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.
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.
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
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
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: https://www.sydneydivecharters.com.au/
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.
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