Adventurers Dive Log:Scuba Diving in Port Stephens, Australia

Port Stephens SHORE DIVES

byVeronika Freeman

These dive sites are in the pristine waters of Port Stephens, surrounded by rugged bushland and all within 5 minutes of the central business district of the town of Nelson Bay.

The Pipeline: The local night dive site, where you will find a large variety of marine night life. Easy north south navigation along a pipeline will take you through a trail of the local night life. Situated on the outer side of the constructed wall of the marina breakwater this dive will take you to a maximum depth of 36 feet (12 meters) where you will see small outcrops of sponges and soft corals on either side, the home of all those little night critters. The many Basket Stars display their full night glory, enveloping the orange sponges, sea pens rise up out of the sand to feed.

Burrowing nudibranchs can be seen making their way across the sand in full view of the night divers, the visiting sea hares scour the sponges for their meal, octopus come out of their protective holes to looking for a tasty evening meal. Stingrays will dance to the moving beam of your torchlight. You can also interact with the sleeping members of the night, gently rest a sleepy Pufferfish in your hand, see a blue groper in his bed under a ledge or watch a family of squid come closer to investigate the source of your light, giving you the opportunity to see these beautiful creatures at close range. Cuttlefish will rest in the palm of your hand.

The gobies and fortescues asleep on the sandy bottom for a perfect photo opportunity. The dwarf Lionfish hiding under sponges and ledges are not in the least perturbed by your torchlight. If you still have time then head east from the pipe to the outer wall of the breakwater to see the odd variety of pelagics just cruising by in the hope of catching a midnight snack.

Little Beach:

Although this is the training ground for our novice divers this site has a lot to offer the intermediate to advanced diver. This is a shore dive entered at a swimming beach. Mainly a sandy bottom linked by a network of rope systems making for easy navigation from one sponge reef to the next. The maximum depth is 36 feet (12 metres). The first rope will lead you to the wreck of a small houseboat and from there to the barge. From these points you will find a number of other ropes that lead you to the many artificial reefs. These are artificial reefs have been created over the past few years by our more enthusiastic local divers. Sinking numerous pieces of unwanted man made debris such as tyres, odd pieces of machinery and junk that have now become the luxury homes for our underwater dwellers.

This has also encouraged the growth and immigration of much marine life. You will see Blue Groper, Mosaic Eels, many varieties of Nudibranchs, Flying Gurnards, schools of Stripeys, Flatworms, Sea horses, Ascidians, Manta Shrimp, Boxfish, Goat Fish, Sea Hares, Sea Spiders, Starfish, Bream, Blackfish, Ghost Pipe Fish, Hermit Crabs, Mowongs not to mention the miriad of sponges and soft corals - a photographers heaven! These and many more varieties of marine life too numerous to mention have found safe homes in this compact but immensely diverse underwater area of Port Stephens on the East Coast of Australia.

Veronika Freeman

Port Stephens Australia

For more information on diving Australia check out these books

Diving and Snorkeling Guide to Australia : Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef ~ Usually ships in 24 hours
 Carl Roessler / Paperback / Published 1991

Our Price: $11.96 ~ You Save: $2.99 (20%)
Diving and Snorkeling Guide to Australia : Southeast Coast and Tasmania
Peter Stone / Paperback / Published 1992

Our Price: $14.95
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Port Stephens Australia


Adventurers Dive Log