Scientific name: Orectolobidae
You’ll find some spectacular examples of the 12 species of this beautiful “carpet shark” in and around Sydney Harbour. Affectionately referred to as “wobbies,” the name wobbegong comes from the aboriginal word meaning “shaggy beard.”
Wobbegong are placid, retiring sharks that live on the bottom in shallow temperate waters. Their teeth are small, pointy and sharp, but they’re not a threat to divers unless harassed and provoked. Humans aren’t on the menu. We’re much too big and nasty. Wobbegong will munch on crabs and lobsters, octopus and small fish unlucky enough to swim by their mouth as they lie still in their natural camouflage.
See wobbies up close on our Sydney dives
The best way to learn about wobbegong sharks is to see them in the flesh on a dive with Sydney Dive Charters. Our dive videos won’t do them justice, but perhaps they will give you the motivation to join us for a dive with these magnificient creatures.
Top Sydney shark dives
Spectacular shark dives are just a short boat trip away from Sydney. Check out our top Sydney shark diving spots.
Quick Facts on Wobbegong Sharks
- Wobbegong sharks are not protected at the moment in NSW. The population is deemed to be in good health.
- Some of the 12 species or sub-classification of wobbegong include:
- Spotted wobbegong
- Tasselled wobbegong
- Ornate wobbegong
- Wobbegong have anywhere from 4 to 18 young in one clutch. The shark pups grow inside eggs inside the womb. They’ll hatch inside their mother and will be born live after 10 to 11 months.
- As bottom dwellers, wobbegongs will often use their bottom flippers to waddle on the ocean floor.
- Wobbies are ambush predators with a powerful bite. If the prey is too large to swallow whole, they’ll hold onto it until it dies and then consume it in bite-sized chunks.
- Woobies are one of the only sharks that can turn around and bite their own tail so don’t ever pull it while diving.
- Unlike other sharks, wobbegong like bubbles going through their gills. On some dives, I have had wobbies swim on top and then lie on you while you’re digging! (Aquariums use ‘air or bubble walls’ to separate wobbgong sharks from other parts of the aquarium.)
- Their underside is bright white.
- Wobbies’ eyes are silver at night. They’re quite different from crayfish eyes (which are red.) Divers on night dives can often see silver eyes odeep in the recesses of ledges with crayfish up front. If a diver tries to take a crayfish, the wobby will often charge out protecting his future dinner.
- A wobbegong bite ise similar to a pit bull’s. Once a wobby bites on, there is no way to get them to release unless they try to adjust their hold. Many a wobby have been killed when they wouldn’t let go.
- Divers on many occasions have knelt or laid on a wobby during a dive and the wobby will often no even move, but they will remember being mistreated by divers and have been known to swim up into midwater to harass or bite a diver who has pulled its tail on an earlier part of the dive.
- If a diver is bitten, they will typically present with a nasty bruise. If the bite is directly onto the skin, expect small needle-type marks throughout with bruising.
- On our dives, we’ve seen wobbies around 4m long. We’ve also encountered 5-6 wobbies laying side-by-side or even on top of each other in an area rich with sea life.
- At The Apartments, there is a very dark and large wobby who likes to swim midwater around our divers. We will typically follow the large wobby along. This seems out of character for wobbies who generally lie around looking like they are sleeping all the time.
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Sydney Scuba Dive Costings
All prices include GST. Prices are per person.
Single Dive $69.00
Single Night Dive $69.00
TSS Currajong Night Dive $120.00
Double Boat Dive $120.00
Technical Tec 1 Dive (40-51m) $99.00
Tec 1 Dive + 1 Recreational Dive $120.00
Technical Tec 2 Dive (51-78m) $150.00
Tec 2 “Peak” Dive $950 (full boat rate. max 6 divers)
Ex – HMAS Adelaide Double Dive $120.00
Freediving $220.00ph (10pax max)
Whale Watching $65.00
Charter Rate $POA
Freediver $120.00 pp
I had an awesome couple of dives on the Ex-HMAS Adelaide for my 100th dive. It was an amazing experience thanks to Jason’s excellent boat and service, his detailed briefing really helped me navigate the ship wreck.
We dive regularly with Jason. He really looks after us. Great diving. Love the boat. Dives run on time which let’s us get to work after our dives.
I’ve chartered Sydney Dive Charters for my company’s annual Christmas party and we had a great time, the boat is great and Jason really went out of his way to accommodate our needs. I will definitely be back on board this year!
“I’ve been diving with Jason aboard Sydney Dive Charters dive boat for nearly 3 years now and I keep coming back. I’ve had the pleasure of exploring and enjoying some of the best technical wrecks in the Sydney Region. The boat makes for comfortable, easy diving – which when coupled with Jason’s local knowledge provides a complete service. There is nothing better than diving on a boat when you know the skipper is first and foremost a diver himself”
Sydney Dive Charters