Diving, Snorkelling and Swimming
NSW is a premier destination for diving and snorkelling, with pristine waters filled with myriad corals and marine life. You’ll find kelp forests, rocky reefs, sea caves, stunning drop offs and old shipwrecks, as well as an incredible array of fish.
Cave and wreck diving
One of the best cave dives in Australia is Fish Rock Cave, off South West Rocks, on the North Coast. The dive takes you through the entire length of the 125 metre long cave, which is home to an abundance of marine life, including a large number of endangered grey nurse sharks.
Just north of Sydney is the Central Coast, where there are gorgeous beaches, wildlife sanctuaries and an artificial reef created from a scuttled warship, the Ex-HMAS Adelaide. About 1.8km off Avoca Beach, the ship rests 32 metres below the surface. There are diving tours to this popular spot.
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is a UNESCO World Heritage paradise 600km east of Port Macquarie. There is incredible diving and snorkelling here in the Lord Howe Island Marine Park, where you’ll find the world’s southernmost coral reef.
The island is located at the crossroads of five major ocean currents and the marine park contains more than 500 fish species as well as turtles and dolphins, and over 90 species of coral. With over 60 dive sites to choose from it’s a must do for divers visiting NSW.
Exciting marine life
There are a number of opportunities to swim with fur seals along the NSW coastline, including at Montague Island on the South Coast, at Port Kembla Harbour near Wollongong and in Jervis Bay. Dive Jervis Bay also offer the opportunity to swim with humpback whales during their annual migration.
Another fantastic dive site in NSW is Julian Rocks Marine Reserve in Byron Bay. Located a 5 minute boat ride from the shore, it’s not uncommon to see whales, rays, dolphins, leopard sharks, eel, turtles and over 600 species of fish.
Other wonderful diving and snorkelling spots include:
- Merimbula Wharf, in Merimbula
- Bushrangers Bay at Bass Point, near Shellharbour
- The Fly Point-Halifax Aquatic Reserve, in Port Stephens
- Solitary Islands Marine Park, near Coffs Harbour and Wooli
- Cook Island Aquatic Reserve, near Tweed Heads