Scuba Diving Sydney

Scuba Diving Sydney: The Complete Guide

With its pristine beaches and breathtaking tourist attractions, Sydney is Australia’s hub for tourist activity. Famous for hundreds of unspoiled beaches and the iconic Sydney Harbour, it’s easy to see how the city draws people in.

Situated in the middle of Australia’s east coast, the city of Sydney is known for its laid-back beachside city vibe and enviable work-life balance. With pleasant weather almost all year, there’s never a bad time to visit Sydney.

Its prime east coast location lends Sydney to being a great spot for diving Australia’s great reefs! Scuba diving Sydney promises pleasant water conditions with vibrant coral reefs and a diverse range of underwater life.

Scuba Diving Sydney

What’s Good About Sydney Diving?

With hundreds of different beaches, Sydney has many jump-off points for exploring the east coast Australian reef system. This makes it easily accessible and convenient for diving. Here are some of our fave things about diving in Sydney.

Quiet Sites

In contrast to the popularity of the bustling city due to its iconic landmarks and lifestyle, like Byron and the Goldie, Sydney isn’t all that known for its diving. Perhaps people are saving their Aussie diving experiences for the world-famous Great Barrier Reef.

This just works in our favor as we’re free to explore the unspoiled reefs and wrecks that lie not far from Sydney’s shore.

Great for Beginners

Great news for beginner divers, Sydney has a good amount of shore dives available due to the city’s extensive number of beaches. This is particularly handy for first-time divers or those who don’t enjoy boat rides.

Sydney is a great place to have your first diving experience with many of its fascinating underwater environments accessible from the shore just on the edge of the city.


As well as its diversity in species of tropical fish and other marine life, the waters of Sydney offer the opportunity to dive a range of different sites offering unique experiences and spectacles.

Whether you’re keen for a wall dive, a wreck diving junkie, or just love to explore mesmerizing reef systems, Sydney has got you covered!

Sydney Scuba Certification

Scuba Certification

There’s no requirement to be certified in order to dive in Sydney. Moreover, there are many tour operators that cater to those of all levels of ability, no problem for beginner divers. Thanks to the ease of access to many sites due to their proximity to the shore and Sydney’s abundance of beaches, there are plenty of beginner-friendly and easily accessible dive sites to get your flippers wet for the first time.

What’s more, there are plenty of opportunities to get scuba certified while you’re in Sydney! Check out our recommended Open Water diving course below for more information.

Having said that, it’s always recommended to get scuba certified to give yourself the best, most enjoyable diving experience possible. While you’ll have a great time scuba diving Sydney as a first-time diver, there’s a lot you can miss out on without the extra confidence and diving experience, such as the more challenging walls and wrecks.

In addition, becoming scuba certified will help you feel more comfortable and confident underwater. This leads to maximum enjoyment and safety from your diving experience and something worth considering.

Sydney Scuba Diving Requirements

Scuba Diving Safety

Australia has more strict diving regulations than many other places in the world. You’ll be required to complete a medical declaration before diving to state you haven’t flown within the last 24 hours and that you’re in good health to dive. As always, tour operators state that you must be in good physical condition and have some swimming ability. Children must be at least 10 years old to scuba dive with a tour operator.

With that said, it’s always highly recommended to have a dive buddy when you’re out scuba diving in the waters of the Australian east coast, as it is anywhere else. This is particularly the case if you’re out diving without a tour operator or guide. In this situation, it’s also good practice to make use of diver down flags.

Best Dive Sites in Sydney

Possibly overshadowed by the world-famous Great barrier reef that lies a few thousand miles up the coast, Sydney’s dive spots are lesser-known and largely unspoiled. Here are some of our favorite diving sites in Sydney.

Long Reef

Underwater Rocks

Featuring a plethora of ledges and rocks, this unique site gives you the chance to spot some typical reef fish as well as the occasional reef shark. There’s plenty of interesting terrain to see and navigate around.

Long, rectangular apartment shaped rocks offer ledges you can grab and scramble across to discover a complex underwater world. A great chance to see Australia’s underwater world. For the more experienced, you’ll also find walls to dive at Long Reef.

If this sounds ideal to you, be sure to check out our recommended diving package experience below!

Bare Island

Sydney Coral

Bare Island is a shallow, easy to access shore dive that’s ideal for beginner divers. You’ll find beautiful, colorful soft corals and a series of boulders to navigate. This is a great place to see seahorses, nudibranch, pygmy pipefish and a whole lot more beneath the surface here.

With two different dive sites and a maximum depth of 12m, this is a great place for beginner divers to explore and discover Sydney’s vibrant reef system full of soft corals and sea stars.

If you’re heading to Sydney and looking to get your first taste of scuba diving, this convenient shore dive is ideal for you, check out our recommended diving package below!

Camp Cove

Underwater Wall

Camp Cove is another shallow shore dive that lends itself to beginner diving. In this underwater environment, you’ll find a range of diverse marine life including cuttlefish, crabs, and pygmy leatherjackets.

What’s great about this site is its range of different terrains. You’ll find yourself navigating around a submerged rock face featuring a speed limit sign as well as exploring a 50m long squat reef that’s just meters from the shore.

Check out our recommended experience below for more details.

Best Time to go Diving in Sydney

Sydney makes for great diving most of the year. With warm temperatures for 3 seasons of the year, and unaffected by the northern state’s cyclone season, It’s hard to go wrong diving in Sydney whatever the time of year.

The only time you might want to avoid is the depth of winter from June-August when temperatures can cool off quite a bit. It may be smart to avoid peak season too which runs from December-February, and instead visiting in the shoulder seasons when you’ll still get great weather and ideal conditions.

How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in Sydney?

If you’re looking at booking a dive package experience through a tour company in Sydney, you’ll find prices between $100-$200 AUD. The prices generally include gear rental and levys so there are no extra fees.

In addition, a PADI Open Water Certification will set you back around $400 AUD, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Scuba Diving Gear in Sydney

Scuba Gear

There are plenty of dive shops located in Sydney. This means gear rental is always an option.

It’s worth noting, you’re left with one less thing to think about when going with a diving package from a guided tour operator as all equipment and gear are included.

However, buying your own gear might be ideal for you if you’re a more keen and experienced diver!

Be sure to check out our buyer’s guides if you’re looking for scuba gear. There you’ll find all of our top recommendations for a range of scuba gear.

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