Descend in about 3 or so metres along the wall due east of the south-eastern corner of the tidal pool and head east with the wall on your left. In about 5 metres depth, you will pass the Orange Nob, a conspicuous outcrop of soft coral atop an overhang. Past this the wall appears to peter out, stay at your depth of 6-7 metres and when you spot an small v-shaped section of bare sand amongst the bedrock (8 metres depth), take a left and you will notice the wall becomes quite pronounced.
The bedrock spreads out to the east over a number of ledges, great territory for spying octopus and the odd bull and eagle ray. Hanging close to the wall will reward you with an almost continuous overhang that’s the home to a number of giant cuttlefish and resident eastern blue devil fish (arguably the best spot in Sydney to spy these spectacular rarities).
After 60 or so metres, you will find yourself at a depth of 9 metres and encounter Split Rock, which is fairly self explanatory. Here you’ll want to head east for a couple of metres,take your pick of swimming over the split or through the seemingly impassable swim through. You will encounter sand.
The wall drops in height here and dog legs around to the northeast. Follow it until it begins to break up amidst the sand and sea tulips. At this point just to the right (east) you’ll see a second reef that runs in a similar direction to your current bearing. You can choose to explore the eastern or western side.
The eastern provides a mysterious ceramic urinal (11 metres depth) after 50 metres and only 15 metres later a small cave. This cave is about 3 metres in height, illuminated by a large fissure on the far side and has a small tunnel that runs off to the north. Do not penetrate this tunnel! A swim through it ain’t. Dense schools of roughies and bullseyes live in this cave and when in season, Port Jackson sharks can be found knee-deep.
From here (air time permitting, it is possible to continue on to Fish Soup, Continue along the wall and when you notice kelp begin along the wall’s ridge (after 100 metres) head due east. You’ll swim over a large gully,head right and you’ll be led straight to Fish Soup, full with aquatic life.
Entry and exit
Just to the right of the Pavilion is a set of steps, leading down to the beach and along the northern end of the tidal pool. At the north-western corner of the pool is a chain link fence, perfect to lean on when donning your fins. From here, edge sideways a couple of metres along the bedrock and at high tide, perform a belly flop entry. A controlled seated entry is more suitable at low tide. Once in, don’t dillydally in the entry zone, head straight out with the wall on your immediate left for about 15 metres and then swim across until you’re even with the southern end of the pool. If conditions are too severe to enter through the primary entry, an alternate can be used just to the south of the pool. Secure your fins at the water’s edge and wade (carefully) backwards into the water, or inflate your BC and lean back in waist deep water. Swim directly out to sea for about 50 metres before heading north to the wall – the bedrock is extremely shallow and can render you helpless when combined with swell. When exiting at the primary entry/exit, time yourself to go in a lull between sets.