The Split

Located just east of the gap on Sydney Harbour’s south head, this wonderful dive is full of surprises.

Quick Facts on diving The Split 

  • Location: Three dive sites north of the heads

  • Diver Qualifications: Advanced

  • Depth: 10m to 24m

  • Recommended Gas: 21% or Nitrox

  • Dive time: Generally, 35-70 mins

  • Visibility: 5m to 25m

  • What you’ll see: Slipper crays, yellowtail, kingfish, Port Jackson and crested horn sharks, soft corals and sponges, wobbegong and nudibranch.

  • Best season to dive: All year

Spectacular swim throughs

We can do this dive two ways: 1) We anchor in around 13m in the boulder field or 2) we anchor on the reef edge between 22m and 24m. Either way, it’s a wonderful dive.

Divers will travel down the boulder field looking at the extensive soft corals and sponges. They’ll encounter many small caves and swim throughs in this area.

Meet the slipper crays and their friends

Slipper crays (also known as slipper lobster) use to be endemic here. There are fewer now, but you can still see them. Joining them are schools of yellowtail and large schools of kingfish. They’ll pass divers throughout the dive generally heading north/west.

Port Jackson and crested horn sharks are found throughout this area in the numerous caves. Soft corals start around 18m to the sand line.

Making our way to the Dunbar shipwreck

The dive then takes divers through a 10m zone where kelp clears to give way to a flat area that can be explored for shipwreck material (the Historic Shipwreck Act applies).

Heading south along the reef, divers will head up towards the wreck site of the Dunbar, Sydney’s largest loss of live due to a shipwreck. The Dunbar was a big 3-masted ship much like the Catherine Adamson. As it happened, the Dunbar mistook the north head lighthouse and turned early in a storm coming from the north and crashed on the rocks and broke in two.

There was only one survivor, a young boy who managed to climb about halfway up the cliff face and stayed on a ledge for 3 days until he was rescued. He became the lighthouse keeper at the Hornby lighthouse which was erected after the incident.

Anchors, chains and Port Jackson sharks

Lots of wreckage can still be found in this area with the largest being the anchor chain and one of the admiralty anchors.

We’ve seen thousands of Port Jacksons congregating on the sand line during mating season some years ago. So many in fact, we couldn’t see any sand.

Wobbegong on the sand line

The second dive site is located on the sand line. We anchor right on the reef edge so divers can use the rock line to assist in navigation, going in the direction of the current, general in a southerly direction.

There is a huge boulder located on the sand line and is covered in dense soft corals and sponges, which is a great spot for photography. Wobbegong sharks are seen throughout this area.

Swim throughs and nudibranch

We can do this dive on a one-way basis where divers will move up the reef or to the shallower depths to extend their bottom time and gas consumption. By reducing these, we will reduce the demand for decompression, and it will also mean we can use less gas by reducing pressure.

There are many structures in this area if divers like to go into swim throughs and like to wiggle their way through, this is a great spot! There are many nudibranch here, the best are a very long, purple feather types found on the soft corals.

Beautiful shells on display

Of interest on this dive are the many shells on display such a cowries and abalone (3 different species.) The largest of the abalone family is Haliotis rubra Leach. These are the types collected and eaten (but we won’t collect them as they’ve been overfished anyway.) Also on offer are turbo shells, large sea snails with gills.

Come dive the Split with us!

Yet another amazing Sydney dive experience with Sydney’s best scuba diving charter team. Join us on tomorrow’s dive!

