Marine Life of Byron Bay: Up close and Personal


Looking for things to do in Byron Bay? A sea kayak is a great way to explore the Cape Byron Marine Reserve, which is a unique haven for local wildlife and marine creatures who thrive in our clean temperate waters. The area is home to over 500 species of fish, corals, sharks, rays and many marine birds. Many are permanent residents and can be found here year round, however between June and November each year the waters along the coast and in the Bay itself, play host to some of the ocean’s largest nomads the magnificent Humpback Whale.

For locals and visitors to Byron Bay the opportunity to have close encounters with most of these amazing creatures is simply a matter of having an adventurous spirit, a little curiosity and the right guide. Most people are surprised and delighted to find these creatures are just as curious to find out about us. Here are some of the most popular and the most interesting inhabitants of the Reserve:

Green Turtle
These endangered, mainly solitary ocean travellers graze on seagrass however the juvenile green turtles will eat jellyfish, crabs and sponges. They are marine reptiles and are often seen and encountered when coming up for air.


White Spotted Eagle Ray

Graceful and elegant the White Spotted Eagle Rays glide through the water gently flapping their “wings” which can reach up to 3.5 metres across. Sifting through the sediment on the ocean floor they feed on crustaceans and molluscs.


Sun Coral
Bringing a vibrant splash of colour to the ocean floor is the Sun Coral, which mostly extend their tentacles at night to capture phyto-plankton floating on the current. They will sometimes emerge during the day. This gorgeous soft coral is a favourite of aquarium enthusiasts.


Humpback Whale
Once a commercial whaling port, Byron Bay now provides a refuge along the migration path of the Humpback Whale, from Antarctica to its breeding grounds further north and on the return trip. Luckily for us this allows close contact for those who get out on the water. Hauntingly beautiful, the song of these gentle giants is both loved and revered.


Bottlenose Dolphin
Eternally popular, inquisitive, friendly and highly intelligent the Bottlenose Dolphin is probably the most commonly encountered ocean resident of the Bay. Dolphins have 100 teeth but after catching their fishy prey swallow them whole. The clicks, squeals and whistles can be heard under the water and above.


It’s impossible to truly convey the wonder of the Cape Byron Marine Reserve and its diverse and unique inhabitants. Our ‘Earth to Surf’ full day Byron Bay tour or our overnight ‘Ocean to Summit Adventure’ Byron Bay tour, which both include a Byron hinterland tour plus a spectacular sea kayaking tour in Byron Bay, is a great way to get up close and personal with the local marine life!

Call us today or click here to book online.