Diving in Australia – New South Wales

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New South Wales (NSW) offers a spectacular variety of year-round diving that owes as much to the mix of warm and cold water currents as it does to the nearby presence of the deeper waters at the edge of the Continental Shelf. With over 2000 kilometres of coastline there are plenty of unique and diverse sites to suit all divers. Below you will find an overview of the different regions in NSW to explore;

Far North Coast: 

Home to numerous amazing dives sites, the Far North Coast is blessed with beautiful weather and tropical warm currents. One of the highlights of this region is the Julian Rocks Marine Park near Byron Bay, which is rated by many as one of Australia’s top 10 diving destinations. Cook Island off Tweed Heads is another highlight of the Far North Coast and has a range of unique and diverse species in this protected marine reserve. Whilst diving in these regions you will discover an abundance of marine life due to its unique location, with the mixing of warmer currents and cooler temperate waters.

Diving in NSW

Courtesy of Tim Irvin ©

Mid North Coast: 

Just north of Coffs Harbour is the Solitary Islands Marine Park. The marine park has over 25 dives sites to explore with a unique blend of both warm water and temperate water marine life, depending on the season. South West Rocks is also a well known dive location loved by many divers. The Fish Rock Cave and the marine life that surrounds the cave, is also a favourite site. The opportunity of diving with the Grey Nurse Sharks is also popular in both locations and Humpback Whales also frequent these waters during certain parts of the year.

Mid Coast & Newcastle: 

This stunning region offers several great dive destinations including the Port Stephens area and you can easily access the best of these sites from Foster, Nelson Bay and Newcastle. The Great Lakes Marine Park is a exciting destination teeming with marine life. Popular sites include Halifax, Fly Point and The Pipeline.


Shelly Beach - NSW

Courtesy of Brandon Scott ©

For a major city, Sydney has some exceptional and world class diving. Popular dive sites in Sydney include Bare Island, Camp Cove and Shelly Beach, just to name a few, although there are numerous other sites that offer divers some unforgettable experiences. At most sites across Sydney you can expect to see Rays, Gropers, countless fish species and much more. Several sharks species also frequent the different dive sites across Sydney including Port Jackson Sharks and Grey Nurse Sharks, while Sea Horses and Weedy Sea Dragons can also been seen at several sites. When you dive in Sydney you are really spoiled with the vast number of sites that are on offer, from calm and enjoyable sites for less experienced divers all the way through to sites more suitable for experienced divers. In line with being a major shopping destination, the PADI Dive Shops in Sydney also have a extensive range of the latest diving equipment and toys at very competitive prices. Just north of Sydney, the Ex-HMAS Adelaide was scuttled off Avoca Beach near Terrigal and now serves as a world-class artificial reef and dive site. Sitting bolt upright in 32 metres of water this site is the first of its kind in NSW.

Diving in NSW

Courtesy of Tim Irvin ©

South Coast: 

The South Coast of NSW is a favourite destination for many divers when visiting NSW. The area around Wollongong & Shellharbour is home to a number of great sites including sites on Bass Island and Toothbrush Island, where you can expect to see Cuttlefish, Rays and Gropers. Jervis Bay is also a must dive destination on the South Coast with over 30 sites to explore. The most well known site is The Docks which has some excellent cavern diving teeming with marine life. Brush Island is also regarded by many as an excellent destination for experienced divers and is located just south of Ulladulla. Further south, Bateman’s Bay and the surrounding regions, presents divers with some diverse sites including Black Rock which is accessible by boat. Finally multiple sites near Narooma and Merimbula in the far south are picturesque before you hit the southern border.

Lord Howe Island: 

Lord Howe Island, 700 kilometres to the east of NSW, features the world’s southernmost colonies of coral reefs. The island has over 60 dives sites to explore including the world’s tallest sea stack, Ball’s Pyramid, suitable for experienced divers. Turtles, Sharks and Dolphins are just some of the marine life that call Lord Howe Island home.

With semi-tropical waters in the State’s north and cooler, temperate waters in the southernmost regions, the reefs, wrecks and beaches of NSW include many of Australia’s finest diving destinations. So what are you waiting for, jump in and Locate a PADI Dive Shop in NSW for your next dive trip!