Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Colours
Forster on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales does not have many dive sites. The main one is The Pinnacle but there are three sites located to the north of Cape Hawke (which is south of Forster) which are worth diving. There three sites, clustered in a relatively small area are Spot A, Colours and Latitude Rock. Of these, Spot A is the best and Latitude Rock the next best.
Colours is a small rock or bombora that protrudes from the ocean less than a metre (at two locations) at the best of times. It is located only 50 metres or so off the shore and about 200 metres or so from a tiny beach. The dive site here is located to the north of the rock at a GPS reading of 33° 12' 26"S 152° 33' 30"E (using datum of AUS66 - see my GPS Page for more details) but depending on wind conditions, you may need to anchor on the south-eastern side. The reef circles the rocks and in some spots is quite wide but in other spots it drops away quickly. The shallowest dive part is 2.5 metres and the deepest on the sand about 14 metres (see later for more detail). Because of the shallowness of the main part of the site, you will need quite calm seas to dive this location.
Assuming that you are anchored on the northern side of the bommie, once you enter the water, a good dive plan here as follows. Head for the gap between the two rocks and up into the heart of the reef. There is a sort of dead end gutter here and the depth comes up from 8 metres to 6 metres. To your right there is a small wall and by going over it (4 metres) you will be able to drop into another very small gutter. This will take you to another gutter and wall and by following the obvious way, you will end up on sand at about 7 metres. Alll along here you will see yellowtail, bream, leatherjackets, sweep and other species. Keep a look out for turtles as well.
Head to the east (with sand on your right) and you will gradually get deeper till a maximum of about 13 to 14 metres. At this point the reef turns back to the west. As you go along till here, on the right on the sand you will see a few boulder which are worth examining and on your left the reef is mostly covered in kelp. However, there are some cleared areas and these can be interesting. There are also some vertical walls and overhangs.
Just past here there is another gutter or bay that runs back into the reef. There are a few overhangs here and some turtles can often be seen in the small caves. Soon you will be back at the anchor. Spend you remaining time in the shallower areas.
Other fish to see include leatherjackets of all sorts, squid, small rays on the sand, eastern blue devilfish in the overhangs, larger rays over the reef and very friendly blue gropers. There are also many smaller wobbegongs (and the ocassional larger one) and even Port Jackson sharks.
A nice, easy dive.
On my trips to Forster, I have always dived with "Rotten" Ronnie Hunter of Dive Forster. Ronnie has a large comfortable cat to dive from. Ronnie also has cheap but neat accommodation in a house centrally located to all facilities. Contact "Rotten" Ronnie on 02 6554 7478.