Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Broughton Island
Broughton Island is located off the coast of Myall Lakes National Park, just north of Port Stephens (named by Lieutenant James Cook, RN, in 1770). On the southern shore of Port Stephens is Nelson Bay and on the north shore, Hakes Nest/Tea Gardens. For more information about Nelson Bay, see my page on this small town.
About 12 kilometres from the Nelson Bay marina is Broughton Island. Also part of Myall Lakes National Park, it is really made up of a big island (Broughton) as well as Little Broughton Island, Looking Glass Island, North Rock, Inner Rock and some smaller islets. In calm seas it is a nice easy run out to the island. In north-easterly winds (common sometimes early in the day in summer) or in southerly winds, it could be advisable to stay closer to Port Stephens. In good condition it is about 50 minutes to the island in Pro Dive's large boat. Click on the heading to see more detail about the site.
LOOKING GLASS ISLAND
The most popular first dive is The Looking Glass (on Looking Glass Island of course). This is a crack through the island that runs for 40 or 50 metres right through the narrow island.
One of the second dive sites is Cod Rock. This is also on the southern side of Broughton Island, right at the end of a finger that stretches out to the south east.
Another second dive is the Bubble Cave. This site is located at the opening of Esmeralda Cove and is an excellent dive. The Bubble Cave extends back into the island a bit and it quite a good size.
BIG SHARK GUTTERS
Little Broughton Island is the eastern-most island in the Broughton Island group. On the south-eastern corner is Big Shark Gutters. The attraction here is the grey nurse sharks. The name refers to the size of the gutters, not the size of the sharks.
LITTLE SHARK GUTTERS
This is a little to the north of Big Shark Gutters. There are about four or five gutters. You need to travel from one gutter to the next, looking for sharks.
Off the southern side of the eastern corner of Broughton Island there is a series of step like rocks called, not unexpectedly, The Steps. To the south of this point, there is a cave that is very interesting. This is called Spider Cave.
All in all, Broughton Island is an excellent dive location, well worth the extra distance you have to travel in the boat from Nelson Bay. The service on my trips from Pro Dive Nelson Bay and the Hawks Nest Dive Centre was very good and I can certainly recommend them both.