The South Solitary Islands Marine Park
The Solitary Islands Marine Park runs for 90 km north of Coffs Harbour; which is centrally located between Sydney and Brisbane, on the NSW north coast. This is where the warm Great Barrier reef waters from the north, meet the cooler southern waters from Sydney and below. The sheltered Island havens are warmer than the coastal waters producing a unique blend of tropical and sub-tropical fish life, hard and soft corals, and spectacular marine life. With over 25 exciting dive sites we will not be limited in our choices of dive site! Dive with the endangered Grey Nurse Sharks – sure to get your adrenalin pumping as these stunning creatures glide close to you in the water. In season, you will also get the chance to see Humpback Whales on the trip out and back.
In the Summer months (November to April) the water temperature rises from 19c to peak in March at between 24c and 26c. During that time we see tropical varieties breeze thru with the East Australian Current, with the larger fish like Manta Rays andLeopard Sharks thru to the smaller critters like the Ornate Ghost-Pipefish. Then from May thru to the end of June the water temperature stays above 20c. Then it drops to about 19-18c for the rest of Winter months. The Winter brings us a more abundant number of Grey Nurse Sharks and the special appearance of Giant Cuttlefish. We really like the diving in the winter, and at the temperature it is, it compares to the southern tropical waters of the Barrier reef.
The North Solitary Islands Marine Park
The islands are absolutely world class diving. The islands are not only home to the incredible array of temperate species found in New South Wales waters, they are also considered the southernmost limit of permanent colonies of tropical species. The marine park reserve is famous for a diverse variety of marine life, thickly populated at different dive locations around the island.
At the north eastern end is a small sheltered inlet called Anemone Bay. The boulder strewn site is carpeted with anemones and numerous Anemone fish, cowries, rays, turtles and hard and soft corals.
The Step, is a rocky drop-off; the wall drops from 15m to 45m and numerous sharks, giant Manta Ray, cod, eagle and bull rays patrol this section.
The Canyons is another popular spot best described as a multi-coloured aquarium with a few southern species thrown in. Also famous for Painted Cray’s and large dive able depressions in the ocean floor.
The Bubble Cave; near a spot called Southern Anchorage, is very dark and a torch is required to fully appreciate it. There are air bubbles trapped at the top of the cave. Fish life includes Lion Fish, large schools of White Bait, plethoras of nudibranchs and Spanish Dancers at times cling to the walls of the cave.
Fish Soup is one of the most requested dive locations. Located at a group of wave washed rocks called North West Rock. It is renowned for a variety of larger fish species such as Black Cod, Mangrove Jack’s , Jew Fish, Spangled Emperor, Snapper, Red Mowong, Tarwhine just to name a few.
Suitable for Open Water Divers (certified to 18 metres)
Depth ranges from 6 – 28 metres
EAN (nitrox) is available upon request at an additional cost
Diving by yourself? We will buddy you up with another diver with similar experience
$600 per person
4 dives (2 dives at the North Solitary Islands and 2 dives at the South Solitary Islands)
Fuel surcharge for the North Solitary islands trip and marine park fees
2 night’s accommodation
Continental Breakfast both days
Return private transport from Woolloongabba to Coffs Harbour
Dive Master services
Tanks and weights.
Nitrox is available at an additional $20 per tank
All Dive Gear
Personal spending money
All meals are at your leisure (with the exception of breakfast)
PDS is able to with a wetsuit, BCD, regulator, computer, tanks and weights for the weekend 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.
We will departing Brisbane (Woolloongabba) at 4pm on Friday and from here you will be driven in our company van to Coffs Harbour. Upon arrival we will check in to our accommodation and get a good night sleep ready to do 2 dives in the morning at the North Solitary islands. On Sunday, we will do 2 dives in the morning before heading back to Brisbane after lunch. We expect to have you back in Brisbane (Woolloongabba) by mid- evening. An itinerary with more accurate timings will be sent to the divers prior to the dive trip.
SPECIALITIES SUITABLE FOR THIS TRIP
Enriched Air (Nitrox)
Digital Underwater Photographer
Peak Performance Buoyancy
Dry Suit Diver
HOW TO BOOK
Download the booking form attached to the page. Complete the required fields, scan and email to [email protected].