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Second to Pipeline for the best macro dive site in Nelson Bay, the Seahorse Gardens is a great place to look for the little stuff. This site is still tidal but unlike Pipeline, Halifax and Fly Point you can get up to 2 hours before high tide allowing you two nice dives in one day. This site often has an eddy causing the current to run in the opposite direction but if you stay in the shallows you can be minimally affected. The visibility tends to be better on the high but with a torch or strobe you will have a wonderful time.
Many of the critters found at the Pipeline can be found here, the difference being it is not as spread out and is best in the shallows from 10 metres up allowing long slow dives to search. As the name suggests, the Whites sea horse has been found here, along with the Nelson Bay angler, rose spindle cowry, blue ring octopus, toad fish, sand worms, gobies, nudibranches, flatworms, flathead, pipefish, decorator crabs and the like.
There is a bit of a swim over sand to get to the sea grass but have a look as there are many sand dwelling animals to be found. Once on the sea grass head North-East there will be a gradual slope. When you get to 8-10 metres turn South East which will have you heading toward the marina. Turn around and reverse to exit.
For those who dive up to 2 hours before the tide you will know if you have gone too far in the North-East direction because you will all of a sudden feel the current. Simply head shallower a few meters and you will be out of the strength of it.
Some people like to do a little drift around from Fly Point to the Seahorse Gardens or simply start at Fly on high tide and exit through the Seahorse Gardens. There is not as much sponge life or fish life here so make sure you and your buddy like a muck dive for this one!
Please ask at the shop for a map and advice before diving here for the first time or request a Dive Master to guide you.