Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve
|Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve|
New South Wales
|Nearest town or city||Byron Bay|
|Area||40.47 km2 (15.6 sq mi)|
|Managing authorities||NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service|
|Website||Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve|
Protected areas of|
New South Wales
The Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve is a protected nature reserve that is located on the Julian Rocks in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, in Australia. The 4,047-hectare (10,000-acre) reserve comprise two small islands, situated in the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean, approximately 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi) northeast of Byron Bay.
According to indigenous folklore from the Bundjalung people, a jealous husband threw his spear at the canoe of his wife and her lover. The canoe broke in two and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Only the back and the front of the boat stuck out of the water.
The islands were sighted by Captain James Cook when he passed through the area in 1770. However, he did not name them. The rocks are referred to as the Juan and Julia Rocks in Staff Commander Howard’s 1883 survey report of Cape Byron Bay and in his sketch of Byron Bay. The origin of this name is unknown.
In 1982, after pressure from locals, the area surrounding the rocks was established as a marine reserve, with all fishing and commercial exploitation banned for a 500 metres (1,600 ft) range around the rocks. The area is home to large numbers of marine species, including leopard sharks, grey nurse sharks, wobbegong, a variety of nudibranchs. It's one of about a dozen critical habitats for the grey nurse shark in NSW. Scuba divers identify the site as one of the top sites in Australia for its wide variety of marine life.
From May to September, humpback whales are commonly spotted traveling between the rocks and the mainland and are a common sighting on the short boat trip between the mainland and the rocks. The Cape Byron Marine Park, declared in 2002, surrounds the reserve. A sanctuary zone within the marine park was declared in 2006.
- "Julian Rocks Nguthungulli Nature Reserve: Park management". Office of Environment and Heritage. Government of New South Wales. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
- "Julian Rocks Nature Reserve: Plan of management" (PDF). NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (PDF). Government of New South Wales. January 2011. ISBN 978-1-74293-086-2. Retrieved 26 September 2014.
- "Grey Nurse Shark: Draft recovery plan" (PDF). NSW Fisheries: Threatened Species Recovery Planning Program (PDF). Government of New South Wales. May 2002. p. 76. Retrieved 26 September 2014.