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Unexpected great diving in Sydney

Sydney diving the apartement

Diving is not the first things that come to mind as an activity in Sydney. Yet diving in Sydney is surprisingly good.

This was my 6th trip to Sydney, and I never thought about diving there until a friend told me about it. I have dived the great barrier reef and the Ningaloo Reef on the West coast but Sydney?

Diving in Sydney

So here we are on a Friday morning. I take a ferry for the city center to join the group at Rose Bay. The 20 minutes ferry ride to Rose Bay is spectacular, passing the bridge and the opera house.

Sydney diving the apartement view over sydney

We meet on the boat at 8 am right next to the ferry. I am greeted by Jason and Russel, who are dive instructors and divemasters. They are driving the boat and helping us onboard. You can clearly see that they are passionate and enthusiastic about what they do, and their smile is contagious.  Beside 2 Canadians, all the other divers are locals from Sydney.

Diving in Sydney: The apartment dive site

After a quick 30 minute ride, we get to our first dive site called the apartment.

This site is made of rocks and caves and goes from 10 meters to about 20 meters.

We were greeted by a massive family of Grey nurse sharks. I think about 15 or 20 of them. They were not afraid of us. One came towards me and was about touching distance. A bit too close maybe 😊

The site is also surprisingly fishy with schools of pomfret yellow fishes

We found two wobbegong sharks, and I met the biggest cuttlefish I had ever seen.

And to finish it off in fanfare, a black bull ray came to say goodbye to us as we were starting to ascend.

It was a fantastic dive and much much better than anything I had expected to find in Sydney.

Sydney diving the apartement wobbegong shark

Sydney diving the apartement schoool of fishes

Sydney diving the apartement wobbegong shark

Diving in Sydney: Old Mans Hat dive site

For our second site, we tried to find the seals, but they were not around at that time, so we changed plan and went to Old Mans Hat dive site located in the North Head Marine Sanctuary

This dive site is about 21 meters deep and has a lot of weird corals. There are actually over 60 species of soft corals and sponges on this site. The main attraction here is the weedy sea dragons. We got lucky to find 2, and they are amazing animals. They are not shy at all and would stay with us during most of the dive.

The site also had a few nudibranchs and plenty of fishes

TIP: For better visibility, I would recommend choosing a sunny day for diving so lot at the weather forecast before confirming your trip

Sydney diving the apartement nudibranch

Sydney diving the apartement the corals

Sydney diving the apartement weedy seadragon

Sydney diving weedy seadragon

sydney diving starfish

How cold is diving in Sydney?

I dived at the end of May was apprehensive about the cold at the outside temperature, and the water was about 20-22 degrees.

Jason lent me a 7 mm wetsuit, and that got me through the two dives without much pain. It was a lot less uncomfortable than I expected

Sydney diving the apartement grey nurse shark

Who to dive with in Sydney?

I dived with Sydney dive Charter and could not have been happier.

Jason and Russel are super friendly and knowledgeable. Their boat is excellent and clearly designed for diving. The back ladder to get back to the ship is one of the most comfortable I have seen.

We got terrific snacks, warm drinks, and soups during our surface interval. It almost felt like a Sunday brunch 😊

I used their equipment, and it was perfect equipment ( BCD was wing type with integrated pockets). The 7-millimeter wetsuit looked new.

They run dive trips on most days. They also do technical diving, which I have not tried.  They  can be contacted here:

Sydney diving the apartement snacks onboard sydney charter diving

When to dive in Sydney?

You can dive in Sydney all year round.

Winter generally sees calmer sea conditions due to the offshore breeze but water temperature range from 17 to 20 degrees

Summer can be more choppy but also a lot warmer with temperature ranging from 21 to 26 degrees

Whale watching season is from  May to November, so during those months you might even get lucky and see them on the way to the dive sites.

Sydney diving the apartement cuttlefish


I was not expecting it as Sydney is not famous for its diving, but it was splendid diving. Don’t miss diving in Sydney on your next trip to Australia for  Exhilarating and action-packed dives

Sydney diving the apartement grey nurse shark

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I’m Julie and Icurrently spent about half of my time in Bali and the other half traveling to fantastic destinations around the world. I LOVE traveling, Yoga, and Scuba diving. I am sharing extraordinary places and adventures with you. This is not a backpacker type site. If you are a busy business executive who want to maximize your holidays and have amazing experiences, this site if for you! I want to give you practical tips on how to enjoy amazing vacations in the most comfortable way possible. From long luxury week-ends to diving trips or 2 weeks adventures to very remote places.

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