Amanda Carroll
Amanda Carroll
20:57 02 Feb 20
We had such an amazing dive with Sydney Dive Charters this weekend - loads of sharks and a Weedy Sea Dragon! So professional, impeccable service, they clearly know the dive sites so well which comes with years of experience and local knowledge, makes such a difference to making a dive good to great, relaxed, efficient easy going. Boat was spotless and well maintained, rental equipment good quality. I look forward to diving with Jason and his team again soon. Thank you guys!
Libby T
Libby T
21:44 27 Jan 20
Great experience with a professional, friendly, and helpful dive team. Jason gave clear briefings, had a great boat set up that is perfect for diving, and provided top of the line hire gear. Jason has great local knowledge, and makes safety a priority. Looking forward to diving with them again.
Chloe et Benjamin .
Chloe et Benjamin .
07:46 26 Jan 20
Amazing diving trip with Jason and his crew! Great gear and logistic. Discovered some of the most beautiful underwater creatures. Jason knows where to find the best spots in Sydney bay and how to improvise when schedule doesn’t go as planned.
Jacintha Symes
Jacintha Symes
04:27 17 Dec 19
Thanks Jason and Kate. We had a great day diving out to the apartments and Coral gardens. On time, will organised, friendly and warm people. Great value ! See you next time Jason !
Andrew Cronan
Andrew Cronan
23:28 16 Dec 19
Great double dive. Quality rental gear and a capable crew. Highly recommended. Andrew
Mick G B
Mick G B
02:33 10 Dec 19
Had a great day diving with Kate. Jason runs a solid operation. Awesome hire gear and boat. Highly recommend
sidney Mendonca
sidney Mendonca
02:20 09 Dec 19
Excellent dive, Jason and kate are very professional and friendly. The boat was comfortable and the dive sites were amazing. I would like give my special thank Jason as I left my wallet on the boat (luckily, it didn't fall to the water) , Jason Found it and called straightway. Thanks mate .
Kasia Brulinski
Kasia Brulinski
15:43 04 Dec 19
Thank you Jason and Kate for an amazing diving experience. As a relative beginner, I was a little nervous about my double-dive, but the team were so friendly and warm that I immediately felt comforable. The diving equipment was all new and state of the art, which made a world of difference, and the dives and visibility were spectacular. I look forward to coming back for more dives with this professional, passionate and kind team. Thanks again!
Mark
Mark
21:29 02 Dec 19
Well organized, we hired equipment, was good and thrustworty. Enthousiast crew and good dive sites and diving. Mark and Sandra
Rajdeep Roy
Rajdeep Roy
07:55 02 Dec 19
Great day out & a diving experience with Jason. His boat dive instructions are very clear and precise and helps every diver before entry and exit. The best part is when the divers are below, Jason makes sure that there's no other non-diving boat in the vicinity & keeps all the divers feel safe to surface. Gr8 job mate!
Yaofeng KONG
Yaofeng KONG
02:10 24 Sep 19
Amazing experience! Excellent boat crew, caring about the customers. Recommended to everyone!
Claudia Gilbert
Claudia Gilbert
12:01 21 Aug 19
Jason is so knowledgeable and despite being on a course... I learnt a heap from his advice and experience as well... he was also very caring and considerate... which I really appreciated 😉
D Abela
D Abela
11:55 19 Aug 19
This was our third time diving with Jason & Sydney Dive charters and we're looking forward to many more. Jason, a true dive professional, has an enormous wealth of diving knowledge and runs the dives smoothly and safely. We have done a few courses on his dive charters and have the utmost respect for him and the charters he runs. We thoroughly enjoy the diving and information and knowledge we gain every time we dive with Sydney Dive charters.
Paul Kirk
Paul Kirk
11:20 18 Aug 19
I’ve never seen such a well organised, clean and tidy boat which to me, means someone really knows what they’re doing, I’m in good knowledgeable, safe hands and they take pride in their work and I respect that. Jason and his dive boat are a 5-star AAA operation that won’t disappoint.
Javier López
Javier López
22:56 29 Jul 19
Great diving experience. Jason is very knowleadgeable and he made sure our dives were enjoyable and fun. We managed to see Sharks, Weedy sea dragons and many other interesting sea life!. The service is excellent and booking through the web is so easy that it makes the experience even better. I will definitely go with them in my next dives in Sydney!
Meg King
Meg King
09:41 23 Jun 19
Great dive experience with Jason and Xavier. I would highly recommend his service. They took great care of me and all my gear was all top notch. I will definitely be going out with him again.
Arie B
Arie B
05:13 29 May 19
Excellent communication and easy to organise our dives. Professional service with attention to detail. At no stage was anyone rushed to get into the water. Catered for all abilities. Very impressed. Will definitely book again
Roger O'Connor
Roger O'Connor
08:57 13 May 19
Great boat with a amazing crew best dive experience so far with Sydney dive charters i have being out with other dive centers boats and if conditions are not right they will all ways look for the easiest dive site . Even with big swell Jason was happy to go to the dive site we wanted..... Matt was a great guide...... I highly recommend these guys for a great dive experience in Sydney
Ilaria Caccamo
Ilaria Caccamo
09:53 12 May 19
Great diving. Jason is very professional and has great experience that allowed us to dive in safety without giving up a more challenging dive site despite tough weather conditions. He is always dedicated to the customers happiness and safety and always goes an extra mile to help out. Great addition to the team with the Dive Master Matt that perfectly guided our dives today. We saw heaps of sharks and a really giant cuttlefish. The boat is very comfortable and well equipped also with a toilet available. In addition the rental gear available from Jason is excellent quality.
riley9634
riley9634
00:56 23 Apr 19
Excellent day out! Highly recommended! I was considering going with another company, and was very happy I chose Sydney Dive Charters instead! New high quality gear, no ripped wetsuits and a good briefing on how to use it all! Jason was very knowledgeable and set us up in the best conditions as he knows the Sydney coast like no one else. Our dive guide was great, he also made the trip very memorable. I will be back again 100%
Raychel Follis
Raychel Follis
18:47 04 Apr 19
Such a good time diving with Sydney Dive Charters. Knowledgeable, professional and fun. They delivered on everything they said. The boat was comfortable and the tanks were full. Thanks again Jason! It was a perfect first dive in Australia, you set a very high standard for us!
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