Sunday, 28 February 2016

Shelly Beach - Manly

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.


  1. Hi Enzo, what camera model do you use? The shots are quite good!

    1. Heya, thanks for the support. I just use a Nikon AW130 - it's a middle of the range point and shoot that retails for around $400 AUD. I've actually been thinking about putting up a post talking about my gear and what settings I use.