THE DIVE SITE
Discover the Magic of Julian Rocks in Byron Bay – One of the Top 10 dive sites in Australia!
According to a story from the Bundjalung people a jealous husband threw his spear at the canoe of his wife and her lover. The canoe broke in two and sank to the bottom of the ocean. Only the back and the front of the boat stuck out of the water, creating a rock formation just 2.5 km off shore.
Named by Captain Cook in 1776, Julian Rocks in Byron Bay consists of ancient sedimentary rock, remains of a volcanic eruption more than 20 million years ago. It is an extension of Cape Byron separated by water and forms a most unique marine reserve, providing shelter and food for more than 500 tropical and temperate fish species alone!
From the 1st of December 2002 Julian Rocks has become part of the Cape Byron Marine Park and in May 2006 the new Marine Park zoning plan has come into action which amongst other things means that an area of 1500m around Julian Rocks has become a Sanctuary Zone for most of the year. This will hopefully see fish stocks replenish and give the critically endangered Grey Nurse Sharks some well-deserved additional protection.
Grey Nurse Sharks come to Julian Rocks during the winter months, presumably to breed. Although these sharks look ferocious with their mouths slightly opened and their teeth sticking out, it is perfectly safe to dive with them. The most commonly dived sites during the winter months are the Cod Hole, Turtle trench and Hugo’s Trench as these are where the Grey Nurse sharks like to patrol the sand trenches. An absolutely incredible sight as they are not shy about approaching divers and making sure that they put on a performance you will never forget!
In spring the blue tang pays Julian Rocks a visit. This is a fish, which can be easily distinguished by its blue body and bright yellow tail. Schools of big-eye trevally are most common in summer. The docile leopard sharks can be seen on almost every dive during mid-summer when the waters are warmest. The spotted patterns on their skin gives them their name. Most of the time they lie resting on the sand, but if you are lucky you can see them swimming, moving their long tail slowly. During the Summer months the biggest draw card to the rocks are definitely the Leopard sharks (also known as Zebra sharks) and the main stars… Manta Rays!! These gorgeous graceful creatures glide effortlessly through the water dazzling divers with their somersaults and back flips, twisting and changing direction with the slightest bend of a fin. These magnificent creatures will keep you enthralled and begging for more as they soar from view.
And then there are of course the ‘regulars’ like different species of wobbegong sharks, turtles, cuttlefish (family of the octopus), schools of white spotted eagle rays, egg-cowry shells, moray eels, banner fish, giant guitar fish and shovel-nose rays. Sometimes there are so many fish around, you can hardly see where you are going. Not to mention all sessile animals (attached to substrate) like tunicates, colourful sponges, both hard and soft corals, giving you the feeling you are floating through some beautifully landscaped underwater garden.
The Rock also forms a home for rare species such as the leaf scorpion fish, the pineapple fish with bioluminescent organs under its eyes, the shy blue devil fish, white banded anemone fish and a species of nudibranch previously thought not present in Australian waters: Noumea labouti. (A nudibranch is a colourful underwater snail without a shell, carrying its respiratory organ on its back)
The interaction of tropical and temperate species makes every dive an exhilarating adventure. The three minute boat trip to the rock is almost as exciting: surfing the waves sometimes accompanied by playful dolphins. From May till September the Humpback whales come past Byron Bay and can easily be spotted from the boat. With water temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius and visibility of 20 meters at most times there is really nothing to complain about.
-Suitable for Open Water Divers (certified to 18 metres)
-Depth ranges from 4 – 28 metres
-Diving by yourself? We will buddy you up with another diver with similar experience
Weekend Trip– 8- 10 August 2014
Weekend Away including Ross Gudgeon’s Post Processing Course -$600 per person and includes 3 dives, 2 night’s accommodation return transport from Woolloongabba, tanks, weights morning /afternoon tea and lunch on both days and Ross Gudgeon’s post processing course.
Weekend Away -$600 per person and includes 5 dives, 2 night’s accommodation return transport from Woolloongabba, tanks and weights.
All Dive Gear (excluding tanks & weights)
Personal spending money
All Meals are at leisure (unless otherwise indicated)
PDS is able to rent you a wetsuit, BCD, regulator and computer for the day and please communicate your requirements on the booking form. Each diver must provide their own mask, snorkel, fins and boots (not available for hire). Underwater camera and torches are also available and are subject to availability.
If you are travelling to Byron Bay in the Professional Dive Services van, which will leave from Adreno (54 Deshon Street, Woolloongabba) early evening on Friday. There is parking available for the weekend either at the rear of the shop or off street parking.
A full itinerary for the weekend will be sent to participants in the week leading to but for those interested in the Ross Gudgeon Course please find the details of what is included below:
8:00am – Dive 1 with Sundive
10:45am – Dive 2 with Sundive
12:30pm to 4:30pm – Post Processing Course Part 1
8:00am – Dive with Sundive
10:30am to 4:00pm – Post Processing Course Part 2
Ross will provide morning/afternoon tea and lunch both days (except Saturday morning). Price of these is included in the course fee.
***If you have previously done a course with Ross you are entitled to a $15 discount on the course – please mention this to us at the time of booking.***
Course program is:
- Importing files, storing, sorting and rating images
- Work flow for RAW image conversion and processing using Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop
- Special techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop for removing backscatter
- Special techniques for enhancing UW photos
- Converting images to black and white
- Preparation and enhancement of images for printing and display
· Demonstration of techniques taught using students own photos (Each student to provide 3 or 4 RAW images for this section)
Specialities Suitable for this trip
Digital Underwater Photographer
Peak Performance Buoyancy
HOW TO BOOK
Download the booking form attached to the page. Complete the required fields, scan and email to [email protected].