Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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About Me
My Diving
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St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
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Dive Sites
Sydney Reef Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwrecks
Sydney Dive Visibility, Swell and Temps
Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about Shipwrecks
NSW Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwreck Summary
NSW Shipwreck GPS/Marks
Australian Dive Sites
Overseas Dive Sites
Aircraft I have Dived
Old Bottles
Free Shipwreck Books

Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
Uwatec Aladin Dive Computers
Apollo AV1 Underwater Scooter
Bauer Compressor
DIY Oxygen Stick - Nitrox
GoPro HD Hero Video Camera
My Camera Setup
Purchase of New Dive Boat
My Dive Boat - Mak Cat
My Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
My Dive Gear
GPS and Diving
Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
Bare Island Sea Horses
Bare Island Nudibranchs
Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

Other Dive Info
How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
Visibility and Wave Averages in Sydney
Waves and Diving
Diving Weather and Sea Conditions
Tide Tables
Dive Accidents and Incidents
Dive Book Reviews
Site Map
Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
My Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • My Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Bare Island Deep Wall is the best shore dive in Sydney"
    Cathedral Caves, Eaglehawk Neck
    Cathedral Cave
    A map of Cathedral Cave
    Courtesy of Eaglehawk Neck Dive Centre
    Eaglehawk Neck in Tasmania has the reputation as having some of the best diving in the World, let alone Australia. Until early 2008 I had never dived there but in February 2008 Kelly and I travelled again to Tasmania to specifically do some diving. Eaglehawk Neck was the main place that we decided we wanted to dive. We also returned again with our dive Club, St George Scuba Club, in March 2009.

    Eaglehawk Neck is located to the south-east of the capital Hobart. It is only an hour or so drive from the city (and less from the airport). The whole of the Tasman Peninsula, the area to the south of Eaglehawk Neck, is one of the most spectacular locations that you will see anywhere in the World. The cliffs rise vertically out of the water and apparently are the highest in Australia. The terrain above the water continues below the water.

    The best dive sites are located to the south of the boat ramp/wharf at Doo Town (in itself an interesting place where every house has a name - eg Zan A Doo, Do It). This is only a few minutes drive from the Eaglehawk Neck "town centre" (not that there are any shops at all) and the Eaglehawk Neck Dive Centre shop.

    From the wharf, you head out to sea and south to Waterfall Bay. It only takes a few minutes as there is less than five kilometres to travel. This is a large bay that has some shear walls and (when it is wet), a waterfall. To the south of this is the headland, Waterfall Bluff, and south of this is a small inlet. This is the location of Cathedral Caves, one of the best dive sites at Eagelhawk Neck. Head to a GPS Reading of S43° 03' 49.4" E147° 57' 17.3". Note that this GPS reading is WGS84, not the normal GPS Datum used on my site (read the GPS Page from the left menu if you do not understand this).

    The dive boats do not anchor here but tie up to ropes attached to the north and south walls (if they anchored, they may swing and hit the walls of the inlet). Below the boat the depth is about 22 metres. There are lots of large boulders here on a rocky bottom. The area to the west is called Cathedral Dome.

    Cathedral Caves is not just one cave, but a multitude of caves, tunnels and arches. There are at least a dozen separate (but mostly connected) caves and tunnels here.

    Waterfall BayCathedral Arch
    Waterfall Bay - Cathedral Caves are around
    the point and Cathedral Arch is just inside the point
    I think this is looking back up Cathedral Arch

    Once you get to the bottom you will see that to the north there is a shear wall. To the left and west there is a large arch, Cathedral Arch. This leads right through Waterfall Bluff to the mouth of Waterfall Bay. As you swim towards the arch the depth comes up a little. You will see that there is another opening to the south-west. This tunnel leads to Skull Cave. The depth here is about 18 metres.

    Skull Cave has at least six exits that divers can use. Two on the northern side go to Waterfall Bay and the main southern one goes back to Cathedral Dome. The ones to the west and south west lead further into the cave system. The western one takes you to another spot that has five tunnels leading off it. One goes to the outside in Waterfall Bay and the western one is the main one. This leads to the Catacombs.

    Cathedral ArchCathedral Arch
    The eastern side of Cathedral Arch looking northThe western side of Cathedral Arch looking north

    The Catacombs has a large number of tunnels leading off it, but only three go anywhere. One is the Backdoor that again leads to Waterfall Bay. Another is the one you have come in on and the third leads back to the same spot via a an upsidedown U. We take this one and end up back in the five way cave. We then go via the eastern (south-eastern) tunnel back to the Skull Cave. This tunnel is very dark and is called Revelation Bend. It is very dark and quite narrow.

    Back in Skull Cave there are four options of the six tunnels to pick from. We go down the south-eastern one. This is very dark and even narrower than Revelation Bend. It is also quite low in one spot. About two thirds of the way along you can go east to Cathedral Dome, but we continue on and squeeze through to Cathedral Dome. From here you can go back to Cathedral Arch for some more photos or examine the area back to the boat's location. There are also more caves but you need very calm water for them.

    Cathedral Arch CaveCathedral Arch
    Looking north out of Skull CaveI think this is also looking north
    through Cathedral Arch

    You can do your safety stop on the walls of the bay, looking at the growth.

    This is a brilliant dive, one of the best sites I have ever dived. We dived here in February and it was 17°C with at least 20 metres visibility. Worth doing many times.

    Cathedral Arch CaveCathedral Arch
    Kelly in front of the exit north-east out of Skull CaveI think this is the Devils Tonsils

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
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    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded for almost 30 years by Michael McFadyen without any help from the Australian Dive Industry.
    Website created 1996!