TERRIGAL    (Boat-Shore Dives)

 

Index   Sydney South Head to Port Hacking    Port Hacking to Wattamolla Reef   Wollongong   Shellharbour   Jervis Bay North   Jervis Bay South   Ulladulla    Batemans Bay  Montague Island   Tathra and Merimbula   Eden   Shipwrecks South  North Head to Palm Beach  Terrigal   Norah Head   Swansea   Newcastle Shipwrecks   Port Stephens   Broughton Island   Forster   Seal Rocks   Camden Haven   South West Rocks   Coffs Harbour   Mullaway   Ballina   Byron Bay  Tweed Heads   Lord Howe Island    Admiralty Islands    Northern Shipwrecks    Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs


TERRIGAL:   Map Terrigal:   Map The Haven:  A very popular area north of Sydney for scuba diving, snorkelling and spearfishing. Within an hour and half easy express way drive, Terrigal is the diving centre of the lower north coast of New South Wales. It has a launching ramp, plenty of parking for cars and boat trailers also a dive shop and picnic area both located on the beach.
Situated on the eastern side of Terrigal is The Haven, a beautiful sheltered bay surrounded on one side by a clean white sandy beach and protected on the other by an exposed rocky reef.
A rugged stoney headland protects the inlet from rough north east weather and a small reef juts out from this headland to form an excellent shallow dive site for beginners and experienced scuba divers.
Many offshore reefs fringe the coastline from The Haven to The Entrance. These reefs teem with rich sea life both fixed and free swimming. Numerous wrecks lie in shallow and deep waters, there are drop offs, a grey nurse shark cave, deep colourful sponge gardens and a super cave just offshore at The Haven. This cave faces seaward and is open to all weather conditions, care must be exercised when diving.
To see it at its best select the dive site when seas are smooth close inshore. The Skillion underwater cave is visited by hundreds of divers each year.

SKILLION CAVE: (Shore Dive):   Map The Skillion Cave:   Map Skillion Cave Location:  The Skillion Cave in the true sense is not a cave but a steep canyon with one huge boulder wedged between either walls creating the impression of a swim through type of tunnel rather than an underwater cave.
To appreciate the colourful wonderland in and around the cave divers must first of all explore its spectacular drop offs, nooks and crannies leading to the cavern.
There is an underwater trail that leads to the dive site, it is a bit of a build up before entering the cave. Stepping off shore on the northern side of a flat rocky platform at The Skillion follow a small underwater ledge in a northerly direction. This is mainly a kelp area but small overhangs are worth a look or two. Gradually follow the contours deeper until you reach the approach to the cave at this point proceed along the bottom of the drop off that should now be on your left hand side gradually follow the profile deeper until you reach the cave entrance.
Straight out in front of the cave in 20 to 25 metres of water is an area of broken rocks and rubble. The safest way to return is underwater in the direction you came, this is not difficult if you use underwater sign posts, just remember prominent markings as you swim toward the cave and follow the same marks back to the entry point.
Recommended: Day dive. Features: Skillion cave.
GSP Coordinates: Shore dive.

FIFESHIRE REEF: (Boat Dive):  Fifeshire Reef, named after a small steam trawler that became a wreck many years ago near this location. The reef is about 18 to 20 metres deep, the top section is covered with kelp and along its small drop off grow patches of sponges, small sprigs of gorgonian and sunshine corals.
Fifeshire Reef has the usual southern fish species as well as friendly blue gropers. An interesting dive and because of its shallow depth there is plenty of time to have a good look around. A popular boat dive for beginners.
Recommended: Day dive. Features: Average diving nothing special.
GPS coordinate: 33-27-673 151-26-804. Map Datum WGS84.

FORRESTERS REEF: (Boat Dive):  At its deepest point Forresters Reef measures approximately 30 metres and is situated about two kilometres offshore. It is inhabited by large schools of trumpeter that have been hand fed over the years by numerous divers.
Because of its distance from the mainland, waters surrounding the reef most times are generally clear. A first class dive on a very beautiful reef especially among the sponge gardens, deep crevices and overhangs.
Forresters is one of the best dive sites along this area of coastline. The most remarkable thing about diving here is the incredible diversity of growth forms exhibited by individual species of southern corals and sponges. You just do not see single individual species you see large groups with their fascinating range of shapes and colourings.
Recommended: Day dive. Features: Pretty sponge gardens.
GPS coordinate: 33-25-686 151-28-598.  Map Datum WGS84.

LIGHTHOUSE REEF: (Boat Dive):   Lighthouse Reef lies south of The Haven at Terrigal and seaward of First Point. It is a first class dive site with sponge gardens, drop offs, small gullies and some overhangs.
Fish life in the area is somewhat prolific with blue groper, schooling roughs, red rock cod and black banded sea perch, at times large cuttlefish and lots of different species of leather jackets.
A first class dive location.
Recommended: Day dive. Features: Fish life.
GPS coordinates: No GPS.

THE PINES: (Boat Dive):  A spectacular dive site, this reef is a little more offshore than Forresters Reef and marginally deeper, it has numerous sensational sponge gardens, deep narrow ravines, long canyons, tight swim throughs, drop offs and some overhangs.
You can expect to see a well-developed reef, large areas of multicoloured jewel anemones and some sea whips covered from time to time with speckled anemones and beautiful sprays of gorgonian decorating the dive site here and there.
On the eastern side of this reef is a continuous drop off and at the bottom of the wall are large boulders stacked on top of one another. The Pines are ideal for macro and fish photography. Every now and again grey nurse sharks cruise over the site probably on their way to spectacular Foggy Shark Cave that is located a short distance north of The Pines.
Because this location is well out in open water it is advisable to conclude your dive at the boat anchor, surfacing in mid water and not knowing where the boat is located or caught in a current has the potential to become a traumatic experience.
Recommended: Day dive. Features: Excellent sea growth.
GPS coordinate: No GPS.

