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.
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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.
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?
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.
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.
- 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.
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 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 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.