The Artificial Reef Project
Discover what's living in the water around the Opera House, learn about the project to protect it and ways you can help build a more sustainable future!
Press play to watch video
Watch to learn about the modular artificial reef installed around Bennelong Point created for a more sustainable future
he Sydney Opera House is surrounded by water; it’s kind of like the Harbour is our backyard!
Like all backyards – it’s a place that we are responsible for looking after.
But did you know 60% of Sydney’s harbour shoreline has been replaced by seawalls, resulting in small fish and animals losing their homes?
To help restore the natural beauty of our backyard, Sydney Opera House has embarked on a research project led by University of Technology Sydney Professor of Marine Ecology David Booth.
The Artificial Reef Project aims to install a modular artificial reef underwater around Bennelong Point, to help bring the fish back and create a new home for them as part of our commitment to Goal 14 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Global Goals – “Life Below Water”.
Watch videos, explore 3D models and unpack curriculum aligned teacher resources to learn about the project, life below the water and ways to protect the natural environment for a more sustainable future.
What type of natural environment is near your home?
What steps could you take to look after your own backyard?
Press play to watch 360 video
Underwater 360 video of the artificial reef
Download teacher resources
Stages 2, 3 & 4
Our curriculum linked resources will help you and your class unpack the scientific research and the impact of the installation on the biodiversity in Sydney Harbor.
This project develops student’s critical and creative thinking and their personal and social capabilities as they see the positive impact of the Artificial Reef Project and consider how they can help to care for their own environment/backyard.
Yellowfin Bream (Acanthopagrus australis) swimming in Sydney Harbour
Gloomy Octopus (Octopus tetricus) Image: John Turnball
Explore 3D models
The artificial reef modules are installed around the Sydney Opera House, providing habitat for the marine life of Sydney Harbour. They are constructed of steel and concrete, creating structure for plants and animals to grow on, and enclosed spaces for mobile organisms to use as shelter or ambush sites.
Artificial Reef Pods
View a photogrammetry model to learn about the placement of the pods and see the improved habitat created by kelp growth.
Researchers Giglia Beretta and Professor David Booth from UTS with Emma Bombonato, Sydney Opera House’s Environmental Sustainability Manager monitoring artificial reefs along the sea wall.
Watch University of Technology Sydney Professor of Marine Ecology David Booth who lead the Artificial Reef Project in a panel discussion alongside leading harbour voices in a Virtual Ocean Talk by Australian National Maritime Museum on 10 September at 7.30pm. Find out more.
This project has been assisted by the New South Wales Government through its Environmental Trust.
An octopus' garden underneath the Opera House
Discover the sea creatures that dwell beneath the harbour in our modular artificial reef along the Sydney Opera House sea wall.
Colour in your House
In celebration of World Environment Day on 5 June, download our colouring in sheets and learn some fun facts about sustainability at the Opera House.
From our House to yours
Bring our stages to your sofa with our new digital program delivered weekly from our House to yours.