Whether you are new or have done hundreds of dives, Bare Island located on the northern side of Botany Bay is a dive site that continues to captivate and excite divers. With shallow walls where you can take your first breaths underwater to deeper longer dives that take you close to recreational dive limits this site has it all.
The right side
This is where you will start to get familiar with the island. Located on the right side of the bridge you enter wherever the conditions permit. By keeping the wall on your left as you swim out and then retracing your path back a new team of dives can safely gain confidence whilst exploring amazing sponge gardens and searching for illusive red indian fish. A dive time of 30 minutes will take out to a max of 15 metres with minimal current and surge, if you are an advanced diver a 50 minute dive time will take you to the ends of the right wall reef and to a depth of 20 metres. Nearly every Sydney diver has a fond memory from this section of Bare Island
The left side
The left side requires the conditions to be more favourable as the position relative the the headlands means its more exposed to waves, surge and current. Following a dive master for the first time of if you are not 100% confident is a good idea. Weedy Seadragons are more commonly spotted on this side of the island as there tends to be more kelp located here. Beautiful sponge garden channels are a highlight as you swim between the rocky boulders covered in these colorful animals. With a max depth of 12 metres it is a great second dive after you have explored the right side.
The back right wall
If you follow the right wall to the 9 metre point then turn south and head up and over the boulders, through a shallower section filled with finger sponges (where you will occasionally find a cheeky big bellied seahorse) you will eventually descend onto the back right reef of the island. Here the depth can drop into the 20s and you need to be careful about your fitness levels and the site conditions. Exiting can often be difficult and require a long surface swim if you don’t plan your dive properly. The back wall has almost twice the sponge density of the main sections of Bare Island along with numerous cracks and miniature caves to explore and discover some rare and elusive fish species such as Eastern Blue Devils.
The back wall
The Back wall of Bare Island is one of the best dive sites Sydney has to offer. If the conditions are favourable it really does pay off to make your way out there. Whilst it may require longer surface swims this more difficult dive site often proves to be spectacular. It is not uncommon to see 4 or 5 schools of fish from completely different species swoop through here at the right time of year. From Yellow Tail to Sweep and occasionally Kingfish if you want to be surrounded by schooling fish this is the dive site to check out. Depths can reach 25 metres and due to the distances encountered watching your no deco time is essential. Whilst this is a more advanced site than most Sydney Dives it is definitely one to aspire to do.
So if you love Bare Island get out there and explore all it has to offer and if you have sidemount or twims why not circumnavigate the entire island and see everything it has to offer.