The Pipeline

Pipeline Site Location
Orectolobus ornatus (Dwarf Ornate Wobbegong) - The Pipeline
Vincentia novaehollandiae (Eastern Gobbleguts) - The Pipeline
Centropogon australis (Fortesque) - The Pipeline
Scorpaena papillosa (Southern Rockcord/Dwarf Scorpianfish) - The Pipeline
Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma) - The Pipeline (Right)
Dendrodoris gunnamatta (Bubbly Dendrodoris) - The Pipeline (Right)
Pleurobranchus peroni (Perons Pleurobranchus) - The Pipeline (Right)
Polycera capensis (Punk Polycera) - The Pipeline (Right)
Facelina sp (Orange Facelina) - The Pipeline (Right)
Dendrodoris denisoni (Denison's Dendrodoris) - The Pipeline (Right)
Dendrodoris nigra (Black Dendrodoris) - The Pipeline (Right)
Cavanagh's Egg Cowry & Banded Egg Cowry - The Pipeline (Right)
Flabellina rubrolineata (Red-lined Flabellina) - The Pipeline
Globovula cavanaghi (Cavanagh's Egg Cowry) - The Pipeline (Right)
Hippocampus whitei (White's Seahorse) - The Pipeline (Right)
Hippocampus whitei (White's Seahorse) - The Pipeline (Right)
Hippocampus whitei (White's Seahorse) - The Pipeline (Right)
Filicampus tigris (Tiger Pipefish) - The Pipeline (Right)
Dardanus lagopodes (Hairy Red Hermit Crab) - The Pipeline (Right)
Prawns, Shimps, Crabs, Lobsters (Order Decapoda) - The Pipeline (Right)
Pachycerianthus delwynae (Banded Tube Anemone) - The Pipeline
Sepia plangon (Mourning Cuttlefish) - The Pipeline (Right)

"The Pipeline" is one of the most respected dive sites at Nelson Bay. It is an absolutely excellent night dive and provided you can find a car park, a great dive during the day. You will find the site at the end of d'Albora Marina. Park in the car park near the breakwall, gear up and head toward the entry.

Like all the Nelson Bay shore dives this is a slack water dive but I would not recommend diving it on the low tide. Strictly speaking, at this site, slack tide will be 30 mins post Fort Denison (dependent on tide height). I have always dived Fort Denison high tide and current has never really been an issue. I do tend to potter so if you prefer to dive like an Olympic 100m swimmer you might want to wait a little later until entering and rushing out into the channel.

The entry to the dive is past the fish co-op building down a path that eventually leads to a set of rock stairs down to the water. Be careful the rocks under the water line tend to be somewhat slippery !! A small break wall has even been put in place in recent years that is very handy to rest on and put your fins on.

There are at least a couple of ways to dive this site that I will describe below.

The Pipeline

The traditional dive is to enter the water and dive to the left until you come across the Pipeline itself. An easy way to find the Pipeline is to snorkel out to the left until you are in front of the large sign that indicate where the Pipeline actually is and then descend upon seeing the pipeline. The dive itself is down the Pipeline which ends in about 18m. You can potter down the Pipeline and check out the concrete block on either side of the pipe itself. It is all covered in amazing fixed growth and is a macro heaven. You will find Decorator Crabs, Seahorses, small fish and an abundant array of Nudibranchs.

Pipeline (Right)

This is a great dive to get away from other divers and probably my more preferred way to dive the site as it is absolutely macro heaven. This could well be the best macro dive at Nelson Bay.

You dive out from the entry to the right until you get to approximately 10m. You then dive parallel to the breakwall around this contour searching through all the fixed growth for Seahorses, Nudibranchs, Allied Cowries, etc.

Update (May 2013) - I dived this site and was shocked at the impact of the sand build up. The soft corals and other fixed growth that used to be off the breakwall seems to be all but gone sadly.