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.
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.
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.
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.
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.