November 19 - 25, 2023: Issue 606


Ocean festival 2023: an invitation to dive on in from manly to mona vale

26 November - 3 December

In 2023 we mark our 30th Ocean Festival.

The Ocean Festival celebrates our marine protected areas, the biodiversity that lives below the water and on our rock platforms - our marine flora, fauna and mega fauna.

Our area has five aquatic reserves which are an important part of the NSW system of Marine Protected Areas.

The primary purpose of aquatic reserves is to conserve the diversity of marine plants, animals and habitats in that area.

Some of the benefits of marine protected areas are to:

  • provide educational and research opportunities for students and scientists to learn about the marine ecology and management of the reserve
  • offer recreation and eco-tourism activities such as diving, snorkelling, kayaking and in some cases recreational fishing
  • create volunteering opportunities so community members can help protect the reserve and educate the rest of the community.

Marine Protected Areas are public places set apart for the protection of our marine animals, plants and their habitats under the Marine Estate Management Act 2014.  

Please report illegal or suspect fishing or collecting activities or destruction of aquatic habitat to your nearest Fisheries Office or contact the Fishers Watch Phoneline on 1800 043 536 or use this online report form.

Our MPA's are:

Barrenjoey Head Aquatic Reserve

The aquatic reserve covers approx. 30ha including the rocky shore around Barrenjoey Head and out to 100m offshore.

Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve

Covering approx. 20ha it includes the entire bay, rocky shores and beaches from the southern end of Manly Beach to the northern end of the Shelly Beach Headland.

Long Reef Head Aquatic Reserve

Covering an area of approx. 80 ha, its boundaries extend along the shore from Collaroy rock baths south to Long Reef SLSC and out to 100m offshore.

Narrabeen Head Aquatic Reserve

This reserve covers an area of approx. 10ha.and includes the rocky shore between the southern end of Turimetta Beach and the rock baths and extends 100m offshore.

North Harbour (Sydney) Aquatic Reserve

Located between North Head and Dobroyd Head in the northern part of Sydney Harbour, covering an area of approx. 260 ha.

Our oceans cover 80% of our planet, generates 50% of the oxygen we breathe and absorb 25% of all carbon dioxide emissions - we need to keep our oceans healthy.

Events for the 2023 Ocean Festival include Science at the Steyne, UNDERWATER! 2023 Photo Competition and celebration, Rock Platform Rambles, Dive for Debris, Beach Clean-ups, Guided Snorkel Tours, SUP Safaris, Ocean walks and talks plus much more!

Dive in for eight days of events, encounters and experiences to celebrate our love of the ocean. 

UNDERWATER! 2023 Photo Competition: People's Choice

Vote for your favourite UNDERWATER! photo. Closes November midnight 19 2023

Vote now at:


'Waves of Change' Sand Sculpture

Sunday, 26 November 2023 - 09:00 am to 03:30 pm

Pricing: Free

Location: Basin Beach, Mona Vale

Celebrate marine sanctuaries and make a splash at 'Waves of Change' with Ocean Youth and NPA! Join us for sand art, marine excitement, fantastic prizes, and more at Basin Beach, Mona Vale Head.

Don’t forget your bucket and spade!


West Esplanade Manly: Sun 26 Nov., 10.00 AM - 12.00 PM

Includes: SUP Hire. 15min briefing, 10min paddle out and 50min class on the Floating Yoga studio and 10min paddle back to shore

Meet at Manly Cove East side - Out front of the Slip & Slide on the Sand.

Pricing: $65pp / Book for 3 and save $20 Book Online

SUP yoga is Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga; there's no other practice like it. This is nature absolutely showing off and we get to be a part of it! Wear your swimmers, expect to laugh until your abs are sore and to do some yoga in between. 

This is not about elite yoga, this is just good old fashioned fun. And maybe spot a fairy penguin or Seal whilst you paddle out.

