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“Much more than just a fun dive” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Fish Rock Dive Centre

Fish Rock Dive Centre
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
107 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 146 helpful votes
“Much more than just a fun dive”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2011

NSW is one of the few places in the world where you can dive up close, without cage, with large wild sharks. The Grey Nurse sharks are a relatively docile species of coastal shark that have a head full of scary teeth but have never been known to attack humans. Jon, the shop owner, knows the region well as well as the movements of the sharks at Fish Rock, about 40 minutes by boat from the marina at South West Rocks. Although I've seen beginners do this dive, it's not an easy one. The water is cooler and cloudier than your idyllic Tahitian lagoon with temps around 22-23 degC and visibility up to 20m on a good day. You'll need a full wetsuit which the shop can provide as well as all your other gear.

As with any wildlife 'safari', the animals have their own agenda and sightings can range from one or two animals to schools of a dozen or more in close proximity. While you are hanging out with the sharks, there are also giant Bull Rays (yes, the type that dispatched Steve Irwin) wobbygongs (another type of docile shark) spotted rays, moray eels, turtles, crustaceans and tons of fish. If you visit the website or Facebook page, Jon regularly posts his latest encounters with images and descriptions.

The signature dive is probably the cave, which is a full swim-through tunnel of about 30m. Again, the shop will provide excellent, high power torches and your guide will point out the myriad little creatures hiding in the dark cavern. Don't be scared, my teenage daughter did it after only a handful of dives and loved it.

A dive at Fish Rock is a proper, expertly conducted experience that will satisfy finicky divers getting a bit tired of lazy tropical lagoons. Students of marine biology will get a full exposure to some of the endangered species that are now hard to find elsewhere along the coast. I've witnessed the other operators firsthand and believe Fish Rock Dive Centre is the best choice for experience and expertise. Even if you don't intend to dive, pop in and see the picture gallery.

Visited December 2011
1 Thank Roderick E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Great vibe, lots of energy, highly recommended!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2011

Just got back from my 2nd time up in South West Rocks, Sunday October 23rd 2011. Not as many sharks as before but the cave was still great!
Last time with SWR Dive center we did the cave shallow entrance at 15 meters. This time with Fish Rock Dive Center we did the cave deep entrance at 25 meters. Although it was still great, I prefer the adventure of the shallow entrance and having to go down the chimney head first.
This time we went into bubble cave, took off our masks and regs and had a chat and had my ears pressurized by the swells hitting the rock on the outside.
We had some big sharks outside the shallow entrance and a ripping current.
Big bullray in the cave, a couple of baby morays along the gutters, some crays, lots of wobbies, lionfish and a beautiful blue grouper that doesn't leave you alone and likes to be patted.
Our dive guide, although extremely nice and professional, seemed to concentrate more on taking photos for whatever purpose than showing us around and we felt like we were getting in his way a little bit and a tad neglected. Still very professional, safe and good attitude.
The rest of the guys were great. Very chatty, very funny and gave the whole boat a really good vibe and got everyone excited for their dives and again extremely safe and professional. Everyone was super helpful in getting gear on and you never felt rushed. The boat is well setup and open in the middle that feels a bit more spacious.
Take sickness tablets before you go, especially if you are prone to it.
Oh and to finish off the day, we had a small whale breaching a few times as we headed back in.
No matter who you go with, you can't beat a day out diving at South West Rocks!

Visited October 2011
2 Thank Jcohen32
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2011

The forecast for the October long weekend was terrible but we decided to head to SWR regardless. Fortunately the conditions remained favourable enough for John (owner & skipper) to schedule 4 dives over the weekend. Larry was our guide on Saturday at Fish Rock. He was an excellent guide pointing out all sorts of sea life and making us feel confident during our first cave dive. On the Sunday we had Jake as our guide, who was equally as good and despite the reduced visibility managed to point out the many highlights to be found at Green Island and Bait Reef.

There were many great extras that Fish Rock Dive Centre provided. For example, we loved the hot water that they brought out on the boat to pour down the inside of our wetsuits to warm us up between dives. Another great extra is that the guides take amazing photos of you diving and the sea life you see. A CD of all the photos was presented to us at no extra charge on the last day. In addition to this John assisted us in rinsing, drying and storing our dive gear until we were ready to return to Sydney a few days later.

The level of customer service and expertise that John and his team provided was very much appreciated and made our diving experience at SWR really enjoyable. We will definitely return!

Visited October 2011
2 Thank JulieZ900
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Awesome Fun”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 8, 2011

These guys are fantastic - can't wait to go back. They really know their stuff and have a great customer service ethos.... they even change tanks for you.

Very professional but loads of fun.

Visited May 2011
1 Thank crazypoola
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
24 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“For Diving with Grey Nurse Sharks, these guys are the best”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 6, 2011

The crew at Fish Rock Dive Centre are really nice guys, but even better, they know their stuff! Fish Rock is a great place to see lots of Grey Nurse Sharks ("the labradors of the sea"), and when you dive with Fish Rock Dive Centre, you dive with guys that know the area like the back of their hand, so you dive with complete confidence. The weekend that we were there, the conditions weren't so great due to some unusually large swell, but the vis was still 10+ meters most days. Each group had its own dive guide, so they knew what the conditions would be like under the water, and where to go.

I thoroughly recommend Fish Rock Dive Centre. Thanks to John, Simon & Jake for their friendliness and their professionalism.

Visited May 2011
1 Thank Nellycoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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