It covers approximate 20 hectares including the entire bay, the rocky shores and beaches from the southern end of Manly Beach to the Northern end of the Shelly Beach Headland.

Cabbage Tree Bay was declared a No Take Aquatic Reserve in March 2002. A No Take Aquatic Reserve means you are not permitted to fish by any method in this reserve, harm marine animals or plants, or collect marine organisms whether dead or alive (including empty shells as they provide homes for living organisms).

You must not harm any organisms, including sea urchins, to feed the fish.

As it is so highly protected it makes this reserve a popular dive and snorkelling spot with a huge variety of marine species and seven types of habitat.

Dogs are prohibited from entering the aquatic reserve and beach area at all times.

Cabbage Tree Bay is looked after by the highly recognised Friends of Cabbage Tree Bay volunteer group.