Dive Site: Halifax Dive Site, Nelson Bay, NSW

Red rockcod hiding diving halifax at nelson bay nsw australia diveplanit banner

Site Overview

Site Type: Sponge Garden Drift Dive
Depth: Top: 6MMedian: 9MBottom: 14M
Location: Just north of Nelson Bay Lighthouse Reserve

Description

Halifax dive site, named after Halifax Park was probably the best sponge garden in New South Wales until it was devastated by a big storm that literally buried the whole site in sand. Slowly the sand is retreating and sponges – in some places quite large clusters – are recovering. It is nothing like its former glory, but full of surprises and certainly worth the minuscule effort required of a drift dive!

Sponge arrangement at Halifax dive site diving Nelson Bay NSW Australia by Diveplanit

One such surprise was a Dwarf Ornate Wobbegong, and this one must have been a juvenile as his head was not much bigger than my thumb.

Dwarf ornate wobbegong juvenile head at Halifax dive site diving Nelson Bay NSW Australia by Diveplanit

If it had not been for his cute little tail hanging out from under the sponges he would not have been seen at all.

Dwarf ornate wobbegong juvenile tail at Halifax dive site diving Nelson Bay NSW Australia by Diveplanit

As well as the wide variety of soft corals, there is bubble coral and all kinds of other colourful stuff that you’d need a couple of degrees in marine biology to label.

Xenia at Halifax dive site diving Nelson Bay NSW Australia by Diveplanit

There is plenty of fish life both swimming about, including a big blue groper, and lots of bottom dwellers just resting on the sand.

Red rockcod side on at Halifax dive site diving Nelson Bay NSW Australia by Diveplanit

Nudis are a given on any dive site around Nelson Bay and the Halifax dive site is no exception. The prettiest on the day was this Dark Margined Glossodoris.

Dark Margined Glossodoris at Halifax dive site diving Nelson Bay NSW Australia by Diveplanit

Halifax dive site is usually dived as a planned drift dive an hour or so before high water slack. Walk as far along the coastline to the east as is practical, and hop in! The current will bring you back to the beach.