Scuba Diving Coffs Harbour New South Wales north coast
Diving Coffs Harbour is Fantastic! Come Dive and Snorkel the Magnificent Solitary Islands Marine Park!
Diving Coffs Harbour, come Scuba Dive the Solitary Islands Marine Park.
The Solitary Islands Marine Park runs for 90 km north starting at Coffs Harbour. Coffs Harbour is centrally located between Sydney and Brisbane on the NSW north coast. This is where the warm Great Barrier reef waters from the north, meet the cooler southern waters from Sydney and below – the sheltered Island havens are warmer than the coastal waters producing a unique blend of tropical and sub-tropical fish life, hard and soft corals, and spectacular marine life. Diving Coffs Harbour truly does offer more to see than Diving the Barrier Reef.
Diving Coffs Harbour. With over 25 exciting dive sites we have it all at the Solitary Islands!
Dive with the endangered Grey Nurse Sharks – sure to get your Adrenalin pumping as these stunning creatures glide close to you in the water.
In season, you will also get the chance to see Humpback Whales on the trip out and back too.
The Solitary Island Marine Park – Why not join us and discover the Jetty Dive Difference from one of our world class dive boats – dive in small groups with our knowledgeable Divemasters and Dive Leaders, we are passionate about our marine life and scuba diving. Click on our Solitary Islands half day dive trips for bookings!
Seasons of the Year for Diving Coffs Harbour. Which is better??
An extremely hard question to answer, in the Summer months (November to April) the water temperature rises from 19c to peak in March at between 24c and 26c. During that time we see tropical varieties breeze thru with the East Australian Current, with the larger fish like Manta Rays and Leopard Sharks thru to the smaller critters like the Ornate Ghost-Pipefish
Then from May thru to the end of June the water temperature stays above 20c. Then it drops to about 19-18c for the rest of Winter months. The Winter brings us a more abundant number of Grey Nurse Sharks and the special appearance of Giant Cuttlefish.
We really like the diving in the winter, and at the temperature it is, it compares to the southern tropical waters of the Barrier reef.
Diving Coffs Harbour, Can we dive all year round?
We do indeed, however we are vunerable to the Weather Conditions, we have 20kms of open sea to our favourite dive sites, so if it is too windy and the sea is too rough, we postpone our trips. If you are travelling to Coffs Harbour, when you book in with us we can discuss the weather..don’t trust the Forecasts!! We use them, but they are not always correct! If you are holidaying in Coffs Harbour, maybe allow a day or more extra just in case the weather is not suitable, usually bad weather will only last a day or so.
Just 30-40 minutes by boat from Coffs Harbour and off the coast by 8km.
South Solitary Island usually boasts clean water and has nine fantastic dive sites, with Grey Nurse Sharks, Blue Groper, Lion Fish, Morays, Nudibranchs, Black Cod, Turtles, Giant Cuttlefish, and a vast array of Tropical & Sub Tropical marine life.
Famous for its amazing gardens of Hard and Soft Corals, Cowry shells, Turtles, Morays and Lobster.
Split Solitary Island offers a further fantastic nine snorkelling and Scuba dive sites ; only 20 minutes by boat from Coffs Harbour, Split Solitary’s visibility however, is not always as clean as South Solitary Island, and quite often used as a backup dive site
Also known as “Grouper ” Island – it is renowned for its plate corals and unusual fish sightings. Shallower sites (10-15m) make it a good snorkel and long dive site. Like Split Solitary Island, South West Solitary Island is closer to the coast and the visibility can be reduced compared to South Solitary Island.
North Solitary Islands is 25Nm north of Coffs Harbour and is often referred to as the “big” island.
North Solitary Island offers it’s own special sites, like “Anemone Bay” with it’s blanket cover of anemones and clownfish and “Fish Soup” with it’s abundant fishlife, like Boulder Wall at South Solitary Island. Charter Scuba Dive trips to North Solitary Island are run on as needs basis, with about 75 minute boat trip each way.
North West Solitary Island has unique features like common sighting of manta rays in the warmer summer waters and grey nurses in winter. Again, like South West Solitary and Split Solitary Island, it is closer to the coast, with cooler waters and generally lower visibility.
Pimpernel Rock (sometimes spelt Pimpernal) is an isolated peak in the northern end of the Solitary Islands Marine Park. This undersea mountain has a base depth of around 40 metres, and rises to within 12 metres of the surface. A huge swim-thru cave cuts through the peak and is home to a large variety of fish. An advanced dive site due to the depth and frequent current.
Other Local Dive Sites
Our other great dive sites on the Coff’s Coast include
Black Rock (10-30m)
The Wash (15-30m)
Marsh Shoal (12-25m)
Split Bommie (10-20m)
Bullocky Reef (10-30m)