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On a dive one can expect to see mantas, potato bass, whale shark, turtle (green and leather back), giant eagle rays, schools of game fish, toadfish, crocodile fish, Spanish dancers and virtually every type of reef fish and eels. Sylvia Shoal, off Morrungulo, consists of several reefs, the main sector is 14 km long and ranges from 10 m – 25 m with an abundance of tropical fish and corals – both hard and soft. The beautiful Spanish Dancers with their flamenco swimming action are plentiful as are other specifies of nudibranch. Green Painted, as well as Red crayfish are also to be seen. Four species of turtle, mantas, eels, shark, game fish, snappers and often dolphin are seen while diving.
The other section of Sylvia’s is called “New Year’s” Reef, which is 9km long and also ranges from 9 – 22 m and has all the colourful soft corals and anemonies. Rock Cod, wrasses, eels, turtles, other tropical fish and often rare sightings are just waiting for you. A quote from Tim London’s book “Beneath Southern Seas” : “No diver has ever dived unless they have dived Sylvia Shoal”. On the continental shelf we have deep dives up to 40 m for advanced divers only called “King Deep” named after the well known South African underwater photographer, Dennis King, because this is the furthest north the Tiger Angel Fish, which he identified, has been recorded. In the dive you descend through clouds of Elongated Sturgeon Fish and thousands of Red Fairy Trigger fish swim up to greet you. On the reef there are literally forests of Green Tree Coral (up to 1.5m) with thousands of coral fish seeking shelter from marauding giant King Fish and Barracuda, Potato Bass, Mantas, Shark, Eagle Rays and plenty of other game fish will be above and around you.
There is another deep dive of maximum 32 m. You descend to 22 m through thousands of Sturgeon and Red Farm Trigger Rainbow Runners to a 50 m long ledge with a carpet of Blue Bonded Snappers covering its 10 m drop off.
A couple of very large Potato Bass will come to eye ball you or to have a good rub. Plenty of snappers, rock cod, eels, Grey Reef Shark, Leopard Shark, Hammer Head Shark and on several occasions we have seen the very scarce Bow Mouth Guitar Shark and also the large nudibranch Jabute Giant. And then there are the squadrons of Mantas, Eagle Ray, Whip Tail Ray and Devil Ray.
Diving closer to shore with good conditions there are caves and overhangs. Max depth 12 m of big rock structures with caves up to 20 m long, big enough for 2 divers to swim side by side from one end to the other. There is an abundance of stag horn fern, brain and mushroom corals with all the reef fish as well. Occasionally you might see the very shy Dusky Nurse Shark sleeping underneath the reef ledges. Turtles and large rays are also seen.
These are only a few of the reefs that I have described – we also have nurseries and when visibility is good we have several Manta cleaning stations in 10 m of water, where you can literally touch these magnificent specimens. If you had 30 days diving, I would take you to a new and different spot every day!
Please note : Morrungulo beach and boat launch area now has the Ports and Wildlife Authority team on duty checking on the beach serving the resorts in the area. Fishing licences and catch limits are monitored.
Our wildlife is our heritage and must be conserved. Both normal fishing and spear fishing is strictly controlled as it affects tourism. Safety equipment on boats is essential.
Embark on a paddle in one of our kayaks, ride the waves on boogie boards, or use the stand-up paddle board on calm days. Great for guests who bring their own windsurfers, longboards, and kites.