The Northern Beaches has five aquatic reserves which are an important part of the NSW system of Marine Protected Areas (PDF).

The primary purpose of aquatic reserves is to conserve the diversity of marine plants, animals and habitats in that area.

Some of the benefits of marine protected areas are to:

  • provide educational and research opportunities for students and scientists to learn about the marine ecology and management of the reserve
  • offer recreation and eco-tourism activities such as diving, snorkelling, kayaking and in some cases recreational fishing
  • create volunteering opportunities so community members can help protect the reserve and educate the rest of the community.

Marine Protected Areas are public places set apart for the protection of our marine animals, plants and their habitats under the Marine Estate Management Act 2014.  

Please report illegal or suspect fishing or collecting activities or destruction of aquatic habitat to your nearest Fisheries Office or contact the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or use this online report form.


Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve

Covering approx. 20ha it includes the entire bay, rocky shores and beaches from the southern end of Manly Beach to the northern end of the Shelly Beach Headland.

Long Reef Head Aquatic Reserve

Covering an area of approx. 80 ha, its boundaries extend along the shore from Collaroy rock baths south to Long Reef SLSC and out to 100m offshore.

Narrabeen Head Aquatic Reserve

This reserve covers an area of approx. 10ha.and includes the rocky shore between the southern end of Turimetta Beach and the rock baths and extends 100m offshore.

Life Below Water video series

Dive in and discover fun facts from marine experts on the flora, fauna and megafauna that live in our neighbourhood...


Friends of Cabbage Tree Bay

A great group of volunteers who help to educate and protect the biodiversity in Cabbage Tree Bay.