You must be able to swim 150m in open water to participant. Beginners welcome! 1.5 hour group class

Curl Curl Lagoon Clean Up with Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew

Sunday, 26 November 2023 - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Join Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew for a family friendly lagoon clean up.

Do a good deed for the planet and make some new friends at the same time. No need to bring anything, except a friendly smile.

No booking required, just show up on the day.

Our meeting point is close to Griffin Road in Curl Curl, on the left side of the road if you're traveling in the northern direction. Please see the exact meeting point on our website.

3 Beaches Kayak Tour

Sunday, 26 November 2023 - 10:30 am to 02:30 pm

Pricing: $125.00 Book in here

Location: East Side Pier, Manly Wharf, East Esplanade, Manly

Join us on a kayaking journey to remember.

Soft caramel sand, spectacular look-out points, and isolated beaches are just some of the things you can expect to see on the tour.

c071420007, c071420008, c071420009, c071420010, c071420026- Box 04 and Box 05- Glass negatives of Sydney regions, including Clovelly, Coogee, and Manly, ca 1890-1910, by William Joseph Macpherson, courtesy State Library of NSW

Rock Platform Ramble - Fairlight

Sunday, 26 November 2023 - 02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Cost: Free

Contact information: Coastal Environment Centre,  Ph: 1300 000 232, email:

Location: Fairlight Beach Rockpool Fairlight Walk, Fairlight 

Discover the amazing diversity of sea creatures in your backyard. Join us for a rock platform ramble at Fairlight, a popular beach in Sydney Harbour which is home to a surprising array of marine plant and animal species including sea stars, urchins, anemones and shells. Bring wet shoes, a hat, sunscreen and water.

Narrabeen rock platform and ocean pool, Rock Platform Tour - North Narrabeen

Sunday, 26 November 2023 - 02:00 pm to 03:30 pm

Pricing: $10 for family of 4. Book in here

Contact information: Coastal Environment Centre, Email:

Location: Coastal Environment Centre, Pelican Path, North Narrabeen

Part of Ocean Festival. Come and join us at North Narrabeen for a rock platform tour to celebrate Ocean Festival. Once the ocean retreats at low tide an amazing world is uncovered for us to enjoy.

Join one of council's Educators and discover the biodiversity that exists between the land and the sea. Sea stars, sea hares, elephant snails, limpets and crabs are just some of the creatures that you may find.

Guided by local experts, you will experience first-hand a world that is rarely seen.

An inspiring adventure for the whole family!

Long Reef Rock Platform Tour - Ocean Festival

Tuesday, 28 November 2023 - 04:30 pm to 06:00 pm

Cost: $10.00 Book in here

Come and join a Long Reef for a rock platform tour to celebrate Ocean Festival. Once the ocean retreats at low tide an amazing world is uncovered for us to enjoy.

Join one of council's Educators and discover the biodiversity that exists between the land and the sea. Sea stars, sea hares, elephant snails, limpets and crabs are just some of the creatures that you may find.

Guided by local experts, you will experience first-hand a world that is rarely seen. An inspiring adventure for the whole family!

Science at the Steyne

Tuesday, 28 November 2023 - 06:00 pm to 09:00 pm

Cost: Free - Book in here

Celebrate our precious oceans with ‘Science at the Steyne’, always a popular event on the Ocean Festival calendar.

Interested in learning more about our amazing marine environment? We hear from marine scientists, biologists, ecologists and experts in a fun, fact-filled event. Free to attend. Booking necessary.

Coastal Walk & Talk

Wednesday, 29 November 2023 - 10:00 am to 01:00 pm

Cost: Free - Book Online

Join Karen Smith, Aboriginal Heritage Officer, for a Long Reef Headland 'walk and talk'.

The walk starts at Long Reef Surf Club and follows a well-defined pathway with a medium slope up to Long Reef Headland where you can enjoy magnificent 360 degree views of the surrounding coastline.

