Local Shore Diving

Great diving right on your doorstep

When you join the CDA Diving Club you will be able to Discover Local Diving with our certififed and insured Divemasters.

CDA is central to all the great shore diving sights such as:-

local-image01Flypoint
Undoubtedly the most popular dive site the the Hunter, it is within the Port Stephens marine reserve. It is possible to dive to 20 metres here but most of the interesting features are in the shallows, making this most suitable for snorkelers. A work of caution; Flypoint should be dived only on the slack tide water period between tides as the tidal flow cause strong and tubulant currents. These currents bring with them nutriants nessesary for maintaining the health of sponges, corals and seagrasses that carpet the bottom. This rich and colourful layer of marine growth in turns attracts many small, bottom dwelling crusaceans and malloscs.

So whether it is your first dive at this site or your 100th, you will still incounter new creatures and interactions on almost every dive.

Max depth: 20 metres
Rating:
Novice

 

local-image04Halifax
At the opposite end of the marine reserve, on Nelson Head, Halifax Park has perhaps an even greater marine life then nereby Flypoint. This isn’t immediately apparent because from the surface, the bottom seems quiet barren. However, once you desend below 10 metres, you see the bottom carpeted with marine life. Divers oftern find themselves being shadowed by schools of fish species and one in particular the Big Blue Groper named Frank (please do not feed him or he will become lazy and rely on divers to feed him).

Also on your dive you may see some of the other wonders underwater such as moray eels, turtles, colourful spong gardens and if it’s the right time of the year; dolphins and there calfs.

Max depth: 27 metres
Rating:
Novice to Intermediate

 

local-image05Pipeline
This now disused outfall pipe can be found about 50 metres from the Nelson Bay Fisherman’s Co-op. This pipe provides an excellent navigation aid, as it meanders its way down the slope and extrends 250 metres out into Port Stephens.

This site offers a vast array of small or juvenile bottom-dwelling animals that are found in thousands of different colours and patterns, such as nudibranchs and sea horses. This site is perfect for the keen macro photographer.

Max depth: 20 metres
Rating: Novice to Intermediate

 

local-image06Newcastle Baths
Whenever sea conditions are relatively calm, divers and snorkelers can take the opportunity to explore their way around the rock platform that surrounds the ocean baths.

The platform features numerous drop-offs, crevices and overhangs that provide shelter for many fish and crustacean speacies.

Max depth: 15 metres
Rating:
Intermediate

 

local-image08Merewether Baths
Similar to Newcastle Ocean Baths, whenever sea conditions are relatively calm, divers and snorkelers can take the opportunity to explore their way around the rock platform that surrounds the ocean baths. Incoming to high tide is recommended.
The platform features numerous drop-offs, crevices and overhangs that provide shelter for many fish and crustacean species.

Max depth: 8 metres
Rating:
Intermediate

 

local-image09Swansea Bridge
The pylons of the trin bridges, along with the remains of the original wooden bridge, several large stormwater pipes, a centuries worth of disgarded building matrials, shopping trollies have created a vast man made reef. This ‘reef’ provides shelter from almost constant current and plenty of surface area for marine growth to establish itself. As a result, the densest consertrations of fish that divers will encounter are more likely to be found beneath the bridge itself.

At this site you may see; shoals of bream, snapper, whiting, morwong, tailer, sweep, leather jackets, luderick, kingfish, box fish, just to name a few. The pylons provide an interesting background, especially at sunset as the pylons split the sun’s rays.

Max depth: 14 metres
Rating:
Novice to Intermediate

 

local-image010Swansea Channel
Divers can drift effortally with the constant tidel changes that flow in and out of the Swansea channel. The rocky walls that line the side of the channel provide an excellent navigation aid, which enables divers to simply allow the current to sweep them along the wall, so little, if any exertion is required.

The channel walls are incrusted with a variety of different species and the fish life is plentiful.

Max depth: 15 metres
Rating:
Novice to Intermediate

 

local-image011Catherine Hill Bay
Catherine Hill Bay beach itself was aptly named after a ship “Catherine Hill” that was wrecked in the bay in June 1867. The “Catherine Hill” was traveling from the Richmond River port to Sydney with a load of timber. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald (28/6/1867).

The southern headland of Catherine Hill Bay provides several dive sites with depths ranging between 3-30 meters, making the area also suitable for snorkelers.
The headland has dozens of swim-throughs and over-hangs, which are fun to investigate. Around the Coal Loader jetty, divers can inspect the remains the original Wallarah Collier. Just remember not to dive when the waves are breaking over the headland.

Max depth: 3-30 metres
Rating:
Novice to Intermediate

 

local-image012The Shamrock 1903
Also when the conditions are just right the Shamrock revels itself from beneath the sands. The Coal Collier Shamrock, with about 2000 Tonnes of coal aboard sprang a leak when she was leaving Catherine Hill Bay for Adelaide on March 31, 1903.
In a short time she was sitting on the bottom with her decks awash. Examination showed her hull to be badly damaged and after many attempts to refloat her failed; she was dismantled for scrap metal. So with a lazy 200 meter swim or snorkel out, this site is reasonably easy to dive when the conditions are right.

Max depth: 10 metres
Rating:
Novice

 

local-image013Desoto Inlet
This is an awesome little dive that is like stepping back in time. An inlet surrounded by cliffs on 3 sides only accessible by 4WD. Tricky exit point when there is a swell present, but well worth the trip. Lots of marine life, with my favourite, the blue groper. Rays, Cuttlefish, a swim through & overhangs with a car wreck wedged at the back of the cave in around 3 metres.

Depth Varies from 3 – 20 metres
Rating:
Intermediate

 

local-image014The Wallarah
The Coal Collier Wallarah met a similar fate to the Shamrock when she foundered at Catherine Hill Bay in 1914. The Crew of 17 was eventually rescued by the rocket crew from Newcastle with their life saving equipment. She now lays in approximately 10-12 mtr close to the end of the coal loader and is one of Deano’s favourite dives with an abundance of fish life living in and around the old ships boiler. Not much of the wreck remains but well worth the Dive Large stingrays, Gropers, Turtles, Port Jackson & Wobbegong Sharks to name a few.

Max Depth: 10 – 12 metres
Rating:
Novice – Intermediate