The Cod Hole

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The Cod Hole
The Cod Hole
Heterodontus portusjacksoni (Port Jackson Shark) - The Cod Hole
Sea Spiders  (Class Pycnogonida) - The Cod Hole
Phidiana indica (Indian Phidiana) - The Cod Hole
Pteraeolidia ianthina (Blue Serpent) - The Cod Hole
Glossodoris atromarginata (Black Margined Glossodoris) - The Cod Hole
Neodoris chrysoderma (Chrysanthemum Neodoris) - The Cod Hole
Mopsella zimmeri (Gorgonian) - The Cod Hole
Sponges (PORIFERA) - The Cod Hole

The Cod Hole is a great little shore dive. You would choose to do this dive on a day when the prevailing sea conditions at the Skillion Cave entry/exit rule this out as an option. Once you enter at The Cod Hole you are committed to the dive. There is no easy place to get out on the rock platform and certainly exit at The Cod Hole entry is not an option. The good news about this dive is that you don't really need to be concerned about the exit, just the easy bit of rock hopping, the entry.

Park near the boat ramp at Terrigal Haven. In recent years, Gosford City Council has been kind enough to build a viewing platform on the cliff above and slightly to the North of the entry to allow us to check out the sea conditions. Provided the entry is safe, kit up in the car park and then walk down onto the small beach next to the boat ramp and around the rock platform to the entry. The entry is easy to identify. There is a large boulder positioned slightly away from the rock platform. The area between he rock platform and this boulder is a hole that even at low tide provides an area to giant stride into. Make sure you time your giant stride so the water is high as possible. Once in the water swim out from behind the boulder, into the sea and away from any swells breaking on the rock platform.

There are two ways to dive the site, both totally different dives. You can head down the reef slope to the sand line at 19m turning towards the North (ie. left) and back around the reef with the intention of exiting back in The Haven or you can go South (ie. right) with the intention of getting out on the rock platform where you would enter/exit for the Skillion Cave dive. Given I usually choose to do this dive when I think conditions at the entry/exit for the Skillion Cave are a bit hairy for me, I dive back toward The Haven. You usually cover some of the terrain between the The Cod Hole and Skillion Cave when diving the cave. If you are going to dive towards the Skillion Cave make sure you check the exit before you get in at The Cod Hole.

On your way down the reef slope keep an eye out for the discarded outboard motor that is covered in red coralline algae like the surrounding reef.

The dive back to Terrigal Haven is not a leisurely potter (unlike my preferred way of diving) and you need to be good on your air. You basically follow the main reef wall all the way back around into Terrigal Haven and it is quite a swim. Make sure you don't follow some of the broken reef off away from the main reef. I have known people who claim to have done the Skillion Cave back into The Haven but I have no level of interest in a swim of that length !!

If it is a high-ish tide and provided there is not too much swell you can off course take a shortcut across the top of the reef back into The Haven around where the Admiralty Anchor is. You probably want to have down this a few times the other way around first so you know where you are going. I personally find the edge of the reef far more interesting than the top of the reef so I am happy to dive around the reef and not take the shortcut.

The attraction of this dive for me is the variety of habitats you work your way through. You start in an environment that is just like a boat dive with good fixed growth, sponges, Gorgonians and Nudibranchs. You move into a shallow reef environment that attracts large schools of fish including Yellowtail Scad, Eastern Pomfret, Australian Salmon and Kingfish. Finally you dive through for what is for me a very familiar macro environment in The Haven itself.

In addition to all of the species you will commonly encounter in The Haven, you will also likely see the following species:

  • Australian Salmon
  • Kingfish
  • Bonito
  • Black Reef Leatherjacket

On occasions, I have also seen Weedy Seadragons and Eastern Blue Devils on this dive.