Boondelbah Island and Safety Cove

A Local Boat dive favourite

On the southern side of Boondelbah Island there is an inlet which is protected from northerly weather. The surface rock formations give you an idea of what is awaiting you below with dramatic shapes, drop offs, gutters and swim throughs. You enjoy a variety of fish life in the shallows, with speckles of colour along the grey of the rocks and sand from nudibranchs and sea stars. During late August and September you are also blessed with the breading Port Jackson sharks that come to the area in large numbers completely covering large areas of sand and rocks.

Following the sloping wall of the island there are a number of gutters leading you downwards. You will see a drastic change at approximately 15 metres where the sponges have taken hold on either side of the gutters bringing schooling yellowtail and a variety of bottom dwelling fish.

At about 18 meters you start to find boulders, some as big as a car. These are stacked on top of each other creating hidey holes and swim throughs. Complimenting the rock formations are the yellows, oranges, blues and purple colours of the sponges that become more abundant and larger the deeper you head. Sitting in the gutter on the sand at 25 metres it is like being in an underwater canyon surrounded by colour and life.

At the end of your dive the fun does not stop once you are back in the shallows. Right under the boat you could find Hinge-backed Shrimp, Rock Lobsters, Eels, Squirrel Fish and other cave dwellers hide in the crevices. There are friendly Blue Gropers greet you, large schools of Black Tipped Bulls Eye and littering the rocks are huge families of the orangey white Morwong who prop themselves up on their pectoral fins while watching the day go by.

This is a dive site to look up, down and all around to get the true beauty. During whale season you will often hear, or should I say feel the conversations of whale songs as you explore this wonderful dive site. Suitable for open water through to deeper divers. There is something for everyone!

Boondelbah Island is accessible via one of our purpose built dive boats and includes a complimentary guide to share with your experience with you or to provide a detailed briefing to allow you to have fun with your buddy.

Safety Cove, Boondelbah Island

In a strong North Easterly wind, the Southern side of Boondlebah Island has traditionally been the place to shelter. Safety Cove is a large rock lined bay providing a good calm anchorage. A steep wall provides a drop off on the Western side while the Eastern holds a rugged slope. At the apex is a large crack for snorkelers to explore.

On the western wall small soft sponges with colorful Nudi branchs can be spotted by the observant. Hinge-backed Shrimp and Rock Lobsters hide in the crevices and Blue Gropers linger hoping for a feed. Further along there are Eels and a larger variety of Cod. Huge boulders on the South Western edge provide a haven for Squirrel Fish and other cave dwellers. Giant Cuttle Fish warn to keep a safe distance here. There are large schools of Black Tipped Bulls Eye which are a visual delight . There is also large swim throughs for the more adventurous with a great Queensland Cod known to be a local resident.


Slip down the anchor into approximately 14 meters of water. Head west along the rocky bottom until you reach the wall. Heading in a southerly direction keep an eye for macro creatures. At about 18 meters you start to find boulders, some as big as a car. These are stacked on top of each other creating hidey holes and swim throughs. As you round the corner and head west it drops further to 25 meters. Alternatively you can head south from the point about 50 meters to a bommie that lays in 30 meters of water. This is covered in soft sponges. To return to the anchor line, just retrace your tracks!