Dive Details



Saturday 28 April 2018


8:04am - 10:11am


The forecast for Friday was big seas and while it was likely to be diveable at Kurnell on Saturday I expected the visibility, etc. would not be great so I decided to dive Clifton Gardens instead. I hadn't dived here in over 6 months and it's an easy and fun dive. I arrived early to beat the crowds and also parked up the hill to avoid the exorbitant parking costs.

I got in the water just after 8am on the beach near the jetty. I think only one other diver (Steve Coutts) was in the water so conditions should be good. There were other divers getting ready on the shore so we may not have much time with the site to ourselves.

I swam out under the jetty. The visibility was very good, probably around 5 metres, and the water was calm. I reached the junction of edges of the netted area and started heading down the slope under the jetty. I saw Steve out from the jetty to the west and headed out there to say hello before heading back to the deepest part of the jetty. I realised I was not making the most of having the jetty to myself so I headed almost back to the junction before coming back down under the jetty more slowly.

I was slowly working my way across the jetty in each direction while also getting deeper with each pass. As I was going in between the piers I plonked my camera on a numbray. Fortunately, I didn't get zapped.

About half was down on the eastern side I spotted a large brown striate anglerfish. It was just sitting still and I was able to photograph it.

A little farther down and in the same section I spotted a large tiger pipefish making its way over the sand. A little farther again and I spotted a girdled pipefish. I had already seen a few White's seahorses so this made three different species of syngnathid.

I continued all the way to the end of the jetty seeing more White's seahorses along the way and even more as I made my way back up. I also found another girdled pipefish.

I was almost back up to the anglerfish when I spotted the first lot of other divers. One in particular was kicking up the bottom and also swimming with his arms. I didn't hang around them but made my way up to the junction and then headed west along the net.

As I swam along the net I spotted a juvenile Chaetodon auriga butterflyfish, and an even smaller C. flavirostris. I went to the other side of the net to get some photographs of them for iNaturalist/Australasian Fishes.

As I was swimming along the net I met Gaetano swimming the other way. He took me along the net to show me the hole where the mantis shrimp had been. I sat there for a while in case the mantis shrimp came out, but it didn't. Duncan swam up while I was there.

I swam back along the net to try to get some more photographs of the butterflyfish and then headed down the sand on the western side of the jetty. I found two large tiger pipefish while I was out there as well as a number of brown sabretooth blennies in bottles.

I worked my way back to the nets and was quite a way to the west. I spotted a yellow striate anglerfish just near the nets. I swam past the mantis shrimp hole and there was still no sign of the mantis shrimp.

When I got to the junction I headed north under the jetty towards the exit. I spotted another C. auriga. I continued under the jetty until it got too shallow and I came out and surfaced.




5 metres


126 minutes

Maximum depth

9.1 m

Average depth

5.0 m

Water temperature



Dive Profile from Citizen Hyper Aqualand

Tides at Sydney (Fort Dension) AEST

Note that tides at dive site may vary from above location.













Camera gear


Nikon D500


Nikon AF-S Micro Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED


Ikelite 6812.5

Lens port

Ikelite Flat Port 5502.41


2 x Ikelite SubStrobe DS161


Depth information, where present, indicates the depth of the camera when the photograph was taken and can be used to approximate the depth of the subject.

Striate anglerfish, Antennarius striatus. 6.4 m.

Striate anglerfish, Antennarius