Shore Dive Nelson Bay
For the best diving along Australia’s East Coast join the team at Feet First Dive Nelson Bay. Our exposed coastline provides numerous dive sites easily accessible from the shore, whilst our experienced dive professionals are on hand to assist and guide you, finding all manner or creatures from sharks to nudibranchs, of which there are over 220 species found locally.
At Feet First Dive Nelson Bay we lead daily shore diving excursions within the bay on most weekdays and each weekend, choosing sites based on the optimum conditions and the marine life we are seeing. Dive stunning soft coral and sea sponge gardens, explore historic wrecks, enjoy a macro critter hunt or find what is lurking within the seagrass beds. Get the most out of your time underwater and dive Nelson Bay to its fullest with our fun and friendly team.
Dive Sites of Nelson Bay
One of the most popular shore dives in Nelson Bay, known for a wealth of nudibranchs in the shallow seagrass beds and for the opportunity to see wobbegong sharks and a green turtle that rest on the shallow kelp covered ledges. As you move into deeper water down the slope the ledges give way to a sponge and gorgonian garden, an ideal place for a critter hunt. Commonly seen here are seahorses, cowries and pipefish. Directly to the north is where we see a wider variety of fish life including the stunning pineapple fish and sawtail surgeonfish. We end our dive at the seagrass beds, where in the summer months many juvenile fish are spotted.
Additional Marine Life: Port Jackson Sharks, Octopus, Shovel-nosed Rays
Best Dive Time: High Tide
This is one of our favourite macro critter diving sites. Cruising down the sloping seagrass and soft coral beds we come to the pipeline, which is held in place by coral and sponge encrusted blocks. Here we are on the hunt for estuary and white’s seahorses, ghostpipefish and of course nudibranchs, including polycera capensis or “The Punks” as we like to call them. The Pipeline is also a haven for cephalopods, with regular sightings of cuttlefish, blue ringed octopus and the tiny polka dot octopus.
Additional Marine Life – Wobbegong Sharks, Moray Eels, Cowries, Decorator crabs, Cowfish/Turretfish
Descending along the sandy beach slope we come to the small jetty, which is only a few metres deep but bursting with fish life and provides fabulous wide-angle photo opportunities. The pier’s supports are covered with sponges and algaes where nudibranchs, shrimps and crabs like to hang out too. A short way from the jetty lies a sunken naval patrol boat and the wreckage of a barge, both are ideal for sightings of tropical fish, including a schools of pineapple fish, wrasse and pomfreds. Between the wreckages is a field of yellow gorgonian fans where seahorses and pipefish whilst a cruise over the sandy bed is likely to turn up sting rays and the occasional shark.
Additional Marine Life – Ghostpipefish, Moray eels, Cuttlefish, Striped Catfish
Sponge gardens with an amazing diversity of species make Halifax one of the most popular sites to dive in Nelson Bay. The colourful carpet of sponges, gorgonians and ascidians covers the seabed and provide camouflage for a wide variety of nudibranchs and flatworms. Spot mating nembrothas and discover large dorids carousing between the sponges. There are plenty of other oddly shaped bottom dwellers along with many species of reef fish including butterfly fish, emperors and rabbitfish.
Additional Marine Life – Moray Eels, Maori Cod,
Best Dived – Slack High Tide, but drift diving also possible
Marine Life – yellowtail, schooling mado, red morwongs
Marine Life – pygmy leatherjackets, pipefish, squid, octopus, anemones
Marine Life – crayfish, cardinalfish, umbrella shells, nudibranchs, pipefish, wobbegong sharks, moray eels
Marine Life – bream, sawtail surgeonfish, pike, wrasses, black cod, honeycomb cod,
Nelson Bay Shore Dive Prices $20-$99
- $25 – Includes Guide
- $45 – Includes Tank, Guide
- $55 – Includes Tank, Weights, Guide
- $99 – Includes Full equipment hire, Tank, Guide
Water temperatures are on average 17-22C and visibility varies between 7-15m. Dive times are dependent on the tides for the best conditions and pre-booking is essential
Feet First Dive also run weekly boat diving trips to nearby Broughton Island, a haven for grey nurse sharks whilst Cabbage Tree Island is home to the threatened Gould’s Petrel.