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Julian Rocks Marine Reserve
Julian Rocks Marine Reserve
Julian Rocks

Byron snorkelling

Thursday, March 25, 2004
Just a quick boat ride from Byron Bay and you’re in one of the top 10 dives sites in Australia.

Byron Bay is beautiful above water, but that beauty almost pales when compared to what its surrounding waters hide. Rob Dalton and his crew from Byron Bay Dive Centre can reveal that beauty by taking you diving or snorkelling.

Two kilometres from shore is the island of Julian Rocks Marine Reserve. The ancient sedimentary rock, the remains of a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago, is one of Australia's top 10 dive sites. It is an extension of Cape Byron, separated by water, and forms a unique reserve, providing shelter and food for more than 500 tropical and temperate fish species and breeding, nesting and resting grounds for many seabirds.

It took 10 years of lobbying by users to have Julian Rocks placed under the Fisheries and Oyster Farms Regulations. That means injuring, disturbing and/or removal of any form of marine fauna within a 500-metre radius of the rock is prohibited.

Water temperatures and currents change throughout the year. Winter is when grey nurse sharks come to breed. While they certainly look ferocious, diving with them is perfectly safe.

Blue tang arrive in spring. Their blue bodies and bright yellow tails make them easy to spot. Summer is the favoured time for big-eye trevally and docile leopard sharks, which spend a lot of time just lying around.

Regulars such as wobbegong sharks, turtles, cuttlefish, white-spotted eagle rays, egg-cowry shells, moray eels, banner fish, giant guitar fish and shovel-nose rays can sometimes be in such vast quantities you can hardly see where you are going. Sessile animals such as tunicates, colourful sponges and hard and soft corals give the feeling of swimming through a glorious garden.

Rob caters for all levels of experience. All necessary equipment is for hire and a dive guide will show you around. If diving isn't your thing, snorkelling in Julian Rocks' clear, shallow waters is very fulfilling. Dive staff will ensure you get the most from your trip.


The north coast of New South Wales


Byron Bay Dive Centre snorkelling trips start at $50 per person. They run three trips a day.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

Byron Bay Dive Centre
9 Marvel Street, Byron Bay 2481
Ph: (02) 6685 8333, 1800 243 483

Qantas: 13 13 13

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