Located on the East Coast of Australia, the vast coastline of New South Wales (NSW) provides a great amount of choice for scuba diving. Spread across 2000 kilometres / 1250 miles of coastline, there is a host of amazing dive sites that will suit all levels of diving experience. As a travel destination, NSW has plenty to see and do.  Below you will find an overview of the different regions in NSW.


Shelley - NSW
Courtesy of Brandon Scott ©

Sydney, the capital of NSW, is a true cosmopolitan city known for its stunning harbour and famous landmarks. Brimming with culture, art, fashion and cuisine, this place has something for everyone. The city is home to The Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Sydney Opera House, Darling Harbour and a number of glistening beaches.

For a city of its size, Sydney has some world class diving. Popular dive sites in Sydney include Bare Island, Camp Cove and Shelly Beach, just to name a few. At these great dive sites you can expect to see an impressive range of marine life including Gropers, Rays, Weedy Sea Dragons and numerous fish species. A diver in Sydney really is spoilt for choice. There is an extensive selection of amazing sites for the less experienced diver as well as a range of dive sites suitable for more experienced divers. Just north of Sydney, the Ex-HMAS Adelaide was scuttled off Avoca Beach near Terrigal and now serves as a world-class artificial reef and dive site. Sitting bolt upright in 32 metres of water, this site is the first of its kind in NSW.

Far North Coast: 

North Coast NSW
Courtesy of Tim Irvin ©

The beautiful weather and tropical warm currents make for some fantastic diving on the far north coast of NSW. Here the mixing of warmer currents and cooler waters creates an impressive biodiversity. Located near the famous Byron Bay is the Julian Rocks Marine Park. Brimming with marine life, the Julian Rocks Marine Park has been rated by many as one of Australia’s top 10 diving destinations. Cook Island off Tweed Heads is another highlight of the Far North Coast. Situated in an aquatic reserve, Cook Island is a true natural wonder.

Mid North Coast & Newcastle:

South West Rocks is a fantastic dive spot on the mid north coast of NSW. A favorite among local divers is the Fish Rock Cave because of its abundant marine life. The opportunity of diving with Grey Nurse Sharks is also popular in both locations and Humpback Whales also frequent these waters during certain times of the year. Solitary Islands Marine Park is located just north of Coffs Harbour and has over 25 dive sites to explore. Interestingly, here you will find a unique mix of warm water and temperate water marine species depending on the season.

Slightly further south there are even more great dive destinations including FosterNelson Bay and Newcastle. The Great Lakes Marine Park is an exciting destination teeming with marine life. Popular sites include Halifax, Fly Point and The Pipeline.

South Coast: 

South Coast - NSW
Courtesy of Tim Irvin ©

The South Coast of NSW is known for its stunning diving. Toothbrush Island and Bass Island are located near Wollongong and Shellharbour and are favorites among divers. Marine life such as Rays, Groupers and Cuttlefish are common here.

Jervis Bay is yet another popular dive spot. The choice of diving in Jervis Bay is impressive, with over 30 sites to explore. Well known sites include The Docks which has some excellent cavern diving. Brush Island is also regarded by many as an excellent destination for experienced divers and is located just south of Ulladulla. Further south, Bateman’s Bay and the surrounding regions presents divers with some diverse sites including Black Rock which is accessible by boat. Finally, multiple sites near Narooma and Merimbula in the far south are picturesque before you hit the southern border.

Lord Howe Island: 

700 kilometres / 434 Miles east of NSW, is the amazing Lord Howe Island. With an incredible 60 dive sites, divers are spoilt for choice. Sites to explore include the world’s tallest sea stack, Ball’s Pyramid, suitable for experienced divers. Turtles, sharks and dolphins are just some of the marine life that call Lord Howe Island home.

The true variety that NSW offers makes it a wonderful place to visit both for diving and site seeing. From north to south, the expansive and beautiful coastline is sure to please divers of all experience levels. With so many great diving and holiday options, why not Locate a PADI Dive Shop in NSW and start planning your next diving getaway?

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