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Dive Review of Southwest Rocks Dive Center in
Australia/Southwest Rocks

Southwest Rocks Dive Center, Feb, 2006,

by Ian Kennedy, California, USA . Report 2373.

No photos available at this time

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Southwest Rocks is a small town about 6 hours drive north of Sydney. It is a favorite spot for families to vacation at the beach and for fishermen. The town is very pleasant and an excellent place to spend a quiet few days doing bushwalks (as Australians call hiking) and hanging out at the pub in the afternoon. It also boasts one of the best dive sites on the south-eastern coast of Australia (just to confuse things geographically with the name of the town).

I signed up with Southwest Rocks Dive Centre. This is a small operation that goes exclusively to Fish Rock which is the main site. Occasionally they may go to another site if the weather is bad. When we were there in late February we encountered heavy rain showers every day but not enough to keep us inside, nor enough to stop diving, at least on the first day. The ride to the site is about ½ hour in a fairly small boat. The boat has room for about 8 divers; on my day there were only 4 customers. One dive master went with the 3 certified divers, the other was busy with a student. The crew was very helpful but an appreciation of Australian humor would be useful.

Fish Rock sits alone about ½ mile off shore. The rock is only about 200 yards or so in diameter. A tunnel opens up at 80 ft below the surface and runs through the island, via a vertical chimney in one part, to exit at about 40 ft. Before we entered, we spent 20 minutes watching the grey nurse sharks that congregate at Fish Rock in the late summer. There were about a dozen 6 to 10 ft sharks. On the first dive, they kept their distance. On the second dive, when I was without my camera due to a small leak on the first dive, they approached to within a few feet. It was a great sight.

The tunnel is completely dark so this was a sort of a night dive. A large wobbegong shark was resident in the dark recess of the tunnel and did not budge as we moved by. Near the exit of the tunnel, we moved through a sea of fish. It was a beautiful sight to see the enormous schools of fish silhouetted against the open blue ocean.

Some pictures are available at

[ link]

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Hawaii, California, Florida, Virgin Islands, Cozumel
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 79-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60-80 Ft/ 18-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Follow the dive master. Divers low on air sent up anchor line; others allowed to remain below longer.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 1 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No rinse tank.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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