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Abyss Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving Sydney
The Ultimate Guide
Looking to scuba dive in Sydney? You've come to the right place! Sydney is home to some of the best scuba diving in the world, with an abundance of dive sites to explore, both from the shore and by boat. Whether you're a certified diver or someone who's never even dipped their toes in the water, scuba diving in Sydney is an experience everyone should have. In this comprehensive guide, we'll teach you everything you need to know before scuba diving in Sydney, from where to go to what to expect.
Sydney is world-renowned for its scuba diving, and it's easy to see why. The underwater life here is incredible, with species such as weedy sea dragons, blue gropers, giant cuttlefish, and sponge gardens in abundance. Sydney harbour has more marine species than any other harbour in the world - with more than six hundred marine animals already being identified in Sydney Harbour!
No matter what your level of experience is, scuba diving in Sydney is an unforgettable experience. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your scuba gear, and let's get started!
What to Expect When Scuba Diving in Sydney?
No matter what your level of experience is, scuba diving in Sydney is an unforgettable experience. Here's what you can expect when scuba diving in Sydney:
An abundance of marine life: Sydney is home to more than six hundred different marine species, so you're guaranteed to see something new and exciting on every dive.
- A variety of dive sites: Whether you're looking for a mellow shore dive or an adrenaline-pumping boat dive, you'll find it in Sydney.
- Spectacular views: From the amazing underwater scenery to the stunning Sydney skyline, you'll be treated to some of the best views in the world when scuba diving in Sydney.
Whether you're a scuba diving novice or a seasoned pro, Sydney has something to offer everyone. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore the amazing scuba diving opportunities that Sydney has to offer!
Is There Good Diving in Sydney?
Absolutely! Sydney offers both good shore diving and boat diving. You'll be able to see an amazing array of marine life, including weedy sea dragons, blue gropers, grey nurse sharks, port Jackson sharks and sponge gardens. Plus, with more marine species than any other harbour in the world, you're guaranteed to have truly unique diving.
Dive Conditions in Sydney
The diving conditions in Sydney vary throughout the year. Water temperatures usually range from 15C to 25C, and visibility ranges from 1m to 20m, with normal visibility from 5m to 10m. Diving in Sydney is good all year round.
The best time to scuba dive in Sydney is between October and May when the water temperature is a comfortable 18-22 degrees Celsius. The visibility is also at its best, averaging 10-30 metres. Of course, you can scuba dive in Sydney all year round - but be prepared for cooler water temperatures if diving during the winter months!
Sydney Dive Sites
Because Sydney is built around the water, it offers many great dive sites within a short distance from the city.
Shore dives in Sydney are the best of any large city in the world, and shore diving is the most popular form of diving by those divers who call Sydney home.
Boat diving is also very popular to access sites not accessible from the shore, such as Magic Point and its grey nurse sharks.
Sydney Shore Dives
If you're looking to scuba dive from the shore, there are plenty of great spots to choose from in Sydney. Here are just a few of our favourites:
- Bare Island is a perfect example of the beautiful diving available around Sydney. The island’s many drop-offs, gullies, caves, overhangs, walls, rocky shelves and large boulders are covered in colourful sponges, corals, and sea tulips.
- Kurnell is a scuba diving mecca with many dive sites to explore. You'll be able to see an array of marine life, including weedy sea dragons, blue gropers, and giant cuttlefish.
- Shelly Beach is one of the easiest dive sites in Sydney. The site is teeming with marine life, including 'sea dragons and blue gropers. Shelly Beach is famous for its Dusky Whaler sharks. If you want an easy dive that lets you see Sydney's iconic marine critters, then Shelly Beach is the ideal site.
- Oak Park is a large dive site with a maximum depth of ten meters. It has many reefs, swim-throughs, sponge gardens and an incredible variety of marine creatures. The sponge gardens are full of life, and the diversity of marine creatures is utterly amazing.
Sydney Boat Dives
If you're looking to scuba dive from a boat, there are plenty of great spots to choose from in Sydney. Boat diving is a wonderful way to dive if you find shore diving too difficult or wish to access are more secluded dive site. Here are just a few of our favourites:
- Magic Point is a world-renowned dive site for its unique sharks! Some of the most common types you will see are Grey Nurse sharks, Port Jackson sharks, Crested Horn sharks and Wobbegong sharks. However, it's important to remember that they're wild creatures who swim up and down the coast frequently, so sightings aren't always guaranteed.
- Dragon's Lair is a perfect destination for divers who wish to see a weedy sea dragon up close; it is especially known for them. The weedy sea dragon is incredibly good at camouflage and look like seaweed, but if you know what you're looking for, they're easy to spot the Dragons Lair.
- Henry Head boasts the best sponge gardens in Sydney. The site contains several different Sponges and sea squirts, as well as a wide range of hues. This site is particularly good for a night dive.
Night Diving in Sydney
Sydney is a great place for a night dive, with many dive sites to choose from. Here are just a few of our favourites:
- Ship Rock is a great location for night diving, with plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. The bioluminescence, particularly from the sea pens, can be spectacular.
- Henry Head is another great spot for night diving. The area is known for its sponge gardens and abundant marine life.
- Shelly Beach is a popular night diving spot due to its easy accessibility and the variety of marine life that can be seen. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Dusky Whaler sharks that call this place home!
- Chowder Bay is a great location for divers of all levels. Beginner divers will enjoy the shallower depths, while more experienced divers can explore the deeper areas. You're likely to see a variety of marine life, including crabs, lobsters, octopus, and eels.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore Sydney's night diving sites!
