The Shoal Bay Coastal Reserve is located to the East of Darwin and
to the North of the Gunn Point Road. The Reserve can be accessed off a
number of tracks located near the Howard Springs Hunting Reserve. The
tracks become impassable once the wet season sets in and the area
This Coastal Reserve protects a large coastal area between the
Howard River, and to the eastern boundary near Gunn Point. The Reserve
shares a common boundary with the Howard Springs Hunting Reserve and
Tree Point Conservation Area. It contains a large area of Eucalypt
woodland and large areas of saline swamp with areas that are inundated
during the wet season. The Coastal Reserve supports an open
forest/woodland dominated by stringy bark, woolly butt and ironwood.
There are patches of rainforest located near and around springs.
Patches of paperbark inhabit the damp freshwater depressions.
The Reserve protects areas of Aboriginal (Larrakia) cultural
significance. A number of Aboriginal shell middens are located on one
of the upland intrusions into the swamp area. There are no visitor
facilities and there are no constructed walking tracks on the Reserve.
Tracks lead to the shell middens, and to places where there are views
of the floodplains with saline marshes and freshwater swamps. These
predominate on the area between the upland woodland section and the
This Coastal Reserve is also used as an extension to the Howard
Springs Hunting Reserve with magpie geese being the main target during
hunting season (Permits required). Many species of wildlife occur in
this Reserve inhabiting the wide range of different vegetation types