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Blog: Whale tales

Paul Chai journeyed up the NSW coastline during the 2012 whale migrating season. Recount his trip.


Long Reef Aquatic Reserve

Made up of two main rocky shores, these rocky outcrops have withstood the test of time, with some shelves estimated to be over 230 million years old.  And while many of the headlands in the Hawkesbury region are made up of sandstone, Long Reef Aquatic Reserve is renown for its ‘chocolatey’ shales claystones and ironstones

Long Reef Aquaitc Reserve's coves are home to a large variety of marine fauna, such as sea urchins, large gastropods, encrusting sponges and anemones.  During the migratory season, this rocky outpost is also temporary home for wading birds from New Zealand, Japan and even as far as Siberia!

Top experiences nearby

If you'e a diver, check out The Cathedral where large schools of ladder-finned pomfret, yellowtail and bulls eyes congregate. Also keep an eye out for rarer visitors like Wobbegong and Port Jackson sharks.


No park fees apply

How to get there

Long Reef Aquatic Reserve is roughly 25 kilometres north of Sydney and found next to the suburb of Collaroy.  Access can be found through Anzac Avenue.

Did you know?

Interestingly, despite its sheltered coves Long Reef Aquatic Reserve is unique due to its exposure to all four points of the compass.

  • NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service
  • NSW