Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - The Hole
Ulladulla is located just over 210 kilometres south of Sydney. It is about three hours drive on a good day, just over 30 minutes longer than the more popular Jervis Bay. Ulladulla is perhaps the most under estimated dive location in New South Wales, with numerous different dive locations and dozens of different dive sites.
Just over four kilometres south of Ulladulla Harbour are a group of rocks that rise up from a sandy bottom. Located a few hundred metres off the beach, they are called Burrill Rocks and have given their name to the small seaside village a bit further to the south.
There are literally a dozen different dive sites around the rocks. The most popular is Burrill Rocks Caves but there are many more.
One of the lesser dived locations is The Hole. This site is located about 400 metres to the east of the rocks and is a deeper dive. To locate the site, head to GPS reading of latitude 35ΒΊ 23' 42.8" S and longitude 150ΒΊ 28' 32.9" E. Note that all the GPS Readings on my Web Site are taken using AUS66 as the map datum. If you use another datum you may be about 220 metres off the wreck. See my GPS Page for more details and how to convert readings. At this location, you will see on your depth sounder that the top of the reef is about 25 to 26 metres deep. If you run east from this location the depth drops to 32 to 33 metres. This is an extensive wall that is probably a continuation of the main Burrill Rocks South Wall (that also runs past the Caves).
Anyway, anchor up on the reef top close to the wall edge. Once on the bottom, head either to the north-east or south-west along the wall. To the north-east, the wall is very obvious. There are large boulders on the bottom close to the wall and further away, the bottom is smaller rocks and then sand. Following the wall you you will see excellent sponge life, with a beautiful sponge that appears to be blue but when you light it up with your torch, is actually a brilliant crimson colour. There are heaps of small gorgonias, fantastic collections of sea squirts and even a few of waht appear to me to be black coral trees.
This wall has some small overhangs and caves, and there are a couple of swim-throughs formed by the large boulders. Along the wall there are a number of small canyons or gullies, These are very interesting to explore. Due to the depth of this location, there is no way that you can explore it all in one dive, as you are limited to about 15 to 17 minutes bottom time without going into decompression.
As you might have noticed, I have not mentioned The Hole itself. On my only dive here I did not find it, nor did the approximately 20 other divers who dived it at the same time from five other boats (we were there as a Scuba Clubs's Association of NSW dive weekend). This is supposed to be a hole that leads to a tunnel and back out again (at least that is what it appears to be from a diagram in Tom Byron's book). In fact, this diagram did not resemble the location at all, but I was assured by a local diver who was present when we dived, we were at the right spot.
There is a possibility that The Hole may be in the opposite direction to the way we went.
Fishlife at this location includes large numbers of yellowtail, silver sweep, bastard (Tasmanian) trumpeters and one-spot pullers as well as eastern blue devilfish.
In any case, this is a fantastic dive site worth many dives.