New South Wales

Scuba diving in New South Wales is varied as it has the best of both tropical and temperate marine life at places such as the Solitary Islands off the northern coast and at Byron Bay. 

Amazingly, there’s diving in Sydney harbour, despite its heavy commercial use. There are several sites within the harbour, mainly inside the north and south heads.  Most operators leave from Manly or Balmoral. There’s good shore diving from Bare Island off La Perouse and at the tidal Shiprock site at Port Hacking. Visibility near Sydney is usually 5-15 metres. Soft coral lives even inside the harbour and Port Jackson sharks are relatively common.
The excellent diving in Byron Bay is starting to become a contender to the best Queensland can offer.  The waters have a mix of tropical and temperate species.  The sites are well managed and over-diving isn’t taking place. Dolphin sightings are common on boat trips and whale sightings regular between May and October.
The Solitary Islands Marine Park off Coffs Harbour has both tropical and subtropical marine life.  Notables are grey nurse sharks, hard and soft coral, anemone fish, and colourful wrasse.  Seeing large rays is unusual but not unheard of.  Visibility is between 10 and 20 metres, and most of the interesting diving is shallower than 20 metres. Water temperature may be up to 25C in summer.

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