Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Kirribilli Point
When I started writing about Sydney dive sites in DIVE Log in 1990, I began diving a lot of new dive sites at night with a group of fellow divers.
Most of the usual night sites were quickly dived, and then we began selecting more unusual places. After visiting some good ocean sites, one of the divers suggested a dive in Sydney Harbour at Kirribilli, straight opposite the Sydney Opera House. He said that he had seen two divers emerge from the water and they had commented that the dive was okay.
The actual site that we chose for this dive started from Lady Gowrie Lookout at the eastern end of Kirribilli Avenue, Kirribilli Point. A set of stairs leads from the lookout down to the rock platform which provides an excellent entry and exit point in nearly all weather conditions.
After driving to the end of Kirribilli Avenue, park your vehicle as close to the lookout as you can. On the southern side of the road you will notice that a high wall runs the whole length of the road except for an entrance gate. This entrance is to Kirribilli House, which happens to be the Sydney residence of the Prime Minister of Australia. Adjacent to this is Admiralty House which is the Sydney residence of the Governor-General of Australia. As one can imagine, both these properties are under very tight security and when we preparing to dive this site, we were visited by the Australian Federal Police who questioned us about our intentions. After satisfying them that we were not Iraqi frogmen out to "hit" Bob Hawke (the then Australian Prime Minister), we completed our preparations and entered the water still under their watchful eyes.
As the site is located very close to the ferry route from Kirribilli to Circular Quay, it is recommended that you stay fairly close to the shoreline and under no circumstances should you surface except right next to the shore. Although it can be very disconcerting to hear a deep throbbing noise of a ferry as it passes overhead only a few metres above you, you should remember that you are deep enough not to be hit. After entering the water you will find a small drop off where it is about 3 metres deep. The bottom is a sand/mud mixture which is easily stirred up and can create a total blackout. Correct bouyancy is essential if you are to enjoy this dive.
A recommended route for your dive is to head east until you get to a depth of approximately eight metres and then head north for a leisurely five minutes. You will find outcrops of kelp here and there which support various fishlife including old wife and cuttlefish. Over the sand you will see plenty of leatherjackets including pygmy, fan-bellied, velvet, moasic, rough and yellow-finned.
Turn west until you reach the small rock wall which you should follow to the south for a few minutes. Return to the eight metre depth and head south for approximately 10 minutes. You will pass over a cable or pipe which loops as shown on the attached map. Turn to the west again until you reach the wall. Under the wall you will find a few small overhangs in which more fish can be found. Follow the wall back in a northerly direction until you reach the starting position. From under the water you can see two very bright lights which are near the northern end of the PM's Place, so make sure you go 20 metres past them before surfacing.
Although this is not a fantastic dive, it is one that expands your dive sites and provides heaps of leather-jackets in an easy dive. It is probably only worth diving at night here and I would suggest that you would only do it if no other site was suitable because of the westher.