Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Marley Point North
As I indicated in the article on Marley Point, the furtherest south that most people dive in Sydney (excepting two fantastic shipwrecks) is Marley Point. From Port Hacking, it is a run of five kilometres to Marley Point so it is usually only done in relatively calm conditions. Marley Point sticks out a little bit from the main section of the coast and is an easy spot to find. If you use a GPS, the reading for the site to the south of the point is 34° 07' 02"S 151° 09' 00"E (using AUS66 as datum - see my GPS Page for details). However, this article is about a dive on the northern side of the point.
Since this dive can only be done in calm seas and with the right winds, it is likely that you will only be able to do it in Winter when the winds in Sydney tend to be from the west. You will need north-west to westerly winds to ensure that your boat hangs away from the rock platform. This is because the reef is quite narrow here. You certainly cannot do it in any wind from a direction between north-east and south-east. While a southerly would be okay, it is unlikely that you would come this far south in these winds and the likely sea conditions.
Anyway, anchor to the immediate north of the point. The depth will be about 10 to 12 metres abd you will be very close to the shore.
From the anchor, head north-east till you hit the sand at a depth of about 18 metres (note that further east over the sand in some spots there is more reef dropping to over 21 metres). Follow this to the north for 20 minutes or so. There is some excellent sponge life along here as well as some interesting terrain. You may see Port Jackson sharks, rays and angelsharks on the sand as well as possibly a stargazer. The reef will be home to one-spot pullers, black reef leatherjackets, speices of wrasse and bream.
From here come up into the shallows and return back along the rock platform. The shallow section of this dive has some fantastic fishlife, with prolific numbers of yellowtail, seapike, yellow-finned pomfret, luderick and silver sweep to be seen. You will also see large silver drummer and even kingfish. You can get right up under the rock platform in about eight to ten metres.
There are many interesting swim-throughs as well as gullies created between the rock platform and huge rocks that have fallen from the cliff above. Once the rock platform has turned sharply to the west, you will be back near the anchor.
If you still have time and air, you can swim deeper tot he reef edge to the south. The depth her is about 20 metres. Follow the edge for a while to the east and it twists and turns a bit. Come up over the reef and you will find sand. It is 50 or more metres back in an north-westerly direction to the main reef.
Visibility is normally very good here, with 12 metres being less than average.
An excellent dive location.