Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
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    Lighthouse Reef - Norah Head
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Lighthouse Reef, Norah Head
    Bull Rocks
    Norah Head Lighthouse
    The Central Coast of New South Wales is one of the most popular holiday locations in the State. Only just over an hour from the centre of Sydney (even less from the northern side), it stretches from the northern shore of Broken Bay to Lake Macquarie.

    The diving along this whole section of the coast is excellent, although to be honest I do not have a great deal of experience here.

    One of the better places to visit is Norah Head which is towards the northern end of the Central Coast (90 minutes from Sydney). There are some very good dive sites here as well as some nice caravan parks to stay in. The only real problem with diving Norah Head is that the boats have to be launched from a very rough boat ramp straight across the beach into the open ocean. This limits the types of boats that can be used (for example there is no way I could launch my own boat here) and also limits the weather conditions in which boats can be launched and retrieved.

    Just a kilometre and a half so from the boat ramp is Lighthouse Reef. The reef here comes up from about 18 metres to 12 metres or so. You do not really need a GPS, just head to just off the Norah Head Lighthouse and head east till the reef drops from 12 metres to about 19 metres. Anchor on the reef.

    The site consists of a wall running from roughly north to south. The reef is about 12 metres on the top and about 19 metres on the bottom. Off the wall there are a few small and medium sized boulders with sand around.

    From where you have anchored, swim till you hit the wall and then head north. There is a decent wall with a lot of large boulders. There are gorgonias, sea squirts, sponges and other fixed life all along this area. In between the boulders there are canyons and on the wall lots of overhangs and cracks. There is said to be a swim-though that leads to a large crack but I did not find it.

    Back to the south of the anchor area there are more canyons and these are very interesting. You should examine each "hole" as there are things like Port Jackson sharks, wobbegongs and cuttlefish to see.

    Unfortunately, on my only dive here we had very large seas and the surge was bad, with lots of sand floating in the water. In good conditions, this would be an exceptional dive site.

    Lighthouse ReefSea squirt
    Kelly and the wall
    Note very dirty due to sand stirred up by surge
    Sea squirts
    Note very dirty due to sand stirred up by surge

    This dive site is only two hours from Sydney and can easily be done as a day trip. Highly recommended. Over the years the local dive shop has closed down and reopened a number of times. It has now moved to Toukley. You can also use Pro Dive Central Coast which has been operating under the same ownership for over 20 years. I recommend this operator as being the best to use.

    Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
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    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!