Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
Home Contact Me Sydney Reef Dive Sites Sydney Shipwrecks NSW Dive Sites Australian Dive Sites Overseas Dive Sites Dive Accidents and Incidents Our Yachting Adventures 4WD Trips Weather Search 22 November 2017 21:57
Navigation
Home

General
About Me
My Diving
FAQ
Downloads
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
Contact Me

Dive Sites
Sydney Reef Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwrecks
Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about Shipwrecks
NSW Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwreck Summary
NSW Shipwreck GPS/Marks
Australian Dive Sites
Overseas Dive Sites
Aircraft I have Dived
Old Bottles

Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
Uwatec Aladin Dive Computers
Apollo AV1 Underwater Scooter
Bauer Compressor
DIY Oxygen Stick - Nitrox
GoPro HD Hero Video Camera
My Camera Setup
Purchase of New Dive Boat
Our Dive Boat - Mak Cat
Our Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
My Dive Gear
GPS and Diving
Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
Bare Island Sea Horses
Bare Island Nudibranchs
Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

Other Dive Info
How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
Visibility and Wave Averages in Sydney
Waves and Diving
Diving Weather and Sea Conditions
Tide Tables
Dive Accidents and Incidents
Dive Book Reviews
Site Map
Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
Our Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about our yacht, Catlypso and our Our Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • Our Yachting Adventures.
  • Login
    Username

    Password



    Forgotten your password?
    Request a new one here.
    Michael and Kelly's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of our Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Current Kareela Weather
    A summary of the current weather conditions at our house at Kareela, Sydney, is below. Click here for more Detailed Diving Weather and Conditions. Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station


    Conditions at
    23:49 on 23/1/17

     
    Temperature 25.6°C
    Humidity 65.0%
    Barometer 1003.4hPa
    Rate -0.3hPa/hr
    Wind Speed: 0 km/hr
    Wind Direction S
    Rainfall for Today 0.0mm
    Rainfall last hour 0.0 mm
    Rainfall last 24 hours 0.0 mm
    Rainfall at Start of Month 814.6 mm
    Rainfall this Year 827.0 mm
    Today's Extremes
    High Temperature 31.2°C at 15:48
    Low Temperature 20.9°C at 6:27
    Peak Wind Gust 0km/hr at 0:00
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Kirrawee Weather Station
    Yesterday's Extremes
    High Temperature 27.5°C at 17:11
    Low Temperature 19.8°C at 6:29
    Rainfall at Start of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Rainfall at End of Yesterday 827.0 mm
    Weather from Michael McFadyen's Tempe Weather Station
    Astronomical Data
    Sunrise 5:06
    Sunset 19:05
    Moonrise 1:09
    Moonset 15:04

    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Clifton Gardens sometimes has anglerfish"
    Fairlight
    Sydney Harbour has a lot of dive sites. Some of these are located a short distance from the Heads and others quite a way. Most of the sites normally visited by divers are up the main arm of the Harbour. There are only a couple up the Northern Harbour and Middle Harbour.

    Fairlight
    A satellite photo of Fairlight

    The Northern Harbour is basically the section from the Heads to Manly. In this area there are only really two sites that are visited. One is Little Manly Point and Fairlight. Fairlight is a site that I used to do a lot in the late 1980s and early 1990s but I have only done once in the 15 years to 2007.

    Travel to Fairlight Crescent, Fairlight. This is off Lauderdale Avenue. If coming from the City, turn right at Hill Street off Sydney Road once you are heading towards Manly after the Spit. This turns into Rosedale Avenue and then joins Lauderdale Avenue. Take the second on the right into Fairlight Crescent and park as near as you can to the first intersection. On your left you will see an access that leads to the waterfront.

    FairlightFairlight
    A section of the wall at FairlightAnother part of the wall with lots of ladder-finned pomfrets

    Once you have geared up, walk down the access track and veer to the right. This will take you across some grass and past a seat. Then cross the rock platform. There are a number of entry spots here. Choose the best one and flop in (do not jump as it is relatively shallow). Swim to the north-east and once past the rock platform, drop to the bottom.

    The depth here is just under three metres. Head east and the depth will slowly increase to five metres. You will drop over a very small wall. The bottom is rock covered with kelp. Head south once here and the depth stays this for a minute or so. Soon you will come to a wall and drop to seven metres.

    This is a nice wall and it heads roughly north-south. Swim to your left to the north and the depth drops to a bit over eight metres. It will stay between eight and nine metres for the next six or seven minutes. The wall is pretty bare, but there are a lot of shellfish on it and some sponges. There are also a lot of Gabo Island soft corals.

    Fairlight SpeedboatFairlight Speedboat Engine
    The speedboat off the wall at FairlightThe starboard engine of the speedboat

    After a couple of minutes you will see something off to your right. This is the wreckage of a large aluminium speedboat (this is not a Dutch submarine as many claim). This used to be fairly intact but it is now a total wreck. It has twin engines and props, although the props are hidden under the wreckage and perhaps the sand. Have a look and you will see the two engines, the prop-shafts and more. You can even see the remains of the cockpit with the gauges partly visible. It is probable that this was a 25 foot launch that ran aground on the rocks here on Monday 7 January 1952. It is thought that water got into the engine and caused it to fail. The owner declined to give his name to the newspaper that reported this incident. All on board got to shore safely.

    In front of this there is a small aluminium boat, like a rowing boat or a tinny. Continue along the wall and the depth over the next eight minutes comes up to six metres. I have seen some long-snouted boarfish in this area, as well as some tiny boxfish. This whole section of wall can have some excellent fishlife, including ladder-finned pomfret and yellowtail. This is a good spot to turn around. You can head off the wall on the way back and there are some isolated rocks worth looking at here.

    Fairlight BoatBoarfish
    The second smaller boat at FairlightA very friendly boarfish off the wall at Fairlight

    Head back along the wall and past the boats and the point where you first crossed the wall. The wall is at first as prominent as before but where it turns south, it breaks up a little and the reef edge is now a series of lower rocks. There are some sandy inlets and you can jump across from one rock to another. After a while the reef edge turns back to the south-west. The depth here varies between eight and nine metres.

    If you keep going you will eventually see a pylon just off the reef edge. This is a starboard channel marker that you can see from the shore before you start the dive. Depending on how much air you have and how cold you are, you could keep going for a bit or turn around. Head back to the main wall.

    FairlightSponge
    A pink sponge on the wall at FairlightOne of the many sponges at Fairlight

    Go back over the wall and head north. You can either swim right back to the beach and exit onto the sand or you can exit onto the rock platform near where you entered the water.

    This is not the greatest dive site in Sydney, but there is usually a lot of fishlife around. Worth doing every now and again, especially at night or when seas make it too dangerous to dive in the open ocean. Best at or hear high tide.

    References:

  • The Canberra Times Tuesday 8 January 1952 >
  • Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2017
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
    Dive shops, dive operators, publications and government departments cannot use anything without first seeking and receiving approval from Michael McFadyen.
    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded by Michael McFadyen
    without any help from the Australian Dive Industry since 1996!