Fly Point

Fly Point Entry
Fly Point
Fly Point
Enneapterygius annulatus (Ring-scale Threefin) - Fly Point
Pterois volitans (Lionfish) - Fly Point
Dendrochirus zebra (Zebra Lionfish) - Fly Point
Dendrochirus brachypterus (Dwarf Lionfish) - Fly Point (Right)
Hippocampus whitei (White's Seahorse) - Fly Point (Right)
Festucalex cinctus (Girdled Pipefish) - Fly Point (Right)
Meuschenia trachylepis (Yellow-Finned Leatherjacket) - Fly Point
Centropogon australis (Fortesque) - Fly Point (Right)
Cochleoceps orientalis (Eastern Cleaner Clingfish) - Fly Point (Right)
Monacanthus chinensis (Fan Bellied Leatherjacket) - Fly Point
Ophthalmolepis lineolata (Maori Wrasse) - Fly Point
Pseudolabrus guentheri (Gunthers Wrasse) - Fly Point
Ostracion cubicus (Yellow Boxfish) - Fly Point
Hypoplectrodes nigrogruber (Banded Seaperch) - Fly Point
Eubalichthys mosaicus (Mosaic Leatherjacket) - Fly Point (Right)
Thysanophrys cirronasus (Rock Flathead) - Fly Point (Right)
Enoplosus armatus (Old Wife) - Fly Point
Istigobius hoesei (Sloth Goby) - Fly Point (Right)
Eupetrichthys angustipes (Snake-skin Wrasse) - Fly Point (Right)
Synodus variegatus (Clearfin Lizardfish) - Fly Point (Right)
Psuedorhombus jenynsii (Small-tooth Flounder) - Fly Point
Cirrhitichthys aprinus (Blotched Hawkfish) - Fly Point
Aptychotrema rostrata (Eastern Shovelnose Ray) - Fly Point
Orectolobus ornatus (Dwarf Ornate Wobbegong) - Fly Point (Right)
Gymnothorax cribroris (Sieve-patterned Moray) - Fly Point
Gymnothorax prasinus (Green Moray) - Fly Point (Right)
Stenopus hispidis (Banded Cleaner Shrimp) - Fly Point
Sepia mestus (Reaper Cuttlefish) - Fly Point
Sepia plangon (Mourning Cuttlefish) - Fly Point (Right)
Octopus tetricus (Common Sydney Octopus) - Fly Point
Chelonia mydas (Green Turtle) - Fly Point

Fly Point is the Westerly boundary of the Fly Point-Halifax Park Aquatic reserve, a truly special place. Fly Point is the highlight of any trip to Nelson Bay. I like the site due to the sheer number of options that are available for diving and the diversity of marine life that can be seen.

Unfortunately, the site has also been effected by the sand issues effecting Halifax Park. Thankfully, the damage is no where near as severe.

You dive Fly Point at slack water and usually on the High Tide. If you are desperate enough you can do at low tide but expect the Vis to be very poor. The thing to keep in mind about this site that you you are diving under the main boating channel in Port Stephens. You must never surface at this site with making you way back into the shallows first. There is a serious amount of boat traffic that travels through this channel especially in the summer months.

The traditional Fly Point dive is very much a fish watch dive. It is not that there is not maro life present, that would be very incorrect, but rather a statement of the shear numbers and diversity of fish you can expect to see on this dive. Kit up in the carpark and make your way down the concrete steps to the waters edge. There are plenty of fish and critters in the shallows so dont totally ignore this area. The Bream, Tarwine, Luderick and even Mullet at times, have to be seen to be believed. You dive down the slope initially in a Northerly direction and then start making your way around in a more Westerly direction.

You will reach some short ledges in about 12m. They are covered in not only sponges and other growth but schooling fish such as Bullseyes and Eastern Pomfret. You might be luckly enough to find some pinnaple fish under one of the ledges. You will likely be visited by an inquisitive Maori Cod and Blue Grouper or two and will certainly see schools of fish hanging out in the remains of any current present. From these ledges you make your way further around the point and out deeper into the channel. If you get into some flat terrain in about 17m, you are off the Point in the channel. It will be a sea of sponges and crytic fishes out in this area.

Once you have had enough you make your way back roughly the way you came. Go back to the ledges in 12m and then up the slope back to the entry/exit point.

Fly Point Right

This is my favourite way to dive Fly Point and very much a macro life dive. You will not only encounter a diverse array of Nudibranchs in the fixed growth but if you look closely in the Gorgonia you will likely find Allied Cowries. I have even encounted the odd Seahorse or two on this site.

This is an easy site to dive and navigate. You enter the water at the normal entry, head north down the slope to the 8-10 contour and then follow this around in an Easterley direction, carefully checking the fixed growth for critters and crytic fishes as you go. when you come across any of the yellow or blue Gorgonian check it carefully for Allied Cowries.

There is an old tyre not too far from the entry that almost always seems to house a Blind Shark. Dwarf Ornate Wobbegong and Eastern Shovelnose Ray are also common here as well.

Once you have had enough, you just turn around and make your way back from the way the way you came. I tend follow back a different depth contour and take as much time getting back as it took to get out.

You can dive this part of Fly Point a couple of hours before high tide and it is perfectly manageable as long as you dont want to get too deep. This makes it an good alternate to the Seahorse Garden before doing another dive on the high tide. I have only attempted this on tides around 1.5m and not sure how you go if it was up at 1.9m.

The Western Wall

This is a great spot to go on a busy day at Fly Point to escape the masses. You could also dive this part of Fly Point from the entry at the Seahorse Garden. However, I normally from the normal Fly Point entry. Enter the water and start making your way down the slope as per normal. Instead of heading down the ledges at 12m stay shallow (less than 9m) and dive around Fly Point. Once you feel you are around you can venture deeper and potter around the Western side of Fly Point. You will find all the same fish life, critters and fixed growth here just minus the masses.

You can make your way back the same way you came or you can stay deeper and head back around Fly Point. If you choose the later option, you will eventually make it back to the 12m ledges that will help you get your bearings on where the exit is.

Fly Point Drift

The drift dive around Fly Point which is certainly a fun ride. This approach to drifting Fly Point is not really for new divers or those totally unfamiliar with the site.

I seek to enter the water up to 2.5 hours before the high tide and plan on this being a little longer than 60 min by the time you have done a drift and explored the Seahorse Garden, maybe less if I hang and potter around The Western Wall.

You enter where you would enter to dive Fly Point, dive out around the point looking for critters as you go. The further you get into the channel the more subject to the current you will be. If you want a fast drift you can go deeper, but I tend to stay up less than 10m. Keep the Fly Point reef on your left hand side (going with the current) and eventually you will make it to the Western Wall that will be somewhat sheltered from the current and a great spot to fish watch. Many of the fish will be hanging around here seek shelter from the harsh current. The further you make your way around the point the reef will start to break down into outcrops and seagrass. The visibility will likely be much poorer here than on Fly Point, this is the start of the Seahorse Garden. You can choose to exit here or extend you dive a little longer.