Shiprock Aquatic Reserve


Shiprock has recorded 130 species of fish

The smallest aquatic reserve in NSW, Shiprock which lies on the mouth of the Hacking River, boasts of an eco-system which is more reminiscent of open coast rather than a sheltered estuary system.  Despite it's diminutive size Shiprock Aquatic reserve supports an extraordinary variety and abundance of plants and animals.

Planted quite firmly in suburbia, Shiprock Aquatic Reserve makes up the ship-shaped headland in between Burraneer and Dolans Bay. For those 'in the know' Shiprock is esteemed as one of the best SCUBA diving spots around Sydney, with more than 130 fish types recorded in this tiny two hectare site.

In the summer juvenile tropical fish like butterfly cod, damsel fish, surgeonfish poke their heads out amongst the more common neighbours perch, trevally, kingfish, bream and snapper.

Top experiences nearby

  • Get in the water! With fishing prohibited in the reserve, marine life has blossomed.  In the highy unlikely event that you don't spot a fish or two, keep an eye out for the starfish, decorator crabs, sea urchins, octopuses or the very well camouflaged seahorses.


No park fees apply.

How to get there

Walk through the Crown Reserve located off Wallendbeen Avenue, Dolans Bay, or drop off at the boat ramp located at Wallys Wharf and wonder on over.  Dolans Bay is 30km south of Sydney.

Did you know?

'Encrusting organisms' cover virtually every square centimetre of Shiprock reef. These encrusting organisms are plants and animals which attach themselves to any available solid surface on the reef.

  • NSW Government
  • National Parks & Wildlife Service NSW