With 1,243 miles (2,000km) of jagged coastline, New South Wales has plenty to offer the scuba diving aficionado. To the north, there is the ever popular Byron Bay and Cook Island Aquatic Reserve. In the Mid North Coast region, popular diving haunts include Coffs Harbour, Solitary Islands Marine Park and South West Rocks. Near Newcastle, there is diving at Port Stephens and the Great Lakes Marine Park. There is even diving just off Sydney and at the South Coast region, there is Bass Island, Jervis Bay and Batemans Bay. Lord Howe Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, also offers excellent scuba diving.With the great variety of diving destinations, there will be something for new divers and experienced divers alike. During summer months, water temperature can be anywhere between 68-86˚F (20-30˚C). During winter, especially to the south, water temperature can dip below 50˚F (10˚C). It is possible to dive on a year-round basis and the diving is land-based with most dive sites located close to the coast.Some spectacular dive sites that should be on your bucket list when heading to New South Wales include Julian Rocks Marine Reserve off Byron Bay, shore dives off Bass Island, Fish Rock Cave at South West Rocks, Batemans Bay, Jervis Bay or Seal Rocks for fur seals, and far out Lord Howe Island for healthy reef and large marine pelagic creatures.
New South Wales Sea Life
The convergence of cold and warm currents off the coast of New South Wales brings about healthy marine biodiversity. At most dive sites, grey nurse sharks are common and sometimes can be seen in great numbers. During summer months, leopard sharks are often seen lazing around. Besides that, expect to see blue gropers, cuttlefish and wobbegongs. A definite highlight would be to dive with fur seals which are generally playful and inquisitive.Around dive sites with caves and caverns like Fish Rock Cave, expect to see large schools of rainbow runner, silver bream and squirrelfish. Critter hunters will not be left out as there are sea spiders, moray eels, lionfish and other interesting sights like pufferfish and scorpionfish. Seahorses and the strange weedy seadragon can also been seen off Sydney.
How To Get There
Fly to Sydney Airport. Once in Sydney, there are connecting flights to areas like Byron Bay and also flights to Lord Howe Island. Alternatively, ground transport is easily available with bus and train networks and you could also rent a car.
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