THE PINNACLES: (Boat Dive):   Map The Pinnacles:   This group of boulders is a totally relaxing shallow water dive. Once below the surface there are numbers of schooling fish, numerous wobbegongs, some cuttlefish and lots of nudibranchs.
Sponges decorate the lower section of The Pinnacles whilst on top rocks are barren of any growth. There is an abundance of small caves and narrow valleys to investigate whilst swimming around the boulders.
It is a dive that takes about 10 minutes to circumnavigate. There is plenty to see and photograph. A good shallow second dive.
Recommended: Day dive. Features: A good shallow second dive.
GPS coordinate: 33-23-474 151-30-113. Map Datum WGS84.

The following GPS coordinates were supplied by Neil Vincent of Terrigal.
ANNIVERSARY REEF: (Boat Dive) 33-23-591 151-29-827. Map Datum WGS84.
BOAT TRAILER REEF: (Boat Dive) 33-26-815 151-27-339. Map Datum WGS84.
AVOCAREEF: (Boat Dive): 33-28-632 151-26-537. Map Datum WGS84.
BONITO REEF: (Boat Dive): 33-23-755 151-29-940. Map Datum WGS84.
FOGGY FISH: (Boat Dive): 33-24-277 151-31-977. Map Datum WGS84.
JEWIES REEF: (Boat Dive): 33-28-470 151-27-352. Map Datum WGS84.
LEON REEF 2: (Boat Dive): 33-21-631 151-32-559. Map Datum WGS84.
LEON REEF 3: (Boat Dive): 33-21-777 151-32-567. Map Datum WGS84.
GREG 1: (Boat Dive): 33-26-788 151-27-358. Map Datum WGS84.
McMASTERS REEF: (Boat Dive): 33-30-373 151-25-881.Map Datum WGS84.
JEW HOLE: (Boat Dive): 33-13-101 151-36-369. Map Datum WGS84.
P.J. COVE: (Boat Dive): 33-21-547 151-32-421. Map Datum WGS84.
REEF Nol: (Boat Dive): 33-27-592 151-26-866. Map Datum WGS84.
SOL Nol: (Boat Dive): 33-26-168 151-28-785. Map Datum WGS84.
LEON SOUTH: (Boat Dive): 33-21-861 151-32-529. Map Datum WGS84.
SWEEP CITY: (Boat Dive): 33-23-054 151-30-188. Map Datum WGS84.
TUG 7A REEF: (Boat Dive): 33-19-375 151-34-254. Map Datum WGS84.
TIM YVONNE REEF: (Boat Dive): 33-25-650 151-28-604. Map Datum WGS84.
ANDY Nol REEF: (Boat Dive): 33-21-667 151-32-612. Map Datum WGS84.
ANDY REEF: (Boat Dive): 33-21-648 151-32-471. Map Datum WGS84.
ANNIVERSARY REEF: (Boat Dive): 33-23-542 151-29-858. Map Datum WGS84.

LEON 2: (Boat Dive):  It is 23 metres on top of the reef with deep crevasses cut into the dive site down to about 28 metres in places. On a good day the visibility is spectacular for simply zooming around and over the mesmerizing reef formation which host a vast array of fish life that use the many overhangs and gutters for safety from predators.
GPS coordinate: Above.

LEON 3: (Boat Dive):  As with Leon 2, great beginners site, easy 23 metres on top down to 30 metres if beginners want to dive that deep an array of marine life grows on boulders and steep walls at the dive site. A good photographers dive for nudibranchs and lots of soft corals.
GPS coordinate: Above.

JEW HOLE REEF: BIRD ISLAND: (Boat Dive):  This site looks like a giant bomb crater, with a semi circular amphitheatre of boulders leading down from rock shelf to sand. Lots of cuttlefish, but very little other life
GPS coordinate: Above.

ANNIVERSARY REEF: NO1: (Boat Dive):  Small wall from 18 metres down to 22 metres. The site has some good reef growth with fish life around the wall but becomes barren the deeper one goes, typical of Anniversary Reef away from the location of the wall.
Dive site is located 150 metres from the Anniversary Reef mark and was discovered on a drift dive from this mark.
GPS coordinate:

FOGGY SHARK CAVE: (Boat Dive):    Map Foggy Shark Cave:    Foggy Shark Cave is without a doubt the most popular, thrilling and exciting dive location in the Terrigal area. The dive site is most unusual, it's a large drop off type reef that ranges from 31 down to 39 metres and situated some distance from the mainland.
There are numerous large boulders scattered along the sand at the foot of the steep reef wall covered with the usual deep sea sponges and southern corals, these boulders create an interesting area to swim over. They form part of the large rocky reef displaying overhangs, swim throughs, narrow gullies, archways and numerous small
caves. One of these cavern is special, very special, it is inhabited most times of the year by grey nurse sharks lots of them just cruising around unafraid of scuba divers, it's an electrifying feeling to be among so many sharks, a dive that should not be missed.
Recommended: Day dive. Features: A great dive with grey nurse sharks.
GPS coordinate: 33-24-126 151-32-195. Map Datum WGS84.

TWO POLES REEF: (Boat Dive):     An interesting dive site for schooling fish, at times it is almost impossible to see other divers. The reef also has an abundance of attached life, there are many areas of sponges and gorgonian. A perfect dive for beginners and experienced divers. Depth is approximately 18 metres, allowing plenty of time for exploration.
Recommended: Day dive. Features: An average dive.
GPS coordinate: 33-25-424 151-27-891. Map Datum WGS84.

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Copyright 2016. Tom Byron Scuba Divers Guide to Southern and Northern New South Wales.