Technical Diving in Sydney
If you're looking for technical diving, look no further than Sydney's coastline. With wrecks and deep reefs scattered throughout the area, there's sure to be a dive site that piques your interest. Some popular diving spots include the Dee Why, Bellubera, Duckenfield, Myola, Meggol and Coolooli off Long Reef; Kelloe off Botany Bay; and Tuggerah and Undola off the Royal National Park in Sydney's south. For those with a taste for adventure (and rust), many technical diving opportunities are available in Sydney.
Dive Trips in New South Wales
For a scuba diving weekend getaway that's only a few hours' drive, up and down the East coast from Sydney, check out these great locations:
- Jervis Bay is a scuba diving paradise with crystal clear water and an abundance of marine life. Located just a few hours' drive from Sydney, Jervis Bay is one of the most popular dive destinations in New South Wales. The Jervis Bay Marine Park covers over 5,000 hectares of land and sea, and is home to over 150 species of fish, as well as dolphins, seals, whales, and turtles.
- Nelson Bay is located on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales, about 3 hours' drive from Sydney. The bay is home to a large number of dolphins, as well as seals, turtles and whales. The waters around Nelson Bay are also teeming with fish, making it a popular spot for scuba diving and fishing.
- Montague Island is located off the coast of Narooma, about 4 hours' drive from Sydney. The island is a haven for wildlife, with over one hundred species of birds, as well as dolphins, seals, and whales. The waters around Montague Island are rich in marine life, making it a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkelling.
- South West Rocks is a beautiful small town, approximately a 5-hour drive from Sydney. This stroll paradise is also home to one of Australia's top ten dive sites, Fish Rock Cave. Here, you can swim with friendly turtles and sharks, observe rare black coral gardens, and see lobsters, stingrays, and migrating humpback whales.
Dive Shops in Sydney
Whether you're looking to scuba dive from the shore or a boat, a dive shop in Sydney can cater to your needs. Here are just a few of our favourites:
- Abyss Scuba Diving is a full-service PADI 5-Star Career Development Centre located in Ramsgate on the shores of Botany Bay and just 15 minutes from the airport and central to both Bare Island and Kurnell. They offer everything from scuba diving courses and dive gear rentals to guided dives and day trips.
- Dive Centre Manly is a PADI 5-Star IDC centre in Sydney's Northern Beaches. They offer a wide range of scuba diving services, including courses, equipment rentals, charters and day trips.
- Dive Centre Bondi is another PADI 5-Star IDC centre located at Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach.
How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in Sydney?
The cost of scuba diving in Sydney will depend on a number of factors, including the dive shop you choose the type of diving you want to do, and whether or not you have your own gear. Generally speaking, a one-day scuba diving trip will cost around $200-$250 AUD, which includes equipment rental, transport to and from the dive site, and a boat dive. If you're doing a shore dive, the cost will be lower as there is no need for a boat. Generally speaking, a one-day scuba diving trip will cost around $200-$250 AUD, including equipment rental, boat fees and dive guides.
For more information about scuba diving or to book a dive trip, contact one of the above-mentioned dive shops.
What is the Best Time of Year to Scuba Dive in Sydney?
The best time of year to scuba dive in Sydney is from November to March, when the water temperature is at its warmest (around 22 degrees Celsius). However, diving is possible all year round as long as you allow for factors, such as the type of dive you want to do, whether you need to rent gear, shore diving or boat diving and if you're taking a scuba course.
Dive Gear for Sydney
If you don't have your scuba diving gear, no problem! Most dive shops will be able to rent you everything you need. However, if you do have your own gear, be sure to bring it along. Here is a list of recommended dive gear for Sydney diving:
- A wetsuit with a 5-7mm thickness. This will help to keep you warm in the cooler months (June-October).
- A hood. This is also recommended for the cooler months.
- Most divers use open-heel fins with booties. This protects the feet with shore dives and keeps your feet warmer in the temperate waters around Sydney.
- Steel tanks with yoke fittings. Most tanks in Sydney are steel and have yoke valves. If you have a DIN regulator, let the shop know so they can organise an adapter.
- Gloves are recommended while diving in Sydney. They not only keep your hands warm but, more importantly, protect your hands from unwanted cuts and abrasions.
Learning to Dive in Sydney
Doing a PADI open water course in Sydney is a fantastic way to learn. The diving is of excellent quality, with lots of things to see. Because most courses are on land, they are reasonably priced. Shore-based diving has another benefit: it reduces the risk of seasickness for many new divers who go on boats. Many dive schools offer small group dive lessons that are finished in only two days because the centre only runs a small class size and is so close to the pool and ocean, making learning to dive in Sydney a breeze.
To get the most out of your diving in Sydney, it's suggested that you continue and achieve Advanced Open Water certification.
Will Your Diver Certification Be Recognised in Sydney?
All certification levels from agencies that are members of the World Recreational Scuba Training Council (WRSTC) will be recognised in Sydney. The agencies most popular in Sydney are PADI and SSI, although if you are SDI, NAUI, RAID, BSAC or CMAS user, your card is also readily recognised.
Whether you're a local or a tourist travelling to dive the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, Sydney is the ideal location to try scuba. Sydney diving will amaze you with its wealth of marine life, including weedy sea dragons, blue gropers, enormous cuttlefish, and sponge gardens - leaving you speechless at the beauty that lies beneath the surface.
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