Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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About Me
My Diving
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
Some of my Best Photos
Contact Me

Dive Sites
Sydney Reef Dive Sites
Sydney Shipwrecks
Sydney Dive Visibility, Swell and Temps
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
Free Shipwreck Books

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
My Dive Boat - Mak Cat
My 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
My Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • My Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Osborne Shoals West has excellent fishlife and sponge life"
    Simmos Reef - Shag Rock
    The Northern Coastline of Tasmania is quite spectacular is spots and there are a number of places that you can dive. The Rocky Cape area, located between Stanley and Wynyard, has sites right around the cape as well as further east near Sisters Beach.

    At Sisters Beach there are many different dive sites. Most of these are located around Sisters Island or the rocks between the island and the shoreline. This island is off the eastern end of Sisters Beach.

    To do this spot, you normally launch your boat at the Sisters Beach boat ramp or you could come from the boat ramp at Boat Harbour further to the east. It is a short 3.6 kilometre run from the Sisters Beach ramp to Shag Rock which is the rock visible at low tide between Sisters Island and the shoreline.

    East of Shag Rock is Simmos Reef, presumably named after someone called Simpson or Simmons. This is a bommie that comes up to about four metres and has sand on most sides and more reef to the west towards Shag Rock. A good spot to dive is at GPS Reading S40° 54' 41.8" E145° 35' 21.1". This is using WGS84, unlike most of my diving GPS Marks on this web site. If you do not know what this means, read my GPS Page.

    Bryozoans, lace corals and sponges
    make this a very colourful site
    A nice gorgonia under an overhang

    Most diving in Tasmania is not done by anchoring. People seem to either do a live drop or use a small anchor and buoy, dropping divers next to the buoy. The boat then waits for you and picks you up as you surface. I have no idea why this happens, as there does not seem to me to be any advantage overing anchoring like we do in Sydney.

    Anyway, once at the above location, either anchor or drop your buoy. When you enter the water, the depth will be about four metres on the top of the bommie. The reef sort of looks like a figure 6, with the top pointing to the north. The left side of the 6 has the reef running to Shag Rock.

    Once in the water, drop down the side of the bommie and go to the sand. The depth is 25 metre or so on the sand. You will see that the reef has lots of large kelp and on the sand there are lots of sea pens. Unlike the ones we see in Sydney, these are a yellow or lemon colour. They are smaller than the Sydney ones as well.

    Dumpling SquidGorgonia
    Some sort of dumpling squidA very large and beautiful gorgonia

    As we swim in an anti-clockwise direction. There are lots of sponges (especially red ones), lace coral, bryozoans and gorgonias. The eastern side is especially good for these.

    A few lemon coloured seapens
    On the sand and above the edge of the reef we see a few small long-snouted boarfish. All the boarfish we see in Tasmania are small, but there are lots of them. In Sydney we hardly ever see them, but they are much larger. Other fish seen include lots of red morwong, seapike, leatherjackets of many species and more.

    There are quite a few species of starfish and we see many very small squid. A few small cuttlefish are also seen.

    We travel up the eastern side of the bommie and enter the small gully created by the top part of the 6 before coming back out and continuing around the northern side and back to the starting point. It is shallower on the northern side, just over 20 metres.

    After 28 minutes we start a very gradual ascent as we circle the bommie, eventually coming to five metres about 10 minutes later. We do a five minute safety stop and exit the water.

    The visibility was 25 metres when we dived here in February 2008 and the water temperature 18.7ÂșC. A very good dive site.

    The dive shop at Wynyard probably runs out to this location.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
    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 for almost 30 years by Michael McFadyen without any help from the Australian Dive Industry.
    Website created 1996!