Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
Home · Contact Me · Sydney Reef Dive Sites · Sydney Shipwrecks · NSW Dive Sites · Australian Dive Sites · Overseas Dive Sites · Dive Accidents and Incidents · My Yachting Adventures · 4WD Trips · Weather · Search 27 May 2024 21:51

About Me
My Diving
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
Contact Me

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.
  • Login


    Forgotten your password?
    Request a new one here.
    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
    "Port Jackson sharks come into the shallows in August and September"
    Annas Reef (formerly called NA Reef)
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving – Annas Reef, NA Reef, Poor Knights, NZ PHOTOS TO COME

    When I first dived the Poor Knights back in 1992, we dived this site and I was told it was called NA Reef (short for Northern Arch Reef). However, in March 2011 I was told the site was called Annas Reef. I have no idea which is now correct. It is possible that “Annas” is a corruption of NA or NA was a corruption of “Anna”. Either way, it is an interesting dive site.

    Annas Reef is located about 75 metres to the north and east of Northern Arch on the northern-western section of the northern island. The anchoring spot is GPS S35º 26’ 52.4” W174º 44’ 02.4” (using WGS84 as a datum). If possible, anchor closer to Northern Arch itself as this will give you a better dive.

    Annas ReefAnnas Reef
    An above water photo looking towards
    Northern Arch from Annas Reef
    The wall between Annas Reef and Northern Arch

    Annas Reef is a separate site, although you can do both Northern Arch and Annas Reef on the one dive so long as you anchor in between the sites and stay relatively shallow when at Northern Arch.

    The site at the GPS reading consists of a straight wall (for most of the site) that drops vertically from above the water to about 24 metres. In the middle of the site is a large boulder that comes up from 24 metres to about 5 metres. It slopes away at one end to 20 metres. The boulder is perhaps 15 metres or so off the wall and is the main part of Annas Reef.

    Northern ArchNorthern Arch
    Looking straight up at Northern ArchSome of the huge numbers of pink
    maomao in the Northern Arch

    If you want to dive the Northern Arch, follow these directions. As indicated, it is a lot easier if you are anchored halfway between the sites, but you can do if you are right on the Annas Reef site. Once in the water, descend and swim south-west to the wall. Follow this at about 15 metres for 40 or so metres (or 20 metres if halfway in between sites) and then start a gradual descent to about 25 metres.

    Soon you should come to the northern side of the arch. Enter into it and you will be amazed by the fishlife. For a fuller description of the Northern Arch itself, check out the Northern Arch page.

    Northern ArchNorthern Arch
    Looking through the Northern Arch from the southLooking back and up through the Northern Arch

    Once you have been here for 10 or so minutes, it is probably time to head back to Annas Reef unless you are only going to dive the arch itself. Head back to the east along the wall, gradually rising to about 15 metres as you come. If you swim off the wall a bit you will see the large boulder as you approach it.

    As mentioned, this boulder is a huge rock that comes up from 24 metres to under 5 metres. It is mostly covered in kelp, but the southern side is quite bare of kelp. There are a couple of cracks that are home to fish and eels.

    Annas ReefAnnas Reef
    A small overhang on the large boulderThere is lots of this kelp on the rocks

    If you are ending your dive here, gradually ascend as you circle the reef. Eventually you will end up on the top at five metres where you can do your safety spot before swimming back underwater at five metres to the boat.

    If you did not go to Northern Arch, you probably will have time and air to explore a bit further. A bit further to the east from Annas Reef there is another smaller boulder off the wall. It is 10 metres deep between the wall and the boulder and it comes up to seven metres. Just east or north-east of this boulder there is a cave that goes a short distance into the wall.

    Return back to the boat along the wall at five metres, doing your safety stop as you go.

    Annas ReefAnnas Reef
    Near the top of the boulderThese rock cod are seen on most dives

    There is really good fishlife here, and the spectacular wall that drops from above the surface to 24 metres makes it a special site. However, combining it with Northern Arch makes it even better, although it is preferable to do Northern Arch from the southern side.

    Visibility here was 20 metres and perhaps 25 metres at Northern Arch. Water temperature was 22ºC in March. Not a must do site, but not too bad.

    Old Photographs

    The following photos were taken in 1992 using Nikonos IVA on Ektachrome slide film and scanned to digital January 2011. Only minor cleaning of slides using PhotoShop has been done.

    NA ReefNA Reef
    I think this is on the large boulderSome of the fishlife at NA Reef

    NA ReefNA Reef
    Off the wall at NA ReefSome of the fishlife at Northern Arch

    Return to the Tutukaka/Poor Knights menu.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
    Dive shops, dive operators, publications and government departments cannot use anything without first seeking and receiving approval from Michael McFadyen.
    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!