My friend Laura and I are currently on a geographically epic dive road trip from Brisbane to Tasmania. We are stopping at some of Australia’s top dive sites on the way where I’m taking images and preparing an article about our adventures for Sport Diving Magazine. I’ve spent the last few years diving tropical coral reefs conducting research for my PhD studies so I was keen to experience some of the cooler waters off Australia. I became slightly obsessed with planning the trip and we’ll be visiting a number of locations in search of particular species, many of which are found only in Australia.
Our trip began in Brisbane in mid February with the first part of our journey spanning 1000 km of the east coast down to Sydney. As we now head south to Melbourne I thought this would park a good point to mention the highlights from the Brisbane to Sydney leg.
We dove three main locations between Brisbane and Sydney. The first has been a favourite of mine since I first dived it in 2004. Fish Rock is an amazing dive site and each time it is different. This trip was the warmest and clearest that I’ve seen it, which was very much welcomed. After a couple of days diving here with the dozens of Grey Nurse Sharks we headed south to Nelson Bay in the Port Stephens area. I have found one of my new favourite sites so far in Australia in the Pipeline. It’s an easy shore dive where I saw for the first time Blue-lined Octopuses (Hapalochaena fasciata), White’s seahorses (Hippocampus whitei), Blind sharks (Brachaelurus waddi) and coffin rays. The blue-lined octopuses were one of the species I really wanted to see on the trip so was very pleased to find two! The final dives for this part of the journey were around Sydney. We met up with some friends, Jes and Reuben, and dived Bare Island to go in search of the Sydney Pygmy Pipehorse. Sadly the tiny syngnathids eluded us but we had a great dive none-the-less. Much more rewarding was Chowder Bay, also known as Clifton Gardens. We found a couple of coffin rays here too, as well as heaps of cephalopods and three Hairy Striated Frogfish (Antannarius striatus)! I saw more frogfish here than on my last trip to Lembeh Strait!
So now we continue south towards Melbourne and then over to Tasmania. I’ll be posting about the diving in these spots too but for now follow the below links to image galleries for each of the dive locations on our Brisbane to Sydney dive expedition: