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Sandstone Shores

Photo of a sandstone shore of the Hawkesbury Sandstone

Between Newcastle and Kiama, New South Wales, vast intertidal wavecut platforms composed of the Hawkesbury Sandstone formation form extensive horizontal surfaces that suit many species of intertidal algae and creatures. This Sandstone Shore is at Swansea heads near the entrance to Lake Macquarie, New South Wales.

Where waves undercut a cliff, large angular blocks collapse onto the rock platform and weather into rounded boulders. On some headlands such as at Tudibaring Headland at Copacabana, New South Wales, this has created a boulder shore.

The waves dissipate most of their energy as they roll across the wide expanse of platform.

Photo of a horizontal sandstone intertidal platform

In rock pools, along cracks and gutters, and under boulders lying on rock and sand, numerous protected microhabitats occur.

Algae clumps, such as Neptune's Necklace, Hormosera banksii, also form a protective cover.

These sandstone shores, under certain protected conditions, form some of the most prolific intertidal habitats in Australia.


Bennett, I. (1987) W. J. Dakin's classic study: Australian Seashores. p. 3-12, Angus & Robertson, Sydney.

Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. p.8, New Holland, Sydney.

Types of Rocky Shore

Granite Shores
Basalt Shores
Limestone Shores
Sandstone Shores
Metamorphic Shores
Boulder Shores

Home Page
Rocky Shores
Tidal Levels
Intertidal Zonation
Environmental Factors
Biological Factors
Feeding Relationships



photo of Keith DaveyLife on Australian Seashores
by Keith Davey (C) 2000

Learning Consultant - Media
The University of Newcastle

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Scientific Consultant: Phil Colman
site created 01.01.98 : updated 01.04.2000