Towra Point Aquatic Reserve

Location

Towra Point Aquatic Reserve is the largest NSW Aquatic Reserve and is located on the southern shore of Botany Bay in Sydney. It stretches from Shell Point on the western side of the Bay to Bonna Point in the east.

The Aquatic Reserve covers an area of approximately 1,400 hectares and is divided into two zone types, a refuge zone and a sanctuary zone.

Objectives

  • conserve the biodiversity of fish and marine vegetation
  • protect fish habitat
  • facilitate educational activities
  • facilitate scientific research.

Features

The Reserve protects one of the largest and most diverse wetland complexes remaining in the Sydney region. The Reserve is adjacent to the Towra Point Nature Reserve which is a Wetland of International Importance and a declared Ramsar Site. It is an important nursery area for fish and invertebrates, provides important habitat for migratory seabirds and is rich in marine biodiversity.

The Reserve includes much of the remaining important seagrasses, mangroves and migratory wading bird habitats in Botany Bay. It represents major nursery habitat supporting commercial and recreational fish stocks in the coastal Sydney region.

What can I do in the Aquatic Reserve?

You can enjoy many marine activities such as snorkelling, swimming, boating and fishing.

Within the Reserve's sanctuary zone areas (see map), you can observe the marine plants and animals but fishing and the collection of invertebrates and marine vegetation whether alive or dead is prohibited.

Within the refuge zone (see map), you can take fish by hook and line and use a net that can be lawfully used by a recreational fisher, subject to other NSW fishing rules and regulations. Collecting invertebrates or marine vegetation, whether alive or dead, is prohibited within the refuge zone.

Please report illegal or suspect fishing activities to your nearest Fisheries Office or use the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536.

Explore the Aquatic Reserve

Towra Point Aquatic Reserve

The sand flats of Quibray Bay along with the backdrop of the Sydney CBD in the distance can be seen from the viewing platform along Captain Cook Drive. Photo: Renata Pronk.

Towra Point Aquatic Reserve

The mangrove habitat at Towra Point harbours the largest area of mangroves left in the Sydney area. Photo: Renata Pronk.

Towra Point Aquatic Reserve

A number of threatened species inhabit the Reserve including sooty oystercatchers (Haematopus fuliginosus), seen here along Towra Spit. Photo: Renata Pronk.

Towra Point Aquatic Reserve

Cormorants rest after foraging in the Reserve. Photo: Renata Pronk.

Towra Point Aquatic Reserve

Seagrass habitat in the Reserve provides shelter for adult fish and juveniles. Photo: Renata Pronk.

Getting there

You can get to the Reserve via Captain Cook Drive, Kurnell, and there is a viewing platform on the southern side of Quibray Bay along this road. You can also access the Reserve via Bonna Point, or by boat. Towra Point Nature Reserve is closed to access from the land. A number of courtesy moorings have been provided along Towra Beach, however there are restrictions on access to Towra Point itself. Please contact the National Parks and Wildlife Service for more information on 1300 361 967.

Further information

Please contact staff at the Marine Environment Program at marine.environment@dpi.nsw.gov.au.