Skillion Cave

Skillion Cave Entry
Skillion Cave Entry
Cave Below
Chromodoris loringi (Loring's Chromodoris) - Skillion Cave
Chromodoris woodwardae (Woodward's Chromodoris) - Skillion Cave
Chromodoris woodwardae (Woodward's Chromodoris) - Skillion Cave
Jorunna sp (Black Spot Jorunna) - Skillion Cave
Pteraeolidia ianthina (Blue Serpent) - Skillion Cave
Pteraeolidia ianthina (Blue Serpent) - Skillion Cave
Hoplodoris nodulosa (Nodulose Hoplodoris) - Skillion Cave
Noumea sulphurea (Sulfur Noumea) - Skillion Cave
Chromodoris hunterae (Hunter's Chromodoris) - Skillion Cave
Neodoris chrysoderma (Chrysanthemum Neodoris) - Skillion Cave
Polycera capensis (Punk Polycera) - Skillion Cave
Thysanozoon sp (Beaded Flatworm) - Skillion Cave
Parablennius intermedius (Horned Blenny) - Skillion Cave
Norfolkia clarkei (Common Threefin) - Skillion Cave
Heteroclinus roseus (Rosy Weedfish) - Skillion Cave
Cochleoceps orientalis (Eastern Cleaner Clingfish) - Skillion Cave
Sea Spiders  (Class Pycnogonida) - Skillion Cave
Anemones (Order Actiniaria) - Skillion Cave
Corynactis australis (Jewel Anemone) - Skillion Cave
Corynactis australis (Jewel Anemone) - Skillion Cave
Pentagonaster dubeni (Vermilion Star) - Skillion Cave
Fromia polypora (Many-pored star) - Skillion Cave
Plectaster decanus (Mosiac Star) - Skillion Cave
Ptilometra australis - Skillion Cave
Candelabrum australe - Skillion Cave
Botrylloides leachi - Skillion Cave
Ptilometra australis - Skillion Cave
Erythropodium hicksoni - Skillion Cave
Anemones (Order Actiniaria) - Skillion Cave
Epizoanthus sabulosus - Skillion Cave
Bugula dentata - Skillion Cave
Polychaete Worms (Class Polychaeta) - Skillion Cave
Hydroids (Order Hydroida) - Skillion Cave
Mopsella sp. (Red Gorgonian) - Skillion Cave

The Skillion Cave is a fantastic shore dive. It is as good as any shallow reef dive on the Central Coast in my opinion. The cave is not really a cave as such but rather a very large crevice in a reef wall that a large boulder has fallen into to form a "cave". This dive can only be attempted on a calm day which makes it an all to rare treat from shore unfortunately. You certainly don't want to be caught in the water in rough conditions having to exit over the rock platform and it is a long swim back around to Terrigal Haven.

Park in the small car park at the base of the Terrigal Skillion, gear up and make your way down to the entry on the rock platform. The entry is also the exit point and can be easily identified as where the flat rock platform steps up into a new level. Giant stride into the water, swim out a little away from the breaking swell, submerge and start making your way down the reef and to the North (ie. left). You will dive over a kelp covered area and past some very large boulders that make their way most of the way to the surface. Eventually you will come to a wall of reef that is about 10m at the bottom and 5m at the top. This is a good wall to start your safety stop obligation on your way back and you can finish it on one of the large boulders closer to the entry/exit.

It is a bit of a dive from the entry to the cave itself so it will take a few minutes to get there. The entry to the cave is at 14m at it is very easy to miss ! it heads back into the reef wall away in the direction you come from so it is therefore somewhat obscured from view. As you get closer, it will become obvious that you have found it and as you enter it opens up. You will often find Pork Jackson Sharks, Wobbegongs and even large Bull rays sitting in the floor of the cave. I normally dive towards the end checking our the walls very closely as they are covered in an unbelievable amount of fixed growth and the macro life this attracts. The upper sections of the cave wall have the most brilliant display of Jewel Anemones.

The cave gets progressively shallower and will likely be chock full of schooling fish such as Bulleyes and Yellowtail Scad. Once at the end of the cave I often turn around and swim above the top of the large boulder that has fallen into the crevice to form the cave. At this point you will be in 7m of water and you can drop straight back to the bottom of the crevice at 14m. It is a fun free fall.

Once you have had enough of the cave itself you will find the area just outside the entry a macro heaven. You can keep diving around the reef wall to the North and it will get progressively deeper. The walls are sheer and there is plenty of fixed growth to look for critters in.

There is plenty of fish life around the site and you can expect to see all the common reef species. If you are lucky you will see pelagic species such as Kingfish and Bonito (summer only) passing by as well.

You can keep diving until you feel it is time to turn around and make your way back and you simply return the same way around the wall. I often check out the tops of the walls on the way back. Some of them have a think coverage of Jewel Anemones like the upper sections of the cave walls.

It is quite easy to tell when you are back in the area of the entry. You will come across a bottom that is consists of small smooth stones. Make your way up to the first reef wall you encountered. It is a good spot to start your safety stop and then head towards one of the large boulders to complete your safety stop. Look closely on these boulders and you may be lucky enough to catch a resident sea spider. Surface away from the exit point and then make your way there across the surface. You will find a nice little ledge that will allow you to get a foot hold in order to climb out of the water.