Sandy beaches


Sandy beach habitats consist of the intertidal beach and surf zone. The marine park has several long, sweeping, fine sand beaches and several smaller beaches interspersed between rocky headlands.

  • Sandy beaches are important for many reasons, including:
    • shallows are important nursery and feeding areas;
    • sand-dwelling species are a food source for many marine life;
    • key foraging and roosting sites for shorebirds and seabirds;
    • for nesting turtles.

Estuaries, creeks and rivers

Freshwater creeks and rivers meet the sea at estuaries. The park's three estuaries are the:

  • Brunswick River which is Byron Shire's largest river, with mangroves, saltmarsh and seagrass beds;
  • Belongil Creek which extends southeast approximately 3 km inland from Tyagarah beach, with areas of saltmarsh and mangroves. Belongil Spit at the creak mouth is a historically significant nesting site for the endangered little tern and beach stone-curlew, and for the pied oystercatcher and red-capped plover;
  • Tallow Creek which supports saltmarsh and mangroves.

Rocky shores

Waves and tides shape the park's rocky shores and create habitats that support a mix of plants and animals.

  • Broken Head, Cape Byron and Lennox Head support different coastal rocky shore types.
  • The Bream Hole or Moat consists of an intertidal boulder habitat connected to a subtidal reef resulting in lots of crevices, holes, ledges, pools and overhangs support high species diversity.
  • Its protected waters are highly productive, supporting a mix of algae and two species of seagrass normally only found in estuaries and protected embayments. They are the only known areas of oceanic seagrass in the park.


Cape Byron Marine Park supports these key reef systems:

  • Julian Rocks ‑ offshore emergent rocks and islands.  It contains complex reef with caves, gutters and overhangs with algae, invertebrates and soft and hard corals
  • Cocked Hat Rocks or The Sisters – inshore emergent rocks and islands in the centre of the park at Broken Head. Brown algae, boulders, sand and shell grit dominate these submerged rock platforms, gullies and rocky reef.
  • The Pinnacle
  • The Bream Hole/Lennox Head

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