Narrabeen Head Aquatic Reserve / by ASK Design


I've had the good fortune to move to Narrabeen recently, a sleepy coastal suburb towards the top of Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Narrabeen Head Aquatic Reserve is an area of approximately 6 hectares that extends from the rocky shore between the southern end of Turimetta Beach and the rock baths at Narrabeen Head to 100m offshore.

Narrabeen Head was declared an Intertidal Protected Area from 1993 to 2002 and remains an important protected area today where we can learn about the conservation of marine and rocky intertidal plant and animal life and the habitats which support them.

The reserve is a great example of the interconnected ecology of coastal ecosystems. Humans affect the reserve both directly through activities such as fishing as well as indirectly from wastewater and runoff that feeds into the drainage basin that ends in nearby Narrabeen Lagoon. The lagoon then meets the ocean at the reserve's edge where these interactions all have an effect the biodiversity within.

You can learn about Narrabeen Head Aquatic Reserve from the Coastal Environment Centre (CEC), a multi-award winning regional community environmental learning centre run by Pittwater Council from nearby Narrabeen Lagoon.


The CEC leads educational walks to the reserve for around 19,000 people annually. This video was made one afternoon while a group of students were being shown the reserve by the staff of the CEC and aims to give visitors a taste of just a few of the spectacular coastal landscapes, plants and animals they can expect to see.

The audio track is by Tom Misch and is called Let The Beat Speak (For James Yancey), you can find it at


Incidentally, the reserve looks pretty amazing at night. I was surprised to see so many stars out only 30mins from the Sydney CBD!

Narrabeen Head Rock Baths.

Narrabeen Head Aquatic Reserve looking towards Collaroy.