Abyss Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving In Sydney: A Tourist's Guide To The Best Dive Sites And Tips


A Tourist's Guide to Scuba Diving in Sydney: What to Expect and How to Prepare

Are you an enthusiastic scuba diver in pursuit of your next underwater experience? Look no further than Sydney, Australia - a top-notch destination for its mesmerizing marine life, plentiful dive sites and crystal clear waters. To ensure that all goes smoothly during your stay there, we've compiled this comprehensive guide on what to expect from diving in Sydney and which spots are best suited for the keen explorer. So get ready to submerge yourself into these spectacular Australian waters!

Sydney's Marine Life

Weedy Sea Dragon

Sydney's waters serve as a haven for aquatic life, with over 600 marine species identified in the area. For overseas divers travelling to Sydney, they are fortunate enough to view some of these unique and extraordinary creatures during their dives! Here are a few examples:

  • Weedy sea dragons: These remarkable creatures are only found in southern Australia and use their mesmerizing camouflage to blend into the environment, like seagrass or kelp. Divers can come across them at various dive sites around Sydney, for example, Kurnell.
  • Grey nurse sharks: Grey nurse sharks, also known as sand tigers or spotted ragged-tooth sharks, can grow up to 3.2 meters (10.5 feet) and inhabit rocky reefs and underwater caves worldwide. They can be spotted at the popular diving site, Magic Point, which offers a unique opportunity to observe these extraordinary creatures up close.
  • Giant cuttlefish: The Giant Cuttlefish is an astonishing creature, boasting a remarkable superpower - their ability to camouflage. These impressive cuttlefish can reach up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) in length and can be found at Sydney’s Oak Park dive site in Cronulla and numerous other shallow water spots around Sydney.
  • Port Jackson sharks:  During their mating season from August to December, these innocuous sharks can be seen regularly in the waters surrounding Sydney. These creatures are known for curling up in narrow spaces and beneath rocky ledges for protection.
  • Fur Seal at Martin Island:  From July to September each year, Australian fur seals come to the island, allowing divers to swim and interact with these playful and curious animals. The seals are known for their acrobatic displays and love of attention, making for a memorable diving experience.
  • Humpback whales:  While not typically seen during scuba dives, humpback whales can be spotted from boats during their annual migration along the coast from May to November. A good opportunity to see them is while doing a seal dive at Martin Island.

Divers from overseas may also have the opportunity to see a variety of fish species, sea turtles, octopuses, and various species of nudibranchs during their dives in Sydney.

Giant Cuttlefish

Dive Sites Around Sydney

Sydney provides divers of all levels with a diverse range of experiences, both boat and shore-based. From mesmerising fish to magnificent sharks and weedy seadragons, the mesmerising marine life that inhabits Sydney's waters is nothing short of amazing. There are over 50 impressive dive sites for the exploration of underwater splendour.

Sydney's popular shore diving is ideal for budget-friendly options, as it eliminates the need for boat transport. Divers can enjoy more flexibility with their dive schedule, as it's not bound to boat schedules. Some of Sydney's prime dive sites that can be accessed from the shore include Bare Island, Camp Cove, and Shelly Beach, offering excellent diving experiences for all types of divers.

Sydney's boat diving scene presents a wondrous opportunity to venture further, deeper, and beyond what's accessible by foot. Apart from the sheer thrill of exploring more remote dive sites, diving from a boat also means you'll have all your equipment and supplies securely stowed away at your convenience. The HMAS Adelaide's wreck, the Magic Point shark-laden explosion of marine life, and the deep wrecks, popular among technical divers, represent just a handful of incredible boat diving sites in Sydney.

Sydney presents many unparalleled and thrilling dive locations, whether shore or boat diving. However, regardless of your diving experience, adhering to secure diving methods and preserving the marine surroundings is crucial.

