Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Broughton Island Little Shark Gutters
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.
This is a little to the north of Big Shark Gutters and is off the middle eastern point of the island. It consists of a reef running south and a larger protected inlet between it and the island. After anchoring off the point, the dive is carried out in the shark gutters that are in the inlet. There are about four or five gutters. You need to travel from one gutter to the next, looking for sharks. All the gutters are dead ends, so you need to go in each one and then return to the main section before moving to the next. In June 2000 I saw about seven grey nurse sharks here as well as a huge ray. Another excellent dive site. Depth is 6 to 9 metres in gutters and 12 metres out near anchoring area.
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.