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Diving In and Around Yamba


I am surprised by the number of emails I receive from interested divers asking about local dive sites, particularly shore dives around Yamba. A Google search for "dive yamba" or other similar words usually puts this site at the top of the list.

There is very little information about diving in Yamba because there is really no suitable diving in Yamba without a boat and a lot of local knowledge.turners

There are no worthwhile shore diving sites. We are surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches, but no suitable reef areas are accessible from the shore. Entering the water from any of the headlands, depth would be limited to a maximum of 5m - 7m, and problematic with surge, sand, swimmers, board riders and fishermen.

Back in the 1980's there was a small dive club based in Yamba called Nautilus Divers (my husband Andy was a member) and they learnt to dive with a local instructor at Convent Beach. The mighty Clarence River flows into the sea at Yamba, so it doesn't do us any favours when it comes to providing clean water in the near vicinity.rocks

If the tide is right, and you have access to a boat, there is some limited diving off the Middle Wall (rock retaining wall) in the middle of the river. Potential problems would be poor viz in the river, strong currents and tides, and it is a popular fishing spot. Also given that we have a large and active fishing fleet operating in and out of the river, I suspect that the area could be a perfect habitat for Bull Sharks.

I believe there are some reefs and wrecks in the area offshore, particularly south around Shelly Beach and Brooms Head, but again a boat is required, and locating the sites in the absence of accurate co-ordinates would be a hit and miss affair.

There is no dive shop as such in Yamba. The nearest is Byron Bay to the north, or Wooli, Mullaway and Coffs Harbour to the south. All are about one and a half hours drive away.convent

Matt Saunders is a local PADI dive instructor who owns Coast Mechanical Services, Cnr Angourie Rd and Favourite Ave, Yamba. Matt has small amount of hire gear available, and offers tank fills.

We are lucky enough to be situated close to some of the best temperate water diving on the east coast of Australia. Our personal favourite site is Julian Rocks at Byron Bay, where we dive with Sundive.

To the south we dive the Solitary Islands with either Jetty Dive at Coffs Harbour, or Dive Quest at Mullaway. Wooli Dive also services this area.

A little further south, three hours drive, is South West Rocks near Kempsey, where South West Rocks Dive Centre, or Fish Rock Dive will take you to the famous Fish Rock Cave.

Enjoy your holiday!


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