Marine Life

The Critters at Ship Rock

Pineapple Fish

Shiprock is hands down Sydney’s best shore night dive. The variety of critters you can spot at this dive site is simply amazing!!! If you cannot manage a night dive, it is fabulous during the day as well, but at night Shiprock really rocks 😉 What is special about diving this site at night is that you will see a completely different array of creatures compared to what you would see during the day. It is at night that this site transforms into a marine wonderland.

Shiprock, an aquatic reserve, was named after a ship-like rock on the shore. It is probably its reserve status that accounts for the amount of fascinating critters you can see. On the dive be sure to look in every nook, crevice, underwater cave (and bubble cave!), bommie and cranny because you will be sure to find something interesting.

Hermit Crab

One of the stars of Shiprock is the crabs. You can find little hermit crabs all over Shiprock. Hermit crabs need to find a bigger shell as they grow, so if you are lucky you may see one trying to find itself a new home. Another favourite are the decorator crabs. Decorator crabs attempt to camouflage themselves by sticking different materials to their bodies and it works fairly well so you need to look closely to find them. These beautiful and intriguing creatures are nocturnal so best seen at night.


Various types of the cranky-looking Anglerfish have been spotted at Shiprock. Anglerfish have a distinctive dorsal spine that looks a bit like a fishing pole hanging over their eyes and it is designed to lure their prey. They are notoriously hard to find, because they are so well camouflaged, and spotting one is considered an achievement amongst divers. For something a little more cheery than the Anglerfish. Shiprock is also home to the tiny boxfish, Pineapple Fish and pygmy leather jackets. They are just so adorable!! While these fish can be seen at other sites too, you are more likely to see these cute little guys at Shiprock.

The moray eels, the octopuses, the variety of sponges and so many other species of flora and fauna have not been mentioned here because if they were you would be reading all day! Come along to the next Shiprock dive with Abyss to see the variety of marine life for yourself. Checkout the Sydney dive calendar for more details.