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Abyss Scuba Diving
Marty's 3 must-not-be-missed boat dives in Sydney.
In my early years of diving around Sydney, I was blown away by the spectacular marine life and exciting experiences available from a boat.
And I still am!
So, if you’re planning on spending some time in Sydney, here are 3 must-not-be-missed boat dives in Sydney to get the experience off to a great start.
1. Barrens Hut
Barrens Hut is claimed by many experienced divers to be the leading reef dive in Sydney and I agree. Located only a few hundred meters off Royal National Park on the southern outskirts of Sydney, Barrens Hut is named after a squatter's hut built a very long time ago into the side of the rocky cliff. The dive site itself is one of the most spectacular I have seen around Sydney, with the main part of the dive formed by a dramatic drop-off from the reef top.
Barrens Hut usually has relatively clear water with an average visibility of about 15 metres. When you descend, you will see Literally millions of fish. Blue gropers, huge schools of yellowtail swimming around the anchor line, enormous yellowtail kingfish coming in to peer at you and many more schooling around the anchor line and over the reef edge. The site is 28 metres deep so you have time to enjoy the descent.
I usually drop the anchor where the reef drops from 18 metres down to 28 metres and is slightly undercut. Right at the base of the undercut, there is a cave. You swim into the cave for four metres, then up a crevice that takes you back to the top of the reef.
Common marine animals witnessed at Barrens Hut include an assortment of Nudibranchs (including the rare Donut nembrotha), Bleeker’s Blue Devil Fish, weedy seadragons, red morwong, rock cale, blue groper, sea whips, octopus. I am certain that you will love diving at Barrens Hut.
2. Magic Point.
Due to its highly interesting abundance of marine life and grey nurse sharks, Magic Point has earned the name “Magical”. It is usually very safe and is known for its presence of wobbegong sharks, blue-eye trevallies, yellow-tail and seadragons.
This popular Sydney dive site is found off Maroubra and is only an easy 30-minute boat ride from our San Souci pickup. It is well-known for the small cave at 16m that is home to famous inhabitants, grey nurse sharks. This cave has been a home for grey nurse sharks for 25 years, with it being noted to host 20+ sharks at any one time, although the population is currently significantly less than that.
When diving at Magic Point, it is crucial to remember that sharks are wild animals, and as such, they can come and go as they please. I always look at the sharks as an added bonus, and that way, I am able to enjoy the dive for what it is: a truly magical location, indeed.
3. Martin Island.
Although this dive site was not named after me and is not truly in Sydney, it is a very special dive site that should be on every Sydney diver's bucket list.
From June to September Martin Island is the home of a large number of Australian fur seals. Seals are one of the most exciting creatures you can ever scuba dive with. All they wish to do is play with you, and if you don’t wish to play with them, then they will find someone else to play with.
During the time of the year when seals are vacationing on Martin Island, I operate the boat in and out of Port Kembla Harbour on a regular basis. The seals are located only a 10-minute boat ride from Port Kembla Harbour pickup.
Make the most of your dive with the seals. I recommend staying shallow and interacting with them. The seals are most active at depths of less than ten meters, so play with the seals at a depth that works best for you. Staying shallow means, you will have more bottom time to interact with the seals, which is what you want to be doing.
Martin Island is also well-known for the resident giant eastern smooth rays, as well as the Humpback whales cruising past the island during the seal dive season.
I hope you enjoy these three dives as much as I do, I look forward to seeing you out on the boat very soon, and I would love to take you to one of my favourite dive sites.
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