The Steps

The Steps
The Steps
The Steps is a great dive site, especially if you want to see weedy seadragons. During slack tide (or an incoming current) is the best time to dive. Once you're in, head north untill you reach the sand line. To the east (heading out of the bay), after some kelp, the dive opens up into many rocks covered in sponges with all sorts of fish life. To make a change of scenery on the way back, you can head into shore and the scenery becomes dense with large boulders; a great place for giant cuttlefish to be hiding out. The west of the entry/exit point can also be done as a dive. Depending on the tide, you can do a drift dive from the Steps around to Sutherland Point or the Monument. To the west of the entry point is large boulders, some sponge covered rocks and some interesting swimthroughs. This is also a great spot to see Weedy Seadragons.

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After entering, swim out for about 15-20 metres and descend into the 4 metre deep water onto a dense collection of boulders that abruptly stop at 6 metres depth along an east/west line. The boulders meet the sand and are bordered to the east and the west by kelp (about 15 or so metres away on each side).

Remember this on your return leg – the absence of kelp is your sign to head south to the boulders and the exit. Depending on the tide (swimming into for the outward leg), head east or west. East will take you past kelp (and a plethora of weedy sea dragons) into slowly deepening waters – your turnaround time will usually occur at the 16 metre mark. To the south is a line of boulders that runs about 5 metres thick, beyond which is an expanse of sand sparsely populated with kelp and boulders. This sand meets a wall of boulders at about 5 metres depth which runs parallel to shore. If air time is low, it’s well worth considering following this wall on the return leg.

The west takes you past a large stand of kelp, then over a collection of boulders that leads out from the wall. These boulders separate the wall from the expanse of sand goes beyond to the north. Between this wall and the boulders you can encounter a number of nice swim throughs and a diversity of aquatic life. Eventually the wall becomes steeper and more defined as you move towards the boundaries of the ‘Monument’ dive site.


The Steps

Entry and exit
To reach the dive site, follow the main park road past the turn-off to the Discovery Centre and the car-park for Steps is on your left. In the middle of the fence is an opening that leads down past a warning plaque in roughly-hewn, large steps. A viewing platform is on your left as the path twists around to the right, becoming very narrow and bending to and fro down steel steps, a steel bridge that leads to the west and eventually the entry point. A large expanse of bedrock encircles an enclosed section of water, bordered to the north by two boulders. Facing the water, the right (eastern) side of this enclosure has a ledge that extends out. This is the entry point. At high tide, time between the sets and perform a belly flop entry heading out to the right of the main boulder (see map). At low tide, a controlled seated entry may be more suitable. This also serves as an exit point. If the swell and/or the tide is up; the "v” shaped groove at the back of the enclosure can also be used.



Steps Entry Point   


Blue grouper Sea horses Various sponges
Goat fish Various wrasse Various nudibranchs
Giant cuttlefish Port Jacksons Morwong
Morays Dwarf pipehorses Velvetfish
Gurnard White ear Sponge crabs
Weedy seadragons Turtles Various rays
Product Reviews
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"Great fish life PLUS weedy's !"

Sharon on 6/4/2010 5:43:55 PM

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Comments: What a great dive site!! Only tried it for the first time at the weekend and loved it! Really easy to navigate dive sie and find entry / exit point. Plenty of variety, moray eel, colourful nudi's, gropers and of course weedy sea dragon. The sponges are in great shape too!

"Something for everyone!"

Kirsty on 9/6/2009 7:13:26 PM

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Comments: This is an awesome dive site. Great vis - heaps of weedys!!! Crazy cool sponge gardens and always something exciting - bull rays, crested horn sharks and curious octopus!! What a great spot - plus it's easy to navigate! How could you not love this dive site!

"Tonnes of Weedys!!"

Samantha on 4/6/2009 2:47:50 PM

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Comments: Another one of Sydney's awsome dive sites! Plenty of things to see, and lots of variety depending on which direction you head. If you are after Weedy Sea Dragons, this is the place to be!

"One of my favourites"

Samantha Yep on 3/6/2009 2:39:05 PM

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Comments: I'd have to say this is one of my favorite Sydney dive sites. I love the fact you can basically put your head in the water and straight away see the magnificent weedy seadragons. I love heading over to the sponge gardens and hunting for more and more seahorse and afterwards looking under the ledges for the huge cuttlefish that hang out there. Quite easy to find the exit point too which is good when it comes to navigation


wolf on 16/5/2009 8:04:48 PM

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Comments: Watch the tide, go west or east depending on tide. Home of the Weedy Sea dragon.


Peter Letts on 8/5/2009 9:19:38 PM

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Comments: This site has everything. Great sponge gardens, seadragons, seahorses, turtles, giant rays,angler fish, gropers, great visibility most of the time. I have even seen grey nurse here. To top it all off there is even a good workout climbing the steps after the dive.

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