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
    "Bare Island Right is a great place to find sea dragons"
    The Steps - Bicheno
    Almost all the dive sites at Bicheno are located off the small series of rocks that protect the harbour and boat ramp. One of the sites is called The Steps. This is located to the east of the rocks.

    To get there, you travel out to the north-west from the boat ramp and around the northern side of the rocks to GPS Reading S41° 52' 27.3" E148° 19' 00.3". This is using WGS84 as a datum. If you do not know what this means, read my GPS Page.

    Governor Island
    Governor Island and the boat harbour
    The Steps is just to left of two smaller rocks at right

    At this site there is a bommie that tops out at six metres and drops to about 32 metres on sand. Unfortunately, on the day I dived here, the visibility was less than great as for the couple of days before there had been extremely high winds which created a southerly swell that was still hanging around. As such, I cannot accurately report on a lot of the dive site.

    We did this as a live drop and pickup, meaning that we did not anchor. We dropped to the top of the reef and then headed down with the dive shop owner, Bruce, leading the way.

    Anyway, apparently the reef drops down in a series of steps (hence the name) from the shallows to the sand. There was a chimney that we swam down and out one the way to the sand, but to be honest, I did not even know this at the time as the visibility was less than two metres at this spot!

    The Steps
    Kelly at The Steps - poor visibilityOne of the huge crayfish we saw here

    In the spots where the visibility was better (five metres at the most), the site appeared to be brilliant. The reef has a lot of kelp, but there are sponges and some small gorgonias. On these Kelly found some yellow sea spiders. There were also a lot of nice starfish and quite a few long-snouted boarfish (smaller than the ones we see in Sydney). We also saw a couple of huge crayfish (this is a protected area - so no taking is permitted).

    As this is a pretty deep dive site, we had to circle our way up before we headed to the reef top to do our safety stop (actually, we went into a minute or two decompression). While doing this, we had millions of small jellyfish with medium length tentacles. I got stung a few times, as did Kelly, but they were very minor and the irritation was gone within 10 minutes of surfacing.

    An excellent dive site, ruined by the very poor visibility. This is rare, as Bicheno has a reputation for great visibility. Water temperature in February 2008 was 17.2ÂșC, warmer than Sydney when we left a few weeks earlier. The seas were smooth but there was a long rolling swell that we could feel even at 30 metres.

    I thoroughly recommend the services of the Bicheno Dive Centre. Click here for more information on Bicheno and the dive shop.

    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!