Boat Diving Sydney

Water Conditions in Sydney for Scuba Diving

Sydney's waterways boast a diverse temperature range from 15°C (59°F) in winter to 24°C (75°F) during the summer season. To ensure maximum comfort, divers should pack a 5mm wetsuit with an attached hood, gloves and boots for chillier months. Furthermore, regarding visibility underwater - this can vary based on location and weather conditions but typically falls between 5-20 meters (16-65 feet). Before your dive, please double-check both tide and weather circumstances so you have the ideal environment for safe exploration!

If you're looking for the best diving conditions, Sydney has optimal conditions between July and September with clear waters and tranquil seas and when the visibility can be as much as 30 meters (100 ft). However, the water temperature is only 15-20°C (59°F -68°F) during this time. Sydney offers good dive opportunities all year round!

MonthWater TemperatureVisibility
January 21 -25 c 2-5m
February 22 -25 c 2-5m
March 22 -25 c 4-9m
April 20 -25 c 5-10m
May 18 -22 c 5-10m
June 17 -21 c 5-15m
July 17 -21 c 5-15m
August 17 -20 c 5-20m
September 17 -20c 5-15m
October 17 -21 c 5-10m
November 19 -22 c 5-10m
December 19 -24 c 5-10m

Australian Fur Seals

Preparing for Scuba Diving in Sydney

Before scuba diving in Sydney, divers must be certified by an accredited agency like PADI, SSI or TDI.

If you plan on bringing your equipment, be certain that you’ve got a 5-7mm wetsuit, open-heeled fins, and dive boots—for colder months, consider packing 7mm suits along with hoods just in case!

Securing the ideal dive operator is imperative to guarantee that they will accommodate your itinerary. Most of Sydney's diving takes place over the weekend, so you may need to reserve a private divemaster if it does not fit into your schedule. When searching for one, ensure their personnel are experienced and licensed, safety records are exemplary, and modern gear rentals are available.

What to Expect During a Scuba Diving Trip in Sydney

A typical scuba diving trip in Sydney will involve a boat ride to the dive site, a dive briefing from the divemaster, and a dive session lasting between 30 to 60 minutes. During the dive, divers can expect to see various marine life, including fish, sharks, and other sea creatures. It's important to follow the divemaster's instructions and stay within your training and comfort level. Safety measures and emergency procedures will also be covered in the dive briefing.

Underwater photography is a popular activity among scuba divers in Sydney. However, it's important to remember that underwater photography can impact marine life, and divers should always be mindful of their surroundings and not disturb the marine environment.

Blue Groper

Deep Wrecks for Technical Divers

For technical divers, the waters surrounding Sydney offer an abundance of deep-sea wrecks to explore - more than fifty! Besides these sites only accessible by those with specialised equipment and methods for going deeper and staying underwater for longer, there are plenty of other exciting diving locations in the area. Some of the most popular deep wrecks for technical divers in Sydney include:

  • The SS Tuggerah, a steamship that sank in 1910, now sits at a depth of 50 meters (164 feet).
  • The SS Myola, a passenger steamship that sank in 1919, now sits at a depth of 60 meters (197 feet).
  • The Coolooli, an intact bucket dredge, scuttled off Long Reef, lies buried beneath the sea in 48 metres of sand. She is laid on her starboard side and remains fully intact!

To dive deep wrecks, technical divers must have earned a certification in line with or surpass the desired depth requirement. This necessitates specialized training and equipment, which are essential for safe diving.

 Technical Diving in Sydney


Sydney in Australia is a prime spot for scuba diving enthusiasts, and there's good reason for that. The waters here are crystal clear, and the marine life is stunning. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced diver, Sydney's dive sites have something for all. From the medical seadragons to diving with inquisitive and playful seals, Sydney's scuba diving options have no shortage of marvels.

However, it's important to note that scuba diving is an activity that requires training, equipment, and the right attitude towards safe diving practices. That's why it is highly recommended to seek the guidance of experienced diving operators in the area who can offer training and equipment and share insights on the appropriate diving practices that should be adhered to.

This guide has been designed to provide essential information and tips to those travelling to Sydney intending to go scuba diving. It offers helpful advice on what to do and not to do, the most suitable diving spots for different levels of experience, and how to ensure that your diving experience is both safe and enjoyable.