Long Reef Aquatic Reserve

This page is a chapter in the book New South Wales.


Long Reef Aquatic Reserve is a protected aquatic reserve on Sydney's Northern Beaches. It is an important site for numerous species of shorebirds, Terns, Gulls, Cormorants

[top]Getting there

Head to the Northern Beaches, then turn into Anzac Avenue from Pittwater road and either drive to the end and park, or take the small turn off to the right and park in one of the car parks. Entry onto the reef can be done either from the bottom car park, or by parking in the top car park and walking along the trail until you come to the top of Long Reef and turn down the track that leads down onto the reef.

[top]When to go

Some of the species of birds that visit the reef do so seasonally, so planning ahead is recommended if you are wanting to look for a particular species.
  • Migratory Shorebirds: Northern Hemisphere
    Most shorebirds species start to arrive in August/September. With numbers of birds starting to peak around November/December. There is a small remnant of 1st year Red-necked Stints that will over-winter on the reef when the remainder return to the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Migratory Shorebirds: Southern Hemisphere
    Double-banded Plovers will arrive from New Zealand in mid to late February. And will then leave again in August/September.
    Sooty Oystercatchers can be seen nearly all year around. Though are generally scarce during the winter months of July through to September.


Toilet blocks are located in the bottom car park near Brown water beach on the northern side of the reef. Shops are nearby on Pittwater Rd, or head into Collaroy for cafe's and restaurants.

[top]Key species

Species that are regularly seen at the reef. For migratory birds this is seasonal. (see above for details)
  • Shorebirds
    • Red-necked Stint
    • Pacific Golden Plover
    • Ruddy Turnstone
    • Sooty Oystercatcher
    • Grey-tailed Tattler
    • Double-banded Plover
  • Other
    • Silver Gull
    • Crested Tern
    • White-fronted Tern
    • Great Cormorant
    • Pied Cormorant
    • Little Pied Cormorant
    • Little Black Cormorant
    • White-faced Heron
    • Australian Pelican
    • Australian Raven
    • Australasian Gannet

Species that have been seen at the reef, but that are not regular visitors
  • Shorebirds
    • Pied Oystercatcher
    • Wandering Tattler
    • Lesser Sand Plover
    • Sanderling
    • Curlew Sandpiper
    • Sharp-tailed Sandpiper
    • Whimbrel
    • Curlew Sandpiper
    • Red Knot
    • Red-capped Plover

  • Other
    • Black Noddy
    • Common Noddy
    • Caspian Tern
    • Sooty Tern
    • Common Tern
    • Kelp Gull
    • Eastern Reef Egret
    • Osprey


[top]Maps & GPS


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