Central Coast

Dive Sites

HMAS Adelaide

Depth:20m to 34 metres Rating:Green

Dive the ex-HMAS ADELAIDE

The NSW Central Coast has quite a few wrecks spread out along the length of the coast. Many of these wrecks had a very illustrious career, whilst some had a very hard life.
The majority of wrecks meet their demise by misfortune, to this end they have become a great source of adventure and have re birthed as fish habitats, where fish have gathered and produced great fish aggregation areas for fishos.

We regularly dive local wrecks like the Valiant which lies in 27 metres of water off Barrenjoey, the Hallcaine in 54 metres off Killcare, then there is the Galava which lies in 51 metres off Terrigal, whilst the remains of the Commonwealth lays in 43 metres off Forresters and the Kiama is in 42 metres off the Entrance.

Further north the Nerong lies in 44 metres off Norah Head along with the Patersen at 10 metres just off Jenny Dixon beach. A little tug called the Advance lies in 47 metres off Catherine Hill bay.

Most of these wrecks as you can see, are in very deep water or have become wreck sites that resemble junk piles. To this end the Central Coast now has its very own ex naval ship to be sunk as an artificial reef that will become an exciting new dive site-

You are now able to dive the ex HMAS Adelaide every day of the week and with a short five minute run from the boat ramp this artificial reef will be the genesis with juvenile fish seeking hiding places, larger fish seeking ambush hideouts and predators patrolling the edge of visbility.

History
The ex HMAS Adelaide II - A frigate built as a long-range escort with roles including area air defence, antisubmarine warfare, surveillance, reconnaissance and interdiction. The ship was capable of countering simultaneous threats from the air, surface and subsurface.

Displacing 4,100 tonnes and at around 138 metres long, this is an impressive dive site that will entertain thousands of divers from all over the world.

The HMAS Adelaide, with a top speed of 29 knots, this was a fairly sleek vessel with power to burn- the engine room will be a great area to explore-
The gas turbines didn't need steam so the HMAS ADELAIDE didn't have to get up a head of steam and would have been ready for sea in only 30 minutes from cold. This made the HMAS Adelaide a very versatile vessel and using a repair by replacement style of maintenance program allowed for a reduced crew complement of 184 personnel.

The HMAS Adelaide was instrumental in rescuing ?Around the World? yachtsmen Thierry Dubois and Tony Bullimore from the Southern Ocean in 1997 was also the first vessel of her class to fire a Harpoon missile

Being the first of the Oliver Hazard Perry Class guided missile frigates (FFG) built in Seattle, USA she was commissioned on November 15th, 1980. With a 25 year career the HMAS Adelaide was deployed in many operational activities that included:
Operation MORRIS DANCE (Fiji Coup 1987)
Operation DAMASK (I) (Persian Gulf 1990)
Operation WARDEN/STABILISE (East Timor 1999)
Operation RELEX (Christmas Island 2001)
Operation SLIPPER (Persian Gulf 2001)
Operation RELEX (II) (2002)
Operation CATALYST (Persian Gulf 2004)

 

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Swansea Bridge

Depth:10 metres Rating:Blue

Swansea channel is the only entrance to the sea from the largest saltwater lake in Australia, Lake Macquarie. As such, there is a massive water interchange each day as the tides rise and fall. Where the Pacific Highway crosses the channel it was necessary to build an opening bridge to allow boat traffic to pass. This steel bridge has created the fishiest and noisiest pylon dive in Australia. Diving Swansea Bridge takes place during the slack water of high tide (unless you do a drift dive), which is about two to three hours after the tide has officially turned. For the best information check with the dive shop or watch when local divers go into the water.
Follow the break-wall along to the pylons and then follow them out across the channel. Do not surface anywhere in the channel as there are lots of boats including yachts.
On the coarse white sand bottom you will find sole, flathead, fortescues and balling striped catfish. In mid-water you'll find schools of fish of many different species. On the pylons look for playful horned blennies hiding in the empty barnacle shells among the sponges and hydroids, which have converted this man-made structure into a living reef. On the bottom look for the 'shopping trolley', quite often they are the home for sea horses, pipe fish and striped dumpling cuttlefish.

A fast drift dive can be undertaken from the boat ramp on the north-eastern side of the bridge to another boat ramp near the caravan park on the western side. Keep an eye out for old bottles.

Depth: 25 metres Rating: Open Water / Advanced

Source: Scuba Diver Australasia Magazine Author: Neil Vincent

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Terrigal Haven

Depth:5-12 m Rating:Green
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