Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving â€“ Lord Howe Island â€“ Noddy Island
Most of the diving at Lord Howe Island is done on the the south-western side where the lagoon and the barrier reef are the main features. This is protected from easterly, northerly and north-easterly winds. However, when the wind is from the south, the only dive sites are at the Admiralty Islands which are located off the northern end of the island.
In southerly winds the main entrance to the lagoon can be a bit bumpy, especially on a runout tide. The run around to the north side can also be a bit rough, but once you get to the north side of the island, it will be calm. There is one large island here, five or six smaller islands and a number of rocks. As can be imagined, there are numerous dive sites in this area.
One of the islands is called Noddy Island. This small island is to the south-west of the largest of the Admiralty Islands, Sugarloaf Island. Its actual location is GPS 31Â°30'02.527"S 159Â°03'52.189"E using WGS84 as the datum. The site is only a few dozen metres off the north-eastern corner of Noddy Island.
|A beautiful gorgonia. lots here||Another section of the reef with one-spot pullers|
|A gorgonia and a soft coral||Yet one more gorgonia|
Noddy Island is about 100 metres east to west and 40 metres wide. The dive site is along the northern side of the island and also a bit around the western end. The site consists of a rocky reef that drops from the island to the sand at about 20 metres. The reef is not wide but there are some rocks off the edge that make this one of the most interesting dive sites at LHI.
All the rocks are covered in hard coral, certainly as good as any I saw at LHI and as good as many on the Great Barrier Reef. There are also lots of very nice gorgonias all over the place. We head west and swim in and around the boulders. The visibility is amazing, at least 40 metres, brilliant.
|Kim Dinh with a gorogonia on one of the boulders||A hypseldoris species nudibranch|
After 70 metres or so the reef turns to the south a little. Here we turn around head start back to the anchor, travelling a little shallower along the sloping reef. All along this reef there are lots of fish, kingfish, trevally and one-spot pullers especially. There are lots of other species too. We see a few eels, a couple of nudibranchs, two large firefish and plenty of tropical species.
We go back a little past the anchor before returning and ascending the rope. Once here, you can spend some more time looking at the reef and then spend your safety stop on the slope before swimming back to the boat.
|An eel||Blue spot butterflyfish|
Thanks to the sloping reef, my actual time on the reef was almost 60 minutes.
On my dive in May, I had 21.9Â°C water and at least 40 metres visibility. One of the best dives I have done and certainly one of the top couple I did at LHI.