Loading
please wait...

Item added successfully !

Byron Bay
MAP is loading...
Expand Map
Julian Rocks, within Cape Byron Marine Park, where warm tropical and cool temperate waters mix, attracting species from both.  Famous for abundant fish life, over 1,000 species.  Aggregation site for endangered Grey Nurse Sharks in winter, and Leopard Sharks plus Manta Rays in summer.  Schooling pelagics especially around the Cod Hole with dozens of jewfish and several endangered (and huge) black Cod.  Depth ranges from 10-25m | 33-82ft but most of the action is above 15m | 50ft.  Deeper sites for special trips include Cape Pinnacle, Windarra Banks, and the trawler “Sea Rogue” wrecked 2008. 

Ashton East

OC and CCR trimix, stage cave, underwater photographer

I enjoy the Nursery and Hugo’s Trench as great spots for long slow macro dives with the camera, or the Cod Hole as a great feature for attracting large species such as sharks, rays, grouper and schooling jewfish and for framing wide angle shots.

Dive Sites

Julian Rocks

Depth (18m | 59ft) |
Specific areas around the island include the Nursery, Cod Hole, Wide Trenches, Cray Cave, Hugo’s Trench, the Needles. There is a mix of macro in the shallower areas, always large schools of fish, and seasonal aggregations of Grey Nurse Sharks and Leopard Sharks with the occasional Manta Ray.
 The Nursery

Located to the north of Julian Rocks, the Nursery is a shallow dive within the light zone at 5 to 12 meters, and provides a nice contrast between reef species populating the rock reef, and pelagics resting in the sand trench.  The Nursery is a good place to find wobbygongs, leopard sharks (in the right season), and turtles.  Keep an eye out for the Old Lion, an unusually large lionfish hiding in and around the Nursery.

One particular point of interest is a large admiralty anchor on the edge of the sand trench.  The admiralty anchor is sometimes said to be from the Volunteer, however this is unlikely.  The Volunteer was a timber schooner wrecked on 7 August 1864 in a gale off Cape Byron its cargo of 120 casks of tallow washed ashore at Tallow Beach.  There are a number of other shipwrecks at Byron Bay which could be the source of the admiralty anchor, if indeed it is the result of a shipwreck.

Cod Hole

Located on the submersed slope of the north-eastern tip of Julian Rocks, the Cod Hole is a 5 meter long swim through with wide (4 meter diameter) entrances at 15 and 20 meters depth.

The Cod Hole typically hosts at least one if not several giant black cod or jewfish.  It is best to avoid disturbing these creatures by attempting to do the swim through.  Nevertheless, large critters framed by the entrances to the swim though makes for some interesting photography.

Wide Trenches

Located off the north-eastern tip of Julian Rocks, the Wide Trenches are a series of parallel ridges and trenches.  There are plenty of overhangs hiding cuttlefish and other shy species. 

The Trenches are the perfect terrain for grey nurse sharks which are attracted to sandy-bottom gutters in rock reefs.  The best time to see grey nurse sharks at Julian Rocks is in autumn and winter when grey nurse sharks tend move north along the East Coast of Australia.  Since female grey nurse sharks pup in winter, the Wide Tranches at Julian Rocks are also a good chance to see pregnant sharks in winter.

The Cray Cave

Located on the south-east sector of Julian Rocks, the Cray Cave is a small swim through that attracts black cod and lobsters.  The surrounding area features growth encrusted walls and rocky outcrops down to 25 meters depth, making this the deepest dive around Julian Rocks.

The Cray Cave is particularly exposed to swell and current and so is best dived as a drift dive, and on a calm day.

Hugo’s Trench

Located on the southern edge of Julian Rocks, Hugo's Trench divides the two rocks, and actually connects to the sand channel at the Nursery. 

As it approaches the two rocks comprising Julian Rocks, Hugo's Trench becomes a narrow and shallow channel between the rocks.  This channel is very sensitive to swell.  While it is possible to swim through Hugo's Trench between the rocks and come out on the north side, conditions would have to be perfectly flat.

