I love this beach.
Shelly Beach forms part of the Cabbage Tree Bay marine reserve; opposite Manly’s North Head and Fairy Bower beaches. This spot is a mecca for North Shore snorkerlers and scuba divers because of its marine park status, shallow water, and large variety of marine life.I have been waiting to do a blog on this spot for awhile, and I got the perfect opportunity this week. I spent about three hours underneath so its another long one.
Aside from Clovelly, this bay is one of Sydney's most reliable spots to see Blue Gropers; and they were out in force. They were fairly active so as well as the regular shots.
I also scored a little look into a Gropers daily life.
|Snacking on Sea Urchins|
|And getting a clean from tiny friends.|
I got up nice and close to a male Crimson Banded Wrasse.
And a school of decent sized Yellow Tail Scad.
There were plenty of Southern Maori Wrasse; named due to their facial markings which are said to resemble the tattoo's of New Zealand's Maori warriors.
|The blue scribbles on the face identify a male.|
Their juvenile offspring were out to school too.
A mother Blacksaddle Goatfish was looking after her young. These are easily recognised by their bright pink body and two dark stripes along the side; the juveniles are most slender and are slightly more yellow.
I tailed a big shoal of squid.
Found another pair of Rough Flutemouth's.
Some well camouflaged Fan-Bellied Filefish.
And another Common Stingaree.
Rock Cale's were out chewing on algae just about everywhere I looked.
Eastern Sea Garfish were darting in all directions.
As were Black Tipped Bullseye's.
Not to mention this unknown school.
I even had more luck than usual getting shots of tiny guys.I think this bright blue is a Neon Damselfish.
I couldn't find the name of this tiny orange and white beauty.
And I got some great shots of a pair of Yellow Tang.
After such an awesome dip I had the added bonus of finding some Eastern Water Dragons on the way back to the car too.
Hopefully you have made it this far after so many shots, I just couldn't help myself. For a beach I usually dont get a chance to visit, Shelly's is definitely worth the time.
- The quantity and variety of sea life is probably the best in Sydney.
- A grade showers, toilets and a kiosk, as well as free electric bbqs make it a perfect picnic spot. It even has a formal restaurant on the beach.
- Beautiful scenery.
- Not much parking and pretty pricey; one weekend I drove for an hour to get there, spent another forty five looking for a parking spot before giving up and going home. Probably not worth the effort on a hot weekend.
- Busy; you will be sharing the water with plenty of others.