Fish Rock Cave, the only true ocean cave dive in Australia running 125 metres right through Fish Rock which lies two kilometres south-east of Smoky Cape – South West Rocks. Fish Rock is home to a completely unique ecosystem. The temperature inside the cave is always at least one degree warmer than the surrounding ocean and the water is always clear. The shallow entrance of Fish Rock Cave at a depth of 12 metres is a large naturally lit cavern fringed by pink gorgonian corals and teeming with enough life to fill an entire dive. You can even go up into the bubble cave and talk to your dive buddy while being five metres underwater! The deep entrance of Fish Rock Cave is at a depth of 24 metres. You can also to see resident black cod, large wobbegong sharks, black rays and giant cuttle fish before ascending up one of the two chimneys into the main section of the cave.
Grey Nurse Sharks can be seen at Fish Rock all year round. In summer months, the sharks rest in the shallow entrance of the cave, which is an awesome diving moment for even the most experienced diver! This also presents an unparalleled photographic opportunity for novice and experienced photographers. We offer a range of digital cameras for hire upon request. Around the island the depth varies on average between 15 and 30 metres and deep gutters form perfect aggregation areas for the sharks and other marine creatures who reside here. The western fringe of Fish Rock is washed by the currents that bring the diverse range of marine life to the area and you can expect to see lots of fish, turtles, moray eels and friendly blue groper. The eastern side of Fish Rock is spectacular. Sheer walls plunge to an average depth of 30 metres in an area that is rarely affected by current. Boulders the size of small houses line the sea floor and are home to large wobbegong sharks disguised amongst clouds of bullseyes. On the northern side of Fish Rock a pinnacle rises 30 metres from the sea floor to within 7 metres of the surface. This is one of the best dives at Fish Rock and is home to turtles, Grey Nurse Sharks, giant Queensland groper and a huge variety of fish life.
Green Island is a Grey Nurse Shark critical habitat site. It is located just north of Smokey Cape lighthouse, and is only a short distance from shore. Rocky reef surrounds the island which is alive with a huge variety of fish, large rays, turtles and Grey Nurse Sharks.
The dive site has an average depth of 14 metres, with a maximum depth of 18 metres.
On a normal dive you can see dozens of very large drummer, hundreds of bream of quite good size, giant dusky flathead, thousands of yellowtail, large schools of Red morwong and friendly local black fish, also known as Ludrick.
A great dive site, especially for the second dive of the day. South West Rocks Dive staff will often tell of having some of their all time favourite dives at Green Island.
Black Rock is located just south of Smokey Cape lighthouse. Rocky crevices and resident turtles combine with tropical corals and thousands of schooling bait fish for a relaxing and interesting dive. The dive site at Black Rock ranges between 8 to 15 metres. Expect to see Yellowtail, seapike, silver sweep, pomfret, nannygais, bullseyes, dozens of moon wrasse, blue gropers and combfish follow you on your dive as you swim around this amazing site. The large resident turtles, egg cowries, lionfish, nudibranhcs and wobbygong’s make this site a photographer’s paradise. Overall an excellent dive site, and it’s depth is especially suited for second dives.
There are two awesome, easy to access shore dives in South West Rocks – Ladies Reef and Gaol Reef. Ladies Reef is a small reef only a short distance off the Horseshoe Bay headland. At a depth of 10 metres the circular shaped reef is very easy to navigate with your dive buddy. Macro photographers will especially enjoy the numerous species of juvenile fish, nudibranchs, decorator crabs, hingebeak shrimp, cowries, moray eels, cuttlefish and so much more. This site has it all! Ladies Reef is ideal for night dives as it is usually sheltered from the weather, is not prone to currents and has very easy access to the site. Only a short swim is needed to reach the site from shore, and the reef comes alive with all the resident fish from the entire area. Gaol Reef is a rocky reef just a short distance off Trial Bay Gaol. Although this site is usually accessed by boat, it can also be dived from the shore when conditions are suitable (please ask our staff). The reef is very shallow and ranges between 6 to 12 metres. A huge variety of fish, invertebrates and crustaceans can be found at this site, which is also well known for the numerous moray eels and octopus occupying every crevice. Schools of bait fish and squid congregate over the reef waiting to be fed upon by passing pelagic species, and large school of rays are a common site.