Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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My Diving
Web Links - Dive Clubs
St George Scuba Club
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Dive Sites
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Sydney Shipwrecks
Sydney Dive Visibility, Swell and Temps
Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about Shipwrecks
NSW Dive Sites
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Australian Dive Sites
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Aircraft I have Dived
Old Bottles
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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
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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
    "Bare Island Deep Wall is the best shore dive in Sydney"
    Hump Wall
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Hump Wall Shellharbour is located just over 100 kilometres south of the centre of Sydney. This makes it within 90 minutes drive of most people in the metropolitan area, and much close for those of us who live south of the Harbour. There are a number of good shore dives (The Gutter, Bushrangers Bay and the Gravel Loader) here as well as many great boat dives. As close as this location is to Sydney, not many divers travel the short distance to dive Shellharbour except to do shore dives. It is almost unknown for people to go there for a weekend.

    Well, the dive Club of which I am a member St George Scuba Club, has over the period since 2000 had a weekend dive trip to Shellharbour each year. These have been very well attended. During these trips, we have explored the area a bit and found some great dive sites. Some of these are, of course, known to the local dive shops (as of early 2006 there are three, way too many for such a location, at least one will fail, there is no way there is enough divers to support all three).

    Anyway, when we first started going there (not quite true, we spent a week at Shellharbour diving in January 1994), we were shown a number of dive sites by one of our members. He had originally told me that this site was a pinnacle of sorts. We called it Hump 3. However, I have since sounded around the GPS co-ordinate and this could not be called a pinnacle or hump. What this site has turned out to be is a very large section of reef that is an extension of the end of the Bass Point peninsula.

    From Shellharbour Boat Ramp, head out almost due east for about 3.5 kilometres to GPS Reading 34° 35' 14"S 150° 54' 36"E (using AUS66 datum - see my GPS Page for details). Check your depth sounder and you will see that the bottom is 34 metres or so on the east and the top of the reef is about 23 or 24 metres (it gets shallower to the west before dropping to 27 metres and then sloping to 30 metres or more). Anyway, anchor as close as you can to the edge of the reef. In the area where the GPS reading will put you, you will find that you are on a corner where the reef runs south and north-west from where you are located. At this spot the reef slopes to the north-east at about 30° and south of the reading it drops in a shear wall.

    Once you are on the bottom, head to the east if you are not on the edge and you will quickly see the wall or slope. Head south and follow the wall. The bottom of the reef is 34 metres. The wall has lots of sponges, sea squirts and other fixed marine life. There are a few tiny gorgonias along this section of wall. The top of the wall is essentially flat, but there are some small holes. The top has kelp in some sections. After 7 minutes or so, turn around and come back to the anchor spot. If you have air, continue past the anchor and you will turn to the north-west. The reef slopes down to your right, with the bottom composed of small boulders. Due to the depth, you will only get about 15 minutes before entering decompression if you stay close to the sand or about 20 minutes if you vary your depth.

    This site has lots of colourful fixed marine life but there are not that many fish around. We saw a few Port Jackson sharks, some black reef leatherjackets, seapike, yellowtail and one-spot pullers. There are also lots of nudibranches. Despite the lack of fishlife, it is a really interesting dive.

    Of course, due to the depth, this is only a dive for the very experienced.

    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!