Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Windy Point
South of Botany Bay in Sydney, there are only a few shore dives, certainly not as many as in the eastern suburbs. The more popular ones in the Cronulla area are Oak Park and Shiprock. A few hundred metres north of Oak Park is another nice dive, Windy Point.
I have no idea where the name Windy Point comes from, perhaps because to dive here you need calm seas, normally present when there are strong westerly winds. Head past Cronulla as if going to Oak Park. Drive down Ewos Parade past Shelly Park and turn left into Rostrevor Street. Park near the end and walk down the small access path between the houses to the waterfront.
The dive site is seen as soon as you reach the concrete walkway. There is a path down on to the rock platform straight ahead of you. Go to the right once you reach the rocks and zigzag to the bottom of the platform. There are a couple of good entry and exit points, depending on the tides. Try either of the small inlets or the small point in between. A good exit point is the flatish rock to the north-east. Check that the conditions are okay for entry and exiting before gearing up as this can be a difficult spot to exit in north-easterly winds.
|An aerial photo of Windy Point on a very clear and very calm day|
Entry and exit point is the point at top - Oak Park is at the bottom
Photo taken January 2010
After gearing up and arriving at the entry point, flop into the water (do not giant stride as the water is not deep enough). The first dive here is to the south. This dive leads towards the cave at Oak Park (Meditation Cave). To do this, swim in a south-westerly direction until you strike the first bit of sand (eight metres) and then follow the sand edge to the south (right). You will need to cut some corners (both sand and rock) as the edge is very convoluted and winds in and out. The depth eventually deepens to 11 metres near the cave. It is a long swim, up to 20 minutes of almost constant swimming. As long as you roughly head south, you will get to the cave area. After a while you will come across a medium size wall on your left. This leads to the cave. There is a urinal outside the small cave and there used to be a large garden gnome (minus head) in the cave. An alternative is to swim on a bearing of 160° from the entry point.
To return, it is probably best to go on a heading of 340°. This will bring you back to the entry/exit point. Spend a lot of time in this area. There are a couple of small swim-throughs, a lot of large rocks and heaps of fish like sweep, ladder-finned pomfret, yellowtail and seapike. There are also a lot of octopus and cuttlefish, both small and large.
Another dive is to swim due east and when you hit the sand edge (the lighter patch next to the dark patch) and then follow the sand edge to the north and north-west. The depth here is about 9 to 10 metres. After 20 minutes, head to the left across the rocky reef and you will come up over a wall to six metres. Follow this to the south/south-east and the depth rises to four metres. Turn left again and drop over the next wall to 5.5 metres. Follow this and the depth again rises to three metres. Turn left again and you will drop over a wall to almost seven metres. This is back in the entry point area.
A third dive is to head east past the first drop off and bit of sand (as mentioned above) till you get to about 10.5 to 11 metres. This is the main sand edge. Follow it to the south. Soon you will see that there is a piece of reef on your left. This is an "island" so you can continue along the bit of reef that you are following. A bit further on you will see the other side of the "island". Just past here the reef forms a small inlet. You can either cut across this and continue on the outside of the reef or go up the inlet a little and then cut across the reef. The top is covered in kelp and the depth is about nine metres.
Once you reach the sand again (depth 12 metres), turn right. By now it will be about 25 minutes. You should probably turn around here and head back to the starting point. Follow the outside edge of the reef and when you come to near the inlet, go along the outside of the "island" and this will cut a few minutes off your return journey.
Hopefully you have noted the section of the reef where you first meet the sand and go back across the reef and end up back near the entry point. If you still have air, spend some time exploring the water under the rock platform. Exit as in first dive.
Some things I have seen at this dive site are lots of sea dragons, fiddler rays, shovelnose rays, eagle rays (four on one dive), angelsharks, salmon, squid, eastern rock blackfish, wobbegong, Port Jackson sharks, luderick and the normal fish.
A nice, easy dive, also good for a night dive.
Note: You can also do a drift dive from Windy Point to Oak Park.