Australia Day 2018 – Today’s Doodle celebrates the unique and beautiful national parks that bring Australians together.
Australia has more than 500 national parks, each populated with extraordinary plants and animals you won’t find anywhere else. For example, millions of people flock to Port Campbell National Park and Twelve Apostles Marine National Park (featured in today’s Doodle) for the stunning scenery.
Located along the southwest coast of Victoria, the parks’ cliffside viewpoints overlook their most iconic sight: seven pillars of stacked limestone, battered by wind and waves, that still rise above the crashing surf to give the marine national park its name.
But below the surface, the full force of the Southern Ocean has created a seascape of canyons, caves, arches, and fissures. Nutrients delivered by perpetually churning waves provide the energy needed to maintain the subtidal and intertidal reefs, which support the greatest diversity of invertebrates on limestone reef in Victoria.
Swirling kelp forests are home to sea urchins, lobsters, and abalone, while a little deeper, the offshore reefs are inhabited by colorful sponges, and of course, fish. This marine metropolis is visited by the flippered forms of local fur seals and commuting little penguins.
Back on the beach, lucky human visitors may spot the rare hooded plover feeding at the water’s edge (also featured in today’s Doodle). The bird is one of the continent’s tens of thousands of endemic species — i.e., found only in Australia — that call the parks and surrounding areas home.
Happy Australia Day 2018!
You can find more about Australia Day 2018 on the official Google Doodle Page