Natures paradise, Long Reef Aquatic Reserve

Long Reef Aquatic Reserve

Wow, wow, wow! Long Reef Aquatic Reserve is truly a fascinating place to visit. It really is a place that stays with you long after you leave and I loved my day out here.

Located in Long Reef in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, the Reserve is managed by the Department of Primary Industries and is truly a wonder of nature.

The Reserve is also protected by a local group of residents who volunteer to protect the area and have formed a group called Reefcare. To make the Reserve as easy to see as possible Reefcare developed a walk called the Greenlink Walk

The Greenlink Walk

The walk is a great way to see the Reserve as it guides you around the main areas and you will see some stunning views. Whilst I didn’t follow the walk in its entirety, it did give me a great guide on the area. Make sure you check out the Long Reef map before you head off.

An easy place to start the walk is to park at or near the Long Reef Golf Club on Anzac Avenue. I decided to then walk down onto Fishermans Beach where there are great views and you will probably spot a pelican or two! If you have a pram with you or a wheelchair then you can follow the path that runs along adjacent to the beach.

Fishermans Beach 

There is an information board at Fishermans Beach that provides information on the bird and animal life present in the reserve – make sure you check it out before heading off.

Heading on up

After walking along the beach for a while, I headed up onto the footpath and up to Long Reef Headland. Along the way there are several vantage points with wonderful views across the beaches. The lookouts are not accessible by prams or wheelchairs.

Views across to Fishermans Beach

At the top

Once at the top of the path you will come to Long Reef Headland. The Headland provides spectacular views across both Fishermans and Long Reef Beach and here you will also find the famous Whale Tail Sculpture. 

View from the headland and the famous Whale Tail

After the headland you can either head down the path to Long Reef Beach or head down to the rock ledge. Neither of these options are suitable for wheelchairs or prams, so if you are on wheels you will need to head back down to the golf club.

Long Reef Rock Ledge

I decided to head down to the rock ledge……the path to the rock ledge is a little steep but very beautiful. As you head down you get marvelous views from every angle as well as a real sense of the nature all around you.

Long Reef Aquatic Reserve

Path to the Rock Ledge

Once at the bottom of the path you will arrive at the start of the rock ledge. The rock ledge is well…..a bit rocky and it is also not surprisingly quite wet! But my, my it is really quite fabulous. It can be slippery so take care when on the ledge, and I would also advise to not bring young children with you (I would say over 8 years old only). But don’t be afraid to explore the ledge and spend some time here.

The ledge is full of marine life including shellfish, crabs, worms and sea squirts. You will also see a lot of bird life. The ledge is best summarised in pictures so here are some to get the imagination going!

The rock ledge in pictures

After spending some time on the ledge I decided to head back to the golf club via Fishermans Beach. You could also head back up the path you came down on and head towards Long Reef Beach.

Long Reef Aquatic Reserve Paraglider

Paragliders are often seen at Fishermans Beach

To finish my walk I enjoyed a picnic lunch at Fishermans Beach. What a cracking day.

Long Reef Aquatic Reserve lunch spot

A perfect picnic spot

Guided Walks

Several times a year the NSW Department of Primary Industries undertakes FREE guided walks of the Aquatic Reserve. To register please email Reefcare. Dates and further details can be found on their website.

Safety Tip

The ledge is slippery and wet! Wear supportive shoes that won’t slip in wet areas. Bring a spare pair of shoes to change into after your exploring.

Five reasons to visit Long Reef Aquatic Reserve

  1. Enjoy bird watching on the rock ledge
  2. Amazing views across Fishermans Beach and Long Reef
  3. Enjoy the Whale Tail sculpture
  4. See if you can spot the resident octopus on the rock ledge
  5. Spot a pelican at Fishermans Beach.

Freedays summary

  • Entry: Free
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Wheelchair friendly: Yes (in parts)
  • Free carparking: Yes
  • Free BBQ facilities: Yes at Long Reef Beach
  • Time to spend here: 3 – 4 hours (including walks and lunch)
  • Food available: Yes, White Rock Cafe at Long Reef Golf Club. There is also a fish and chip shop across the road from Griffith Park.
  • Address: Anzac Parade, Long Reef NSW 2097
  • Further details: Visit Long Reef Aquatic Reserve’s directory listing

More free things to do

After exploring Long Reef Aquatic Reserve why not:



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