Underwater Wonderland: Surprising Dive Sites In Sydney

18 Jan 17

Diving Sydney & Circular Quay

When you think of Sydney holidays, you think of Australian icons like the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. You think of ferries around Circular Key, the smiling mouth of Luna Park and long lunches at Darling Harbour. What you probably don't think of is glorious dive sites brimming with colourful fish, sea sponges, stingrays and even turtles. It might come as a surprise to interstate and international visitors, and even some Sydney locals, that there are some fantastic dives to be had around Sydney.

Former National Parks worker and one of Australia's most experienced scuba divers, Michael McFadyen Sydney is frequently overlooked when it comes to diving. Having dived in every Australian state as well as around the world and across the Pacific, McFadyen wouldn't mind if he could only ever dive Sydney for the rest of his life. Having notched up 3900 dives and spend 3095 hours (a total of 128 days) underwater since 1998, McFadyen assures that you don't have to travel far to see a variety of marine life because for Sydneysiders, it's right on their doorstep.

A great way to escape the summer heat, McFadyen says that there is so much waiting beneath the surface around Sydney. The waters are filled with fish life, sponges and even shipwrecks which are great for diving. Schools of fish are so thick you have to surface to be able to see your diving buddy. Perhaps one of Sydney's easiest five sites is off the shore of Shelly Beach at Manly, where dusky whaler sharks are sometimes spotted. For residents in the south, Cronulla's Oak Park is another great and easily accessed dive site.

If you feel like putting in a bit more effort you can either join a club or get a commercial operator to take you to the waters just off the coast for deeper sites with more abundant fish and marine life, including around 30 shipwrecks to explore. Other popular dive sites include a shore dive at Bare Island in La Perouse, a boat dive known as The Colours at South Head, the shore dive from Clifton Gardens in Sydney Harbour, the wreck dive of the SS Tuggerah and the boat dive known as The Apartments on Long Reef.

Don't forget, residents and visitors need a ticket to dive and it is advisable to always check wind and sea conditions before you go.