Camp Cove

Diving at Camp Cove beach, Sydney

Do you crave for an easy relaxing diving experience? A condition that is extremely pleasant and is suitable for a new diver? Well, I generally look forward for those diving conditions and enjoy the diving experience more when the sea is not rough and the water is not too cold. Camp Cove beach diving site granted me that wish. It is the best diving conditions I have had so far in Sydney. The water was so calm and clear that I really enjoyed diving at Camp Cove.

Diving at Camp Cove beach, Sydney

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Where is Camp Cove beach?

Camp Cove beach is in the southern part of the Sydney harbour, located adjacent to the Sydney Harbour National Park. It lies in Watsons Bay and is around 250 metres wide. The beach provides an amazing view of the Sydney Central Business District (CBD).

Note: The beach is generally popular among the locals and is sometimes crowded with swimmers.

Camp Cove Beach
View of Sydney CBD from Camp Cove beach

There is a very nice cafe on the beach where one can have a hot coffee after the dives.

How to get to Camp Cove Beach?

Driving

The distance between Sydney CBD and Camp Cove beach is around 13 kilometres (20 to 30 minutes drive). There is a car park very close to the Camp Cove beach where one can park their cars.

Public transport

Camp Cove beach can be reached in two ways.

  • Bus – Robertson Park, Military Rd is the closest bus stop to the Camp Cove beach. The distance between the bus stop and the beach is around 8 to 10 minutes (700 metres) walk. There are frequent buses between QVB on York Street and Robertson Park.
  • Ferry – The best and picturesque way to reach Camp Cove is by taking a ferry (20 minutes) from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay. The distance between the wharf and the beach is around 8 to 10 minutes (700 metres) walk.
  • More up-to-date information on the bus route and timings can be found on the Transport for NSW.
  • Credit/Debit or Opal transportation cards can be used to pay the fare on public transport in Sydney.

For things to do in Sydney, read Ultimate travel guide to Sydney.

Dive Site at Camp Cove

As I mentioned at the beginning, I had two very relaxing dives at Camp Cove beach. I was told by my dive buddy that the beach is protected from the winds and hence the water is less rough. I dived at this site as part of my PADI Peak Buoyancy Speciality course that I had decided to do. The Peak Buoyancy course is mainly to practise and learn the skills required for buoyancy.

My new wet suit at Camp Cove beach

Logistics

  • Type of Dive: Shore dive. Note: The beach is a steep sandy beach bordered by rocky points. My instructor asked my dive buddy and me to snorkel to a pole that stood a few metres away from the shore in the ocean. That is the spot we descended for the dive.
  • Dive site: Open (Sea).
  • Depth: 6 to 7 metres.
  • Visibility: approximately around 5 to 6 metres. Note: The visibility depends mainly on the conditions of the ocean and the weather.
  • Ideal for: All level divers including the beginners.
  • Wet suit: Yes (5 mm thickness) advised. The Australian waters are a bit chilly.
  • Current: Usually calm.

Marine Life

The marine life here was abundant and spectacular. There are lots of octopuses, Wobbegong sharks and lots of tiny fishes. I saw two octopuses, yellow snappers, swordfishes, and cuttlefishes.

The best time to dive is in the mornings as there is less crowd and the visibility is much better.

Dive Centre and Cost

NOTE: As mentioned, these two dives were part of my PADI Peak Buoyancy Specialty course.

  • Dive Centre: Scuba Waterhouse/Geo Divers.
  • Address: 1/50 George Street, Clyde NSW 2142.
  • Cost: AUD 190 for the PADI Peak Buoyancy Specialty course.
  • Equipment: AUD 95 for two tanks, BCD, weights, and a regulator. I had my own wet suit, mask (3 mm) with an inner vest, snorkel, fins, and boots.
  • Booking: via phone 02 9689 1389.

