DIVE SITE NAME: Bushrangers Bay
LOCATION: Bass Point Shell Harbour (NSW)
DIVER RATING: Open Water
MAX DEPTH: 22 Metres AVG DEPTH: 15 Metres
AVERAGE VIZ: 10 Metres ACCESS VIA: SHORE
The site itself has one bad aspect. The climb down and back up. Although not far, the traverse is quite steep. From car park to water it is only about 75mts...but a hard 75mts. The site is used a lot for openwater courses. That can mean that on the weekends there are a lot of students around, as well as the recreational diver.
Gear up in the shade of the trees in the clearing and carry your fins and mask down to the waters edge. There is a beach that is mainly rocks and pebbles so watch your step. Entry can be made directly from the beach and you can dive till the cows come home in the whole entire bay. As far as I know, the old slippery track down to the beach, has been replaced with a set of cement steps making it much easier.
Bushrangers Bay is very loosely an Hourglass shape made up of inner and Outer Bushrangers, Inner Bushies is a shallow dive only getting to approx 10m and can quite often be dirty, lots of Cuttlefish and Moray Eels can be found in it though as well as an old engine block, there used to be a Gnome Garden as well but that seems to have been destroyed. For me Outer Bushies is a better dive, requiring either a longer swim or a long walk which lets you jump in straight away in about 6m, I then follow the Southern wall around heading out to sea, Then cut across to the Northern wall to follow it back in and therefore circumnavigate the bay.
On the left side there are a series of rock trenches and mall 'bays'. You can see all kinds of fish and other critters in here. There are also some rocky outcrops on the right side of the bay as well, but these are not as sheltered and can have waves breaking over them sometimes.
The depth can get to 22m and on a good day with good Viz it can really seem like flying with the walls sloping up and away from you. Big Bullrays can often be encountered as well as Moray eels and Cuttlefish and big schools of fish, if you are really good on your air you can try to get around to the Arch, although I haven't managed myself yet!
Drive to Shell Harbour (Just south of Wollongong) then take the road out to Bass Point, follow the dirt road and where it forks turn right, look for the entrance to Bushrangers Bay on your Left (for Inner Bushies) or drive to the end of the road and walk along the path ... using the left fork (for Outer Bushies)