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Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve

Follow the scenic walkway from the southern end of Manly Beach and you’ll enter the Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve.

The reserve was declared by NSW Government in 2002 to protect and conserve the unique biodiversity of fish and marine vegetation and particularly the rocky inter-tidal platform within Cabbage Tree Bay.

The area covers approximately 20 hectares including the entire bay, the rocky shores and beaches from southern end of Manly each to the northern end of Shelly Beach Headland.

The objectives of the Aquatic Reserve are to:

  • Conserve the biodiversity of fish and marine vegetation
  • Protect fish habitat
  • Facilitate educational activities
  • Facilitate scientific research

Because it is an Aquatic Reserve it is a delight to swim, dive and snorkel in.  More than 150 species of fish dwell in the reserve including iconic species such as blue groupers, giant cuttlefish, wobbygongs and a resident green turtle.

Protected and threatened species also include weedy seadragons, seagrasses, elegant wrasse and grey nurse sharks.

Just remember the rules of the reserve include: no fishing by any method, no feeding the fish, no gathering or collecting shells dead or alive from rocky platforms and beaches.

Meet the ‘Friends of Cabbage Tree Bay’ volunteers who look after this very special Aquatic Reserve in our backyard.

Grab a snorkel and mask and just jump in – you’ll be amazed what you see!!



Shelly Beach, Manly NSW 2095, Australia
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