I had a great experience interacting with the owner Judith McDonald. She kept me updated throughout and made sure I had all the bookings done prior to the dives. She also arranged for my equipment to be collected by my dive buddy Malcolm on my behalf. The instructor Karleen Going and my dive buddy Malcolm Wright were extremely friendly. They were the best team I could have on that day. Very friendly and patient. They took care of me as they knew that I am still a newbie in diving. I loved diving with these two people.

The group at Camp Cove Beach
My instructor Karlean and my dive buddy Malcolm

The best thing about diving with Scuba Warehouse was that Malcolm (my dive buddy) taught me how to clean the gear.

I loved Scuba Warehouse undoubtedly. But the only two drawbacks are:

  • One needs to ensure they pick up the equipment (including the tanks) a day before the dive.
  • It is very expensive to hire the gear. And so it makes it difficult to dive with them every weekend.

Is it safe for solo female travelers?

As a rule in Scuba diving, it is always best to dive with a buddy and if you are a newbie like me then an instructor works best. So, always buddy up with some more experienced than you. If you are going with a dive centre, then there is nothing to be worried about as the safety is taken care by the centre.

Traveling to and from the dive site/centre is extremely safe for solo female travelers. Sydney, in general, is a very safe city. But like any other place, be cautious about your surroundings.

Camp Cove Beach

Closing notes

Camp Cove definitely became my top favourite places to dive in Sydney. I have been diving at different places around Sydney and diving at Shelly Beach was my favourite till Camp Cove came along. I recommend diving at this site for sure.

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PIN for later reference - Diving at Camp Cove Beach, Sydney
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11 comments

  1. I think this blog was made for me! I am a new diver and hope to live in Australia one day, so I will definitely be heading to this spot first when I make it there! There is something so magical and peaceful about being underwater, I am so jealous you got to experience this in one of the most wildlife-rich countries. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I’m an avid diver myself but never dove in Australia! What is the diver level for camp cove beach? And what can you see down there? It would be nice if you’ll have pics of your underwater experience! I am looking forward to it.

  3. Good to know that Camp Cove beach is easily reachable by bus. I don’t have an international driving licence, so I rely heavily on public transports wherever I go. And as a beginner diver, I also prefer calm waters. So I think Camp Cove beach is perfect for me if I want to try diving in Sydney.

  4. You are certainly showing me some great diving locations in Australia. It would definitely tempt me to travel with diving gear the next time we visit and save some of the gear rental costs. I love local sites like Camp Cove where you can dive from shore. And where there is lots of sea life.

  5. CAmp Cove Beach looks like a great place to go diving but for me, its not for me. I love water but dont want to go to far down. Tried it in the Maldives once and I knew it wasn’t for me. However for the wife, she would give this a bash straight away. Rental costs looks reasonable and an easy place to get to. Looks like every diver has an guarantee of seeing a lot of sea-life also.

  6. Wow what a peaceful beach it is. I love that small bridge connected to the structure. Though I have never done diving, perhaps this would be an ideal place to try it out. Thanks for the tips. We plan to head to Australia next year and would include Camp Cove Beach in our plans.

  7. Happy to know that Camp Cove Beach can be reached both by private car and public transportation. The marine life is beautiful. Would love to dive sometime in the future. Thank you for sharing the video. 🙂

  8. A relaxing, pleasant diving experience for a new comer? All that in the city of Sydney? Where do I sign up? Good to know that it can be easily reached by public transport as well. Super awesome that its safe for solo female travelers as well. Good to know that your instructor was kind & friendly. That’s absolutely necessary to feel safe and welcome.

  9. I don’t realize you can go diving around Sydney within 20-30 minutes drive. And you can also reach the place by bus or ferry. That’s really great! Not just that. The water is clear and you could see octopuses and sharks. How lucky!

  10. Camp Cove beach looks very calm, quiet and so good for diving. Though I am not much a diving person, but would enjoy the peace of this place, as I love uncrowded and peaceful locations. Good to know this beach also provides stunning view of Sydney’ CBD skyline. As you said reaching here is best by ferry, so I would also take ferry for scenic ride too.

I would love to hear your thoughts, please drop a comment!

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