Featured Dive: Shiprock

John Turnbull, Member, National Parks Association of NSW

1966. A small, nondescript bend in the river at Port Hacking is coming to prominence as a remarkably diverse area with particularly high conservation values. In the words of Clarrie Lawler, Secretary of Underwater Research Group of NSW at the time, the “combination of a deep submarine cliff, strong currents and unpolluted water have resulted in an extremely rich growth of marine invertebrates with a resulting large population of fishes… During the early months of 1965 (we) began diving this area and were astonished at the profusion of marine fauna given the seemingly ordinary estuarine situation”.


John Turnbull, NPA Member

Snorkelling opens the window on a whole new world, without the costs, training requirements and equipment burden of SCUBA. Of course, you can’t reach the depths that you can on SCUBA, but there are several advantages to snorkelling. Some species, particularly colourful algae and tropical fish juveniles prefer the shallows. It’s warmer on the surface, and wetsuits don’t compress so a thin shortie or even a rash vest is often good enough. Families can snorkel together more easily, even when the kids are young, and on a sunny day it’s hard to beat the fun and adventure of discovering a new snorkelling spot.