Hugo's Trench features steep walls funnelling into the narrow channel.  There are some great holes to poke around in looking for shyer species.  Hugo's Trench tends to have a lot of turtles.

The Needles

Located on the south-western tip of Julian Rocks, the Needles are a collection of large bombora rocks reaching from close to the surface down to the sand at 10 to 15 meters depth.  The Needles shelter schooling pelagics, rays and leopard sharks. 

The fractured terrain of the Needles also attracts nudibranchs, lionfish, moray eels and other shy species.

The Nursery

Depth (12m | 39ft) |
Shallow light zone dive with lots of macro, wobbygongs, leopard sharks (in the right season), and turtles.
Located to the north of Julian Rocks, the Nursery is a shallow dive within the light zone, and provides a nice contrast between reef species populating the rock reef, and pelagics resting in the sand trench.  The Nursery is a good place to find wobbygongs, leopard sharks (in the right season), and turtles.  Keep an eye out for the Old Lion, an unusually large lionfish hiding in and around the Nursery.
 
One particular point of interest is a large admiralty anchor on the edge of the sand trench.  The admiralty anchor is sometimes said to be from the Volunteer, however this is unlikely.  The Volunteer was a timber schooner wrecked on 7 August 1864 in a gale off Cape Byron its cargo of 120 casks of tallow washed ashore at Tallow Beach.  There are a number of other shipwrecks at Byron Bay which could be the source of the admiralty anchor, if indeed it is the result of a shipwreck.

Julian Rocks Cod Hole

Depth (18m | 59ft)
Short swim through with wide entrances which attracts large schools of fish, giant QLD grouper and jewfish.
 

Wide Trenches

Depth (30m | 98ft) |
Series of parallel ridges and trenches with plenty of overhangs hiding cuttlefish and other shy species. The sandy-bottom gutters are the perfect terrain for grey nurse sharks especially in autumn and winter.
 

Cray Cave

Depth (24m | 79ft) |
Small swim through that attracts black cod and lobsters. The surrounding area features growth encrusted walls and rocky outcrops. Exposed to swell and current and best done on calm days as a drift dive.
 

Hugos Trench

Depth (18m | 59ft) |
Steep walls with overhangs and holes encrusted with growth and lots of macro. Hugo’s Trench attracts a lot of turtles. There are some great holes to poke around in looking for shyer species.
 

The Needles

Depth (12m | 39ft) |
Collection of large bombora rocks with schooling pelagics, rays and leopard sharks. The fractured terrain of the Needles also attracts nudibranchs, lionfish, moray eels and other shy species.
 
There are many more dive sites in this area that can be arranged on request either to the skipper on the day of this event for normal dives,
or by Contacting Us for specialist technical dives.
Reef
Cavern-Cave
Wreck
Boat
Shore

Dive Centre

Blue Bay Divers

Lot 328 Pacific Highway, Brunswick Heads NSW 2483, Australia Facilities:
Dive Julian Rocks and deeper sites from Blue Bay’s comfortably large 8.5m | 28ft Cougar Cat- “Bay Warrior”. Excellent customer service, knowledgeable guides, and generous snacks.
Air Compressor
Enriched Air Nitrox
100% Oxygen
Trimix
Closed Circuit Rebreather Support
Booster Pump
Boat
Equipment Hire
Dive Lodge Accommodation

SELECTED PRODUCTS

We only stock equipment our crew personally use and recommend. Our focus is on clean design, reliability, durability and versatility. Our "Gear Guides" are written to help you make the right equipment decisions.
  • Special Price$30
    Silicone Neck Seal for QCS Small - While Stocks Last
  • $7.95
    Replacement HP Spigot
  • Special Price$10
    Schrader Valve Removal Tool - While Stocks Last
  • Find more high quality gear at our online store!

    ONLINE STORE

    See our Gear Guides to help find your right gear

Discussion Forum