Bonito Reef

Ceratosoma flavicostatum (Yellow-Ridged Ceratosoma) - Bonito
Bonito Reef
Bonito Reef
Scorpis lineolata (Sweep) - Bonito
Chromodoris splendida (Splendid Chromodoris) - Bonito
Glossodoris atromarginata (Black Margined Glossodoris) - Bonito
Ceratosoma flavicostatum (Yellow-Ridged Ceratosoma) - Bonito
Hypselodoris bennetti (Bennett's hypselodoris) - Bonito
Chromodoris woodwardae (Woodward's Chromodoris) - Bonito
Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma) - Bonito
Pteraeolidia ianthina (Blue Serpent) - Bonito
Chromodoris loringi (Loring's Chromodoris) - Bonito
Solanderia fusca (Dusky Hydroid) - Bonito
Soft Corals (Order Alcyonacea) - Bonito
Coscinaraea mcneilli - Bonito
Pentagonaster dubeni (Vermilion Star) - Bonito
Fromia polypora (Many-pored star) - Bonito
Plectaster decanus (Mosiac Star) - Bonito
Sepia apama (Giant Cuttlefish) - Bonito

Bonito is a site discovered by Jeff Heathcote of Terrigal Underwater Group whilst out fishing one day. It is a finger of reef off Crackneck point, just south of Bateau Bay. It is really a ridge about that runs roughly East/West, ~21m on top and ~25m on the bottom. On the southern side at the bottom there is sand and kelp and the Northern side small pebbles/stones and kelp. At the Western end of the ridge there is a reef wall that looks like it would be worth further exploration as a dive in its own right.

There is a fantastic amount and variety of growth at this site. You will find Dusky Hydroids, small feather like soft coral fans and sponges of all different shapes and colours.

The site seems to attract schooling fish such as sweep but surprisingly the other fish life does not appear to be that diverse. The fish found at the site include:

  • Maori Wrasse
  • Senator Wrasse
  • Crimson-Banded Wrasse
  • Eastern Hulafish
  • Half Banded Seaperch
  • Black Banded Seaperch
  • Red Morwong
  • Sweep

What this site loses in fish life it certainly makes up for in Nudibranch species !!! They include:

  • Glossodoris atromarginata (Black Margined Glossodoris)
  • Glossodoris angasi (Angas' Glossodoris)
  • Chromodoris splendida (Splendid Chromodoris)
  • Chromodoris loringi (Loring's Chromodoris)
  • Ceratosoma amoenum (Sweet Ceratosoma)
  • Ceratosoma flavicostatum (Yellow-Ridged Ceratosoma)
  • Hypselodoris bennetti (Bennett's hypselodoris)
  • Chromodoris woodwardae (Woodward's Chromodoris)

You should encounter at least three species of starfish on the dive and keep an eye out for cuttlefish as well.

The GPS Mark for the site is S33º23.659' E151º30.008' (WGS84 hdddºmm.mmm'). This mark will have you anchored in the middle of the ridge. To dive the site is quite simple from a navigation perspective. You just down up one side of the ridge, down the other. You can circumnavigate the whole ridge in a single dive and you will come across the anchor line mid way through your dive. You will also notice that at points the ridge breaks into two smaller peaks with a valley in between.

There is plenty to see on this dive and one I really recommend.