The walk finishes with morning tea at Fisherman’s Beach. You can choose to walk back to your car or catch a bus at the top of Anzac Parade. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen and water.

Little Penguin Chalk Art

Friday, 1 December 2023 - 10:00 am to 04:00 pm

Location: Manly Wharf Forecourt, Manly Wharf


Come and learn about Manly's endangered Little Penguin colony and the threats it faces, as our artist creates a beautiful chalk artwork. Part of Ocean Festival

Manly snorkel and walk tour

Saturday, 2 December 2023 - 09:30 am to 12:30 pm

Cost: $109.00 Book Online

Location: Shelly Beach car park, Manly

Embark on an unforgettable Sydney adventure with EcoTreasures’ Advanced Ecotourism certified small group Manly snorkelling experience at Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve.

Dive into the wonders of Sydney’s marine world alongside our passionate local expert guide.

Head towards the car park exit, which is the sole car park in the area. Please note that it’s not near the cafe. As you walk up the road towards the car park, follow the cars to the exit. Our meeting point is located at the car park exit on the cliff side, where you’ll also find a designated disabled parking spot. Look for the green dot on the map for reference.

Curating Collins Flat

Saturday, 2 December 2023 - 10:00 am to 03:00 pm

Cost: Free

Location: Collins Flat Beach, Manly

The artist will create ephemeral sculptures on Collins Flat Beach using plastics and rubbish collected from the shoreline at Collins Flat.

Other seashore paraphernalia may also be used to create forms at Collins Flat on the day, which will be returned to the shoreline at the end of the event. The plastic forms will be delivered to rubbish bins at the end of the event. The public will be invited to help make sculptures on the event day.

Collin's Flat - near Spring Cove Item a280004h from Album: Sydney Harbour : views of Middle and North Harbour bays and foreshores, including Quarantine Station, North Head, ca. 1870s - courtesy State Library of NSW

Manly Mini Kayak Tour

Saturday, 2 December 2023 - 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Sunday, 3 December 2023 - 10:30 am to 12:00 pm

Cost: $50.00 Book in here

Location: East Side Pier, Manly Wharf, East Esplanade, Manly 

Explore the highlights of North Harbour by kayak on our mini kayak tour.

This 90-minute adventure is perfect for first time paddlers looking for a unique way to explore the highlights of Manly Cove and North Harbour.

Beach Clean up at Quarantine Beach

Sunday December 3: 10am to 12pm

Part of Ocean Festival. Join Beach Clean-up against Debris at Quarantine Beach.

Meet: 1 North Head, Scenic Drive Manly

Meet the Friends of Cabbage Tree Bay

Sunday, 3 December 2023 - 10:00 am to 03:00 pm

Meet the award winning volunteer group, Friends of Cabbage Tree Bay, who are protecting the amazing Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve and find out about becoming a volunteer.

Location: Shelly Beach, Manly 

Underwater ocean Sewing Bee

Sunday, 3 December 2023 - 10:30 am to 02:30 pm

Pricing: $0.00 . Please email your interest to or book via Facebook page

Location: The Hub, Kimbriki Resource Recovery Centre Kimbriki Road, Ingleside 

In celebration and participation of Council's 30th Ocean Festival, Boomerang Bags Northern Beaches, Kimbriki will be holding an Ocean-themed Sewing Bee.

Be part of the Circular Economy and explore your creativity at this free community working bee, creating reusable products for our Northern Beaches community from unwanted fabric.

These sewing bee events help you get familiar with a sewing machine and help you with your sustainable sewing project including mending tips.

The Boomerang Bags Project is a community-driven bag-share initiative tackling single-use plastic pollution and diverting unwanted fabric materials from landfills at a grassroots level.

Volunteers get together to chat, sew, cut and explore their creativity to create reusable products as sustainable alternatives to plastic items and reduce fabric waste destined for landfill. Everyone is welcome and no experience is required. Part of Ocean Festival