Shellharbour Diving and Snorkelling

Discover the beauty beneath the surface when diving and snorkelling at Shellharbour, only 90 minutes’ drive from Sydney. Bass Point Reserve is considered one of the best marine travel destinations in NSW offering outstanding dive sites, from shipwrecks to undersea cliffs and more. 

The heritage-listed reserve boasts 72 hectares of coastal paradise surrounded by extensive aquatic habitats teeming with marine life, including weedy sea dragons, eastern blue devils, blue gropers, bull stingrays and giant cuttlefish. You may even be lucky and see a grey nurse shark or two. 

 

Couple snorkelling at Bushrangers Bay in Shellharbour

There are six shipwrecks off the coast, the first dating back to 1879. A World War II oil tanker called the SS Cities Service Boston ran aground here on 16 May 1943 and some of its engine and boilers can still be seen on the sea floor.

One of the best diving and snorkelling locations in Shellharbour is the Bushrangers Bay Aquatic Reserve, a small sheltered embayment at the eastern end of Bass Point. 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 including grey nurse sharks. 

In this sheltered bay are undersea cliffs shaped like an amphitheatre. Hundreds of small crevices are homes for sea urchins, crabs, anemones and sponges. Join Shellharbour Scuba Centre or Windang Dive on diving tours in this marine sanctuary. Other wonderful dive sites around Bass Point include:

  • 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 dive.
  • 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.
Aquatic life in Bushrangers Bay, Shellharbour.

Just north of Bass Point is Shellharbour Village, where you’ll find a great selection of restaurants and cafes as well as specialty stores. There’s a range of places to stay in the region, which is on the Grand Pacific Drive touring route. Just south of Bass Point is the Killalea State Recreation Area and two world-class surf breaks, The Farm and Mystics, which are both National Surfing Reserves.