced to the park after the islands were explored to help eat and trample down small areas of bush so it could be more easily explored but they were left unchecked and their numbers quickly increased. Their large numbers grew and over time started to caused concern as environmental damage became an issue, but once the park was established as a national heritage the horses were rounded up and transported back across to the mainland.

Coordinates: 38°18′08″S 147°17′15″E / 38.3022°S 147.2875°E / -38.3022; 147.2875

Famous quotes containing the words mile and/or beach:

    For now the moon with friendless light carouses
    On hill and housetop, street and marketplace,
    Men will plunge, mile after mile of men,
    To crush this lucent madness of the face....
    Allen Tate (1899–1979)

    When the inhabitants of some sequestered island first descry the “big canoe” of the European rolling through the blue waters towards their shores, they rush down to the beach in crowds, and with open arms stand ready to embrace the strangers. Fatal embrace! They fold to their bosoms the vipers whose sting is destined to poison all their joys; and the instinctive feeling of love within their breasts is soon converted into the bitterest hate.
    Herman Melville (1819–1891)