Diving Cabbage Tree Island
Cabbage Tree Island lies just outside and to the North of the entrance to Port Stephens. The island requires only a short trip from the Nelson Bay marina and is therefore a favourite with local dive operators and divers with boats. There are several areas for diving around the island;
The inside of the island (West) is protected and is an ideal place to tuck a boat when conditions are rough. The diving consists of a rock wall dropping to a sandy bottom at a depth of ~8m. The sand then slopes down as you move away from the island to a depth of ~12m. At the Southern end of the inside of the island there is a small wreck out on the sand which often harbours several Wobbegong sharks. The sand surrounding the wreck also hosts grey colonial Ascidians which are the favourite food for the rare Doughnut Nembrotha Nudibranch. The Northern end of the inside has extensive areas of pink Porcillopora coral in the shallows which hosts numerous tropical fish over the summer months.
The Northern end of the Island is exposed to Easterly and Northerly swells and the bottom is much more barren consisting of a vertical wall falling away to fairly barren rounded boulders at depths from 15-18m.
The Eastern side of the island is very exposed and can only really be dived comfortably when swells are small and winds are light or offshore. This side of the island consists of steep walls covered in sponge growth dropping to a bottom with ridges, boulders, and extensive sponge gardens. It makes a great dive when conditions are right.