Top dives in New South Wales

21 June 2013

Dorothy had it right when she said: “There’s no place like home.” Australians with an interest in scuba diving may share this sentiment particularly strongly.

Australia is simply one of the most beautiful places in the world to take a dive or go snorkelling, with a plethora of breathtaking (literally breath-taking) scuba dive sites right here in New South Wales.

If you’ve ever considered scuba diving or even had the slightest inkling that you might enjoy the experience, then maybe it’s time you considered getting some friends together and giving it a go.

Many divers even feel that “once-in-a-lifetime”experience is simply too good to only have once. In Australia, you are just about guaranteed to enjoy an undeniably exquisite and unforgettable underwater adventure.

Here are some of the top dive sites around New South Wales.

Batemans Bay, Narooma and Montague Island

These areas are near Canberra, where Indepth Scuba runs its weekend dive experiences, visiting all three spots and offering divers a chance to see seals, grey nurse sharks, whales, dolphins, manta rays, turtles, coral gardens, a bubble cave and pinnacles.

The time of year and season you decide to dive in these areas can have a huge impact on the kind of experience you will have.

Montague Island

Montague Island

Only a few months further down the track and the 26-degree water is known to bring out the most colourful of tropical fish as well as the potential for creatures not usually seen so far south, such as grey nurse sharks, turtles and sunfish.

Byron Bay


Dolphin Magic

Byron Bay is already a popular beach and swimming spot, but at nearby Julian Rocks Marine Reserve, just 2.5 kilometres away, you’ll find one of the most highly regarded dive and scuba sites.

Here you’ll find a collection of fascinating sea creatures, such as manta rays, turtles and leopard sharks.

Where else in the world do you find these kind of opportunities?

You can head out for a dive or a scuba as an experienced old-hand or a total newbie – you’ll be able to find all you need from the hire stores nearby.

Even the boat ride out to the spot is part of the adventure, as you will often come across dolphins on the way out.


Giant Cuttlefish - Shellharbour

Giant Cuttlefish – Shellharbour

Just south of central Wollongong, Bass Point is considered to be one of the most accessible dive locations throughout the New South Wales coast.

In particular, this area is known for its excellent opportunities for shore diving, where the reefs are simply slathered in marine invertebrates and other sea creatures, which gives it its nickname of the ‘Leisure Coast’.

Dive shops are located all around the area to ferry you to dive sites and organise scuba trips, snorkelling, and underwater photography.

This area is also famed for the chance to use an underwater scooter to cover four kilometres of seascape in one dive, where those who are up to it can visit Spider Rock to see three different types of water spider.

Lord Howe Island

Somewhat further out from the coast (around 600 kilometres) Lord Howe Island is surrounded by the world’s most southerly coral reefs.

It plays host to over 60 dive sites that are considered to be nothing less than top-class.

A sea stack awaits 20 kilometres off shore to be explored where marlin are not uncommonly sighted. Volcanic drop-offs, caves and multi-coloured reefs house rare and endemic species of sea creature with intriguing names like ‘Spanish dancers’ and the double-headed wrasse.

This area truly is a divers paradise, and is rightly World Heritage listed for the geology and life on the island.

Lord Howe Island

Howea Divers – Lord Howe Island

  • Jayson

    Australia is a beautiful place to travel but dont ever live here it is extremely boring after a while, the people seem friendly with their smiles and gdays but deep down they are not as friendly as they appear to be,you dont get value for money and i would suggest you spent your money elsewhere

    • David S

      Jayson, You obviously have a very limited mind. Sorry but that is an atrocious comment and reflects either your lack of intelligence or adventure or perhaps a combination of both!!

      Best of luck in your limited life!!

      • Jayson

        David you must be a far leftist rudder boy,as they only see there view and perspective,and look where it got us :0 as for my lack of intelligence i can assure you it is you who lacks it,as for adventure i have travelled extensively through out the world over a 25 period and have experience things that you could only dream of,that all said and done, i am entitled to my opinion on Australia which i have addressed and wish others to see that there are many points of view from a wide range of people, yet all you have done is gone on the defensive without even questioning my point of view on why i feel this way about Australia .if you wish to have an intelligent discussion please feel free to reply

        • David S

          Sorry but your generalist remarks about every single person in Australia not being nice is not even worthy of this conversation continuing as you have shown yourself to be a moron!! End of!! And I am not a lefty for that matter nor am I Australian!!

          • Jayson

            I did not generalize on every single person so get your facts right POM if you dont like Aussies expressing themselves on about own country then back your bags and go back to where you came from

          • Jean Catherine

            Well that sure got the point across and proved that not all Aussies are nice. Mention anything negative and they are all on the defensive and angry lol. And Australia isn’t cheap or affordable its expensive as all hell, have people not traveled past their state let alone overseas. And rents are sky high, cars are expensive, oh the list goes on and on. Overseas is way cheaper to holiday and visit at. Australia has some stunning beaches and diving spots but so does many other countries. Jayson was expressing his point of view, no need for everyone to get their nickers in a knot.

          • David S

            Expressing an opinion is fine as long as it isnt generalising!! That is simply idiotic and not welcomed! Australia is expensive when comparing to a lot of other countries but the wages are higher than most too!

          • David S

            “The People” is a generalisation you clown!! BTW get your facts right…I’m not a POM!!

    • Marie

      Jayson, to be fair, you are yet to disclose the country you dwell in?

      • Jayson

        Im HERE

    • Jack Shyte

      Today’s moron award goes to Jayson

      • Jayson

        Mr Shite
        Take a leaf out of the POMS book David and write something that is worth reading.oh i feel offended….. BORING comes to mind

  • Peter Howard

    hey Jayson, don’t let the door swat you on the ass as you leave.

    • Jayson

      Peter with that kind of reply your are living proof of my description of boring, at least take a leaf out of Davids comment who tried a lot harder in his response.

    • David S

      Hi Peter,

      Don’t waste your time on this clown as he is simply an ignoramus looking for attention!!
      Let’s simply ignore him!!

  • Surendra Pandey

    It’s a beautiful country not just because of nature but people who are genuine, hardworking and friendly ….

  • Ben

    They left out Fish Rock Cave, South West Rocks. One of the best marine life dive sights encountered!

  • Taipan

    Other additional places would be South West Rocks, Port Stephens (Particularly Broughton Island) and the Solitary Islands near Coff Harbour :)