Diving Sydney

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Sydney, Australia


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Country: Australia  Area: New South Wales

Water Temp: 15 - 25°C (59 - 77°F)

Visibility: 5 - 20m (16 - 66 ft)

Depth Range: 5 - 30m (16 - 98 ft)

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A wonderful city packed full of iconic buildings, culture and stunning beaches. Sydney is not only one of the most popular, busiest cities in the world but also has some of the best temperate diving.

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Sydney is one of the main gateways to Australia located on the South East Coast and offers excellent diving unequalled by any other large city. The diving in this city usually gets easily overlooked by tourists due to all the other amazing sights in the city such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, but it is well worth taking a few days out to experience what Sydney’s waters have to offer.



The climate is temperate, with mild winters and warm summers; there is no rainy season like other places in the North of Australia with the rainfall being pretty much evenly spread throughout the year. This gives very pleasant year round diving conditions. The water temperature is at its warmest during late summer and early autumn and at their coldest late winter and early spring.

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Sydney’s dive sites are very diverse with wreck, shore and boat dives all available which cater for all level of experience. One of Sydney’s premier shore dives and excellent for beginners is Shelley Beach. Based close to one of the main diving hubs at Manly this site is made up of white sand and a natural reef of tumbling boulders which goes no deeper than 14m, but it is packed full of marine life.  There is the chance of spotting a selection of sharks and there are regular sightings of Wobbegongs, Port Jackson Sharks, also during the winter Dusky Whaler sharks can be seen at Shelley Beach.  There is also a host of smaller marine life such as the rare Weedy Sea Dragon, Blue groupers and many different pretty nudibranches.

Sydney Harbour amazingly enough has a few excellent dive sites and even with its heavy commercial use there is still an abundance of marine life below the surface.  Port Jackson Sharks are regularly seen in the waters and surprisingly there are even some soft corals in the harbour.

The waters surrounding Sydney are home to many unique marine encounters, from one the largest creatures in the sea to one of the smallest. Whales and the strange Weedy Sea Dragon can both be spotted at Sydney’s dive sites. By far the smallest of these two creatures, the weird and mysterious looking weedy sea dragon is only found in one place in the whole world which is Southern Australia’s waters.  It is closely related to the sea horse and they blend into their surroundings, so it’s certainly amazing when you are treated to an encounter with one of these bizarre creatures!

At the other extreme Sydney has many whales passing through its waters on their migration routes.  Humpbacks, Southern Right Whales, Pilot Whales, Sperm Whales, Minke Whales, Killer Whales and False Killer Whales all can be seen off the coast of Sydney.

Just south of the famous Bondi Beach is Magic Point, this site is must dive for anyone who is a shark fanatic. Now listed as a critical shark habitat, this area now has regulations in place to protect the endangered Grey Nurse Sharks that live there, making this the only location in Sydney where divers can be pretty much guaranteed a shark encounter. The area is made up of caves and overhangs in which the sharks can be spotted sleeping and resting in their caves during the day.

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Other activities

Sydney is a top tourist destination where visitors can easily get caught up in the city’s amazing atmosphere and spend more time than planned here.  Whether it be visiting the famous Opera House, climbing the Harbour Bridge or surfing the waves at Bondi Beach, Sydney offers something for everyone along with brilliant diving.

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Rating 8/10

Grey Nurse Shark Dive - Sydney

Sydney24 Nov 2013 - 24 Nov 2013

We had an amazing dive on the Grey Nurse Shark Colony off Sydney - taking lots of photos for the Grey Nurse Shark Watch program run by our local university.

The number of sharks varies from dive to dive - the most being 22 counted three months ago.

Next dive planned in two weeks.

grey nurse shark

Morgan Bennett

That is a lovely shot!!

Rating 9/10

Diving the Adelaide with Terrigal Dive

Sydney10 Aug 2013 - 14 Aug 2013

Wow, I have recently dived the HMAS Adelaide with Terrigal Dive Centre. About 90mins North of Sydney. What a buzz of a dive. The warship has been down for just over 2 years and the fish life is fantastic. Big schools of king fish swirling around the mast. Lots of decks to explore, corridors to swim along. One of the best deliberately sunk ships I have dived on. The guys and girls at Terrigal Dive were so good as guides. What can I say about the Dive Centre ? What an awesome spot. Right on the beach at Terrigal. All of the facilities you would expect and tank fills up to full pressure which makes a change. They have a big kit up courtyard with free between dive refreshments and it's just a few yards walk down to the beach and their dive boat. They have a great boat about 35ft long, that rides well and zipped us to the wreck site in about 5minutes. All in all highly recommended

Rating 10/10

Magic Point

Sydney1 May 2012 - 7 Jun 2012

Magic point is easily one of my favourite sites in Sydney. Shore diving the site is far more rewarding, just a lot more tiring. You drop down over the main cave that is filled with 15-20 grey nurse shark, in the kelp at 20m are often weedy sea dragons and giant bull rays and oceanic rays but my personal favourite sighting and easily best thing i have ever seen in my thousands of dives was an octopus and moray eels wrestling for around 5 mins to the death, i was cheering the octopus on but unfortunately the moray won :-( It was so surreal i kept thinking i am really watching this. Magic point has been absolutely kicking off in the last few weeks with sightings of a green turtle, up to 10 giant cuttlefish per dive and of course the grey nurse sharks. Just incredible!


Nathan Murphy

Wow - that sounds incredible! Octopus Vs Moray could become a film!

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