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Cape Byron Marine Park

Navigation warning

Vessel operators are advised that as a component of the NSW Government Shark Management Strategy, the Department of Primary Industries have deployed two (VR4G) acoustic receivers on customised yellow buoys. The buoys are approximately 3.5m in length and fitted with 3.5m long steel sub-frames. The buoys are located in offshore waters near Sharpes Beach at Ballina and near the Pass at Byron Bay.

Vessel operators are advised to exercise caution when navigating in the vicinity of these areas. This navigation warning remains in place for the duration of the works. Vessel operators are advised that it is an offence to secure or anchor a vessel to the listening station buoys. Penalties apply.

Further information is available at RMS.

Recreational fishing amnesty

The NSW Government announced its decision on the recreational fishing amnesty in NSW Marine Parks, based on the Marine Estate Expert Knowledge Panel’s advice and further consideration of social values and use conflicts at some sites.

In Cape Byron Marine Park, the NSW Government proposes to rezone the shoreline (to 100 m offshore) at the following two sites from sanctuary zone to habitat protection zone to permanently allow shore-based recreational line fishing:

  • Tyagarah Beach
  • East Cape Byron.

The amnesty on shore-based recreational line fishing at these two sites will continue until the rezoning process is finalised.

The amnesty has now ceased at the following five sites and enforcement of sanctuary zone rules has recommenced:

  • Belongil Beach
  • The Pass/Wategos Beach
  • Broken Head
  • The Moat or Bream Hole
  • Lennox Head.

All forms of fishing are prohibited in sanctuary zones and significant penalties apply including on-the-spot fines of up to $500.

For more information, please visit the NSW Marine Estate website or contact the Cape Byron Marine Park office.

Location & Size

Cape Byron Marine Park covers approximately 22 000 hectares, extending from Brunswick Heads in the north to Lennox Head in the south. It includes the seabed and extends seaward from the mean high water mark to the 3 nautical mile limit of state waters. The tidal waters of the Brunswick River and its tributaries as well as Belongil and Tallow creeks are also within the marine park.

  • Zoning Map Description: PDF1.4 Mb - map showing the different zones, and explaining the activities allowed in each

Note: Percentages for zones may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Date established

The NSW Government officially established the park in November 2002.

Special features

Local marine habitats include exposed and sheltered sandy beaches, rocky shores, rocky reefs, submerged pinnacles, small rocky islands, coral communities, riverine estuaries, coastal creeks and lakes, and sandy seabed habitats.

Marine life includes many species of dolphins, fish, seabirds and marine plants along with threatened species such as little terns, grey nurse sharks and sea turtles. Many of the fascinating animals that inhabit the waters surrounding Julian rocks including, sharks, rays, turtles, eels, starfish, and corals can be viewed on the Julian Rocks Byron Bay website. Examples of some of the tiny marine organisms living in the shallow waters of the Brunswick River including colourful nudibranchs (sea slugs), sea snails, shrimps, crabs, corals, starfish, anemones, octopus, flat worms, sea squirts and sponges can be viewed by going to

Humpback whales travel through the marine park on their annual migration, making the area an important site for long-term monitoring of whale populations.

Sites of cultural significance to Indigenous people include Julian Rocks, Cocked Hat Rocks, Cape Byron and beaches around Broken Head.

Recreational and commercial use

Cape Byron Marine Park is zoned to conserve marine biodiversity while allowing sustainable recreational and commercial activities.

See the Cape Byron Marine Park Users Guide - Description: PDF2 Mb


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