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DIVE CENTRE MANLY'S DIVE SITES The beautiful places we go diving - including Sydney's only Marine Reserve

Where are the best places to go diving in Sydney?

Sydney offers some outstanding dive sites with an amazing range of marine life. Dive Centre Manly is perfectly positioned to easily access these places either from the shore or by boat.



Shore Dive Sites


Shelly Beach

The only beach on the east coast of Australia to face west, Shelly Beach occupies a scenic corner of Manly’s ocean beachfront. White sand and a natural reef of tumbled boulders and rocks descending to a maximum depth of 12 metres make this one of Sydney’s premier shore diving sites.

The marine life includes regular sightings of Wobbegong sharks, Port Jackson Sharks, Dusky Whaler Sharks, large Eastern Blue Groper, Wrasse, Octopus, Cuttlefish, Squid, Kingfish, Porcupine Fish, Blennys, and much, much more. For beginners and experienced divers alike, a guided shore dive at Shelly Beach with Dive Centre Manly is an experience that will long be remembered.

 

Fairy Bower

Situated between Manly Beach and Shelly Beach and part of the Cabbage Tree Bay marine reserve, Fairy Bower is one of Sydney’s most convenient dive sites.

The depth ranges from 7 to about 10 metres and numerous species of marine life can be spotted here, such as Moray Eels, Wobbegong sharks, Port Jackson sharks, Fiddler Rays, Short-tailed Electric Rays, colourful Nudibranchs as well as the resident Cuttlefish, Octopus, and Blue Gropers. This site can be dived any time except in strong N or NE winds or swells.

 

Fairlight

Another relaxing shore dive, Fairlight boasts a wide range of resident sealife – Old Wives, Stripeys, Leatherjackets, Bream, Sea Pike and the ocassional Eagle Ray are all found here. Fairlight also has a huge variety of Nudibranchs and exotic fish species so swim slowly and keep your eyes out for the unusual. An easy beach entry with a short surface swim will take you to the 5 to 7 metre drop off. Here you will find small overhangs, the wreck of a small fishing boat and some great gullys.

Being inside the harbour visibility ranges from 5 to 10 metres. The maximum depth on this site is approx 12 metres at high tide. Fairlight is one of Sydney’s best night dives, where all the critters come out to play. This site can be dived anytime except during strong S of SE winds or swells.

 

Freshwater

Located next to Freshwater Pool, this is an excellent shore dive for the more experienced open water diver. The depth ranges from 8 to 14 metres with a terrain consisting of boulders, overhangs, crevices and sponges. There are Wobbegong Sharks, huge Blue Gropers, Weedy Sea Dragons, Leatherjackets, occasional schools of Kingfish, Octopus and Morwongs. Due to strong currents and rip tides, this dive should only be attempted by experienced divers. Dive in W or NE winds and no swell, never attempt with a southerly wind or swell.

 

Chowder Bay

Located about a 15 minute drive from the store, Chowder Bay (also known as Clifton Gardens) is an excellent macro dive site. Local residents include critters such as; Seahorse, Anglerfish, Cuttlefish, Squid, Octopus, Pygmy Leatherjacket, Crabs and loads of Nudibranchs. Due to this dive site being located within the harbour, visibility varies from 5 to 10 metres. Dive in almost any conditions except after periods of heavy rain.

 

Boat Dive Sites


North Head Sponge Gardens | Green Level Trip

  • Prerequisites: Open Water and above
  • Depth: 10m to 26m 
  • What You'll See: Bright coloured sponges and soft corals, sea fans, basket stars, nudibranchs, weedy sea dragons, wobbegong sharks, bull rays, moray eels, large crayfish, blue gropers. 

Features: The North Head Sponge Gardens features graceful sea fans swaying back and forth in the gentle harbour currents.  

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Old Man's Hat North Head | Green Level Trip

  • Prerequisites: Open Water and above
  • Depth: 10m to 26m 
  • What You'll See: Bright coloured sponges and soft corals, sea fans, basket stars, nudibranchs, weedy sea dragons, wobbegong sharks, bull rays, moray eels, large crayfish, blue gropers. 

Features: Old Man's Hat features caves and swim-throughs which lead to beautiful Gorgonian Sea Fans and bright soft corals. 

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Waterfall North Head | Green Level Trip

  • Prerequisites: Open Water and above
  • Depth: 14m to 22m 
  • What You'll See: Bright coloured sponges and soft corals, sea fans, basket stars, nudibranchs, weedy sea dragons, blue gropers, starfish, wobbegong sharks, bull rays moray eels. 

Features: The Waterfall dive site is located under a natural spring, feeding into the open ocean creating a habitat suitable for a range of marine life to flourish.   

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Tumbledown Reef South Head | Green Level Trip

  • Prerequisites: Open Water and above
  • Depth: 15m to 20m 
  • What You'll See: Sponge gardens, blue gropers, leatherjackets, golden roughies, old wives. 

Features: Start your boat diving experience at this colourful dive site featuring large boulders to explore. 

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The Gap South Head | Green Level Trip

  • Prerequisites: Open Water and above
  • Depth: 17m to 23m 
  • What You'll See: Sponge gardens, wrasse, blue gropers, leatherjackets, golden roughies, old wives, wobbegong sharks. 

Features: Explore South Head by searching through small caves for Wobbegong sharks and moray eels. 

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Inner and Outer Colours | Orange Level Trip

  • Prerequisites: Advanced Open Water and above
  • Depth: 26m to 30m 
  • What You'll See: Six banded coral fish, common seahorses, leatherjackets, wrasse, old wives, scorpionfish, sergeant bakers, sea whips, sponges, gorgonian fans, sea fans, tulips, ascidians, blue gropers. 

Features: Explore small gullies, hideaways, caves and long trenches. Your adventurous curiosity will be fulfilled at the Inner and Outer Colours dive site. 

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Bluefish Point | Orange Level Trip

  • Prerequisites: Advanced Open Water and above
  • Depth: 10m to 24m 
  • What You'll See: Weedy sea dragons, grey nurse sharks, fiddler rays, sponges, bull rays, kingfish, giant cuttlefish, moray eels, blue gropers, nudibranchs, tropical fish, wobbegong sharks.  

Features: Bluefish Point is the perfect dive site to see passing schools of tropical fish and aggregations of Port Jackson sharks during their mating season. 

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