Shellharbour Diving & Snorkelling
While the beaches of Shellharbour are idyllic, what lies under the water is just as alluring. Shellharbour is home to Bass Point Reserve - a relatively undiscovered gem, a number of shipwrecks and a cast of sea life that would do Finding Nemo proud. Sydneysiders fresh from diving their well-known sites will be amazed at what it is available to see through their masks, just beyond the southern edge of the city.
The Heritage-listed Bass Point Reserve features 72 hectares of spectacular coast surrounded by aquatic habitats teeming with marine life. Divers and snorkellers might see weedy sea dragons, eastern blue devils, blue gropers, bull stingrays and giant cuttlefish. There may even be a grey nurse shark or two.
It is not just fish you can see with six shipwrecks off the coast, the first dating back to 1879. There is even a World War II oil tanker in the depths. The SS Cities Service Boston ran aground here in 1943 and some of its engine and boilers can still be seen on the sea floor.
At the eastern end of Bass Point there is another astounding location – Bushrangers Bay Aquatic Reserve. This small sheltered bay boasts undersea cliffs shaped like an amphitheatre providing hundreds of small crevices that house sea urchins, crabs, anemones and sponges. The pretty seagrass beds and kelp-covered rocky reefs are a nursery for various fish species and a seasonal home for several tropical fish species.
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- The Gutter: one of the most popular dive spots and good in all weather, making it suitable for divers of all levels. Also a great location for night dives.
- Blue Devil Cave: renowned for sightings of the Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse, the eastern blue devilfish and, at times, wobbegong carpet sharks.
- The Gravel Loader: great viewing of large quantities of fish including giant cuttlefish and blue gropers.
- The Arch and the Hole in the Wall: home to slipper lobsters, boxfish, moray eels and the blue kneed sea spider, which is unique to the South Coast.