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Follow Captain Cook Drive all the way out to Kurnell township. Find the entrance to the Botany Bay National Park (follow signs or ask). $8 gets you in. Follow the road all the way to the end of the road, past the whale watching site. Park in the spaces provided. Look south along the coast line to the furthest eastern point you can see, that's your dive site (but not your entry point). If you can see 'swell' producing significant white water along the cliff, then you are unlikely to be able to get in, unless you are very good and highly experienced in shore diving techniques. You CAN do it as a shore dive, ADVANCED, 300+, Divers Only! It requires a walk of 800m with all your dive gear on!, so it's not for the faint hearted, but well worth it.
Follow the green posts indicating the cliff walk-for first timers, it can be advantageous to do this once without your gear- to the cutting in the cliff face (where the pipeline is) and walk down to the shoreline. A number of ledges here on the right hand side, southern, of the cliff face are your entry points and provide good deep water to flop into. I would not suggest entering at the waters edge at its most westerly maximum as there are triangular plinths in shallow water, less than 1m, that expose you to small waves while donning and doffing your fins and make entering and exiting here difficult to say the least. Access the dive site by following the pipeline east on the south side of the cutting and then to the waters edge. Here exist some natural rock platforms which make good entry and EXIT points.
Submerge some meters off shore and follow the shoreline out to the south, see photo, following the natural shelf lines and kelp beds to the east and head south around corner. You should find a large wall drop off. Head south following the wall. Turn and head back the same way upon deciding to return home. They have recently put the DESAL pipeline in around here. Once I have had a chance to dive it again I shall update the info letting you know where it is situated and whether it causes any concerns to diving and if it-the by product-Brine, has ruined the site for diving.
Ok I have since dive the site twice after the installation of the Desal plant. Rock fall from blasting or drilling has damaged much of the natural walls look and attraction, however it still constitutes a great dive. these rocks can be distinguished from the old rocks by their sharp edges and lack of marine growth and obvious yellow colour. I have 'rec-eed' al the way to the 'spoon drain' type feature some 150meters south of the headland and can still not find the pipe for the Desal plant. So it is either underground or further south. Underground would make sense as it would provide it some protection from the large swells that frequent this location year round. The shutting down of the Caltex Oil Refinery, some years ago, has stopped the flow of warm water to the site and hence the large patches of green seaweed that used to cover the rocks near the entry have since gone. Oldly, there seems to be more fish frequenting the site now. I don't put this down to the Desal plant's operation, or the likely hood of the 'brine' affecting the water quality because the site has never operated officially. It is a big 'white elephant that contractually cost the taxpayers money to keep operational, but has never had to operate to give Sydney home-dwellers water since it opened !!! The Pipe is installed on the ocean bed some 200 meters offshore in 22 meters of water, roughly inline with the headland.
It is a shame about all the rock fall as the site was very pretty without it. But it still is a great dive on a good day !
I still rate it as the best shore dive in all of Sydney. Enjoy!
How? By boat & from shore
Distance Long boat time (> 30min)
Easy to find? Hard to find
Dive site Characteristics
Alternative name Farkernell !!(UBD), Cape Solander
Average depth 5 m / 16.4 ft
Max depth 7.5 m / 24.6 ft
Current Low ( < 1 knot)
Visibility Good ( 10 - 30 m)
Dive site quality Great
Experience CMAS *** / Rescue
Bio interest Interesting
- Big fishes
Dive site activities
- Marine biology
NB. This is a shore dive for those extremely comfortable with their ability to self rescue or long surface swim. There is only one way in and one way out. If it turns to crap here while you are down you have to be able to look after yourself and may need to surface swim and good couple of kilometres home to either 'VooDoo' or 'The Steps' dive sites further round the point. generally speaking, this dive site can only be dived during August when the westerlies are blowing! This is necessary to keep the swells down. Do not attempt an entry when white water can be seen. NB: THE RESCUE SERVICES TAKE A WHILE TO GET TO THIS POINT !!!
This IS MY favourite dive site !!!
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The Cutting -
This was our third dive after trying to dive the Cave at Maroubra which we spent 22 minutes at. We then dived the S.S. Malibar for about the same amount of time but also was to surgy. We thought we could use up the last of our tanks and
The Cutting - Had a great dive with Craig T. today. Good vis with a slow southerly current. Such a long dive today...Gee I love this site I could stay here forever. We finished the dive with a 15 minute deco on the top of the reef wall at 8 meters.&nbs
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