The diving around Julian Rocks (about 10 minutes by boat from the beach at Byron Bay) is GREAT.
Julian Rocks is easily accessible by boat - it's only 2 and a half kilometres offshore, and I was intrigued by the way the boat was launched. A small truck tows the boat drives down on the sand, beeping the horn to warn all the surfers to move out of the way.
The boat gets towed in a little way, and the divers stand either side of it, waiting for the surf to come in and help us push it out. After awhile, the boat gets to the right position, and we all jump on as fast as we can. I was surprised at how easy it was! And, the ride wasn't at all rough ( unlike what I was used to:-)
I've done only 6 dives at Julian Rocks so far, and the last dive in May (almost winter) was by far the best. So, I'll describe that particular dive. On previous dives, I saw some very large old Turtles.
On this last dive, we saw just about every fish that it's possible to see at Julian Rocks, and so many and really big ones too!!!
The 7 of us descended down the anchor rope, then swam off to see a large Wobbegong, then another and another and another. They were everywhere, all different sizes.
There were 2 different species of Wobbegongs - Spotted and Banded.
Then, I saw the First Grey Nurse Shark I've ever seen!! It was just gliding past us, and didn't take any notice of all of us. We all just hovered astounded. No-one seemed to hear my exclamations. I just couldn't believe my eyes.
And, he (or she) was giving this cute little fish a ride on his back - a Ramoray, so I was told later. The Grey Nurse Shark was at least 10 foot long ( about 3 metres ). It was beautiful.
Then, there was another one just behind it.
The dive leader pointed upwards, and there was a school of little Bat Rays.
We saw Blue Gropers ( they're pretty common). Very pretty though - they look more purple than blue to me!
We saw some Clown Fish, Lion Fish, Anemones, Sweetlip fish, Jewfish.
On the way to the Cod Hole, we kept seeing Grey Nurse Sharks. They look bluish, silver grey.
We arrived at the Cod Hole and 3 divers went in there while the rest of us waited (it was too small for all of us to fit).
While waiting, we saw a school of King Fish and some Cod.
When it was my buddy and my turn, I went in first and was intently looking at whatever our leader shone his torch on. One of the other divers tapped me on the shoulder, grinned and pointed down. About 1 foot below me, was a huge wobbegong, so I got out of his way before I stepped on him.
Later on, in the boat, two of the guys who were in the cod hole with me, said I touched the wobbegong with my hand ( I couldn't feel it with my gloves on ). Gee, I wished they'd taken a photo of me touching a wobbegong!! They said he hardly flinched. Very laid back creatures!
There was another beauty of a Grey Nurse shark lurking around in the Cod hole.
We saw 7 Grey Nurses on that dive, even though there's only about 400 around the Australian shores.
We also saw some Estuary Cod and many more fish.
We all ascended together, did our safety stop, and made our way to the boat. The boat driver from the Dive Centre make it really easy to get into the boat. He takes my BCD off while I'm in the water, and I just take my fins off and climb up the ladder.
GREAT dive!! I can't wait to go down to Byron Bay again.
We were all esctatic. We dived with people from Scotland, another from Santa Barbara in California, and a lady from Dusseldorf in Germany.
Byron Bay is a very pretty place to visit. There are some beautiful walks along rain forest like areas, and the walk to the lighthouse has magnificent views. The town is very popular in summer, especially during school holidays. The beach is good for surfers.