Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Truck Tyre Reef
The coastline of the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney between Sydney Harbour and Botany Bay has literally hundreds of very good dive sites. Unfortunately, charter boats only visit a couple of sites. Nearer to Botany Bay, mostly they only dive Magic Point Sharks. There is only one charter boat operating regularly out of Botany Bay, Abyss. This is amazing to me as there are so many dive sites that are as good as any others elsewhere in Sydney.
Over the years we have dived virtually every section from Clovelly to Cape Banks, either from the shore or as a boat dive. On the last day of 2021, I decided to check out a spot near some other sites we have dived. This spot is north of Pistol Crack and south-east of The Canyons. I think this may also be the same site that Wayne Heming calls Pistol Point.
The GPS mark for this site is S33 59.542 and E151 15.342 using WGS84 as a datum. If you run in from the ocean the depth comes up from 25 plus metres to 18 metres in a couple of jumps. The main wall runs north-south. The top is a flat reef of 18 metres and the bottom of the wall about 22 metres.
The GPS spot will put you in the 22 metre depth near a tunnel. This is formed by a huge rock angled against the reef. This makes a great exploration. Near here is the first of the many truck tyres you will see on this dive.
|Paul Soares approaching the tunnel||The truck tyre near the anchor spot|
The reason there are so many truck tyres here is that the land along this section of the coast was a rubbish dump run by Randwick Council. I assume that while the tip was running, some of the tyres rolled off the cliff top when being moved around by bulldozers. Over the years these have migrated further out and got jammed in the reef.
Start the dive by heading east to about 25 metres and then going north. This seems to be the better section of reef, with lots of sea squirts, sponges and some gorgonias. There also thousands of small fan-like sponges and some more tyres. There are small overhangs and ledges, with cuttlefish present. I also saw a couple of wobbegong sharks here too.
|Paul with a large rock wall covered in sea squirts|
and some small gorgonias
|A moray eel hiding in a truck tyre jammed under a ledge|
After 15 or so minutes, head to the west till you come to the main wall and then head south towards the anchor. You will come across the tunnel and then the anchor. Go further south and after a short distance the main wall turns west and the rocks are quite clean of most growth. Strange how this section is so different to the previous part of the reef.
|There are thousands of these sponges||Paul and a black coral and some more sea squirts|
The wall probably continues to the south to Pistol Crack, but you would need to swim across the bare area to reach it. For now, turn around and head north back to the anchor area. By now you will probably be low on air and/or bottom time, so hang around the anchor and then ascend.
This is a a really good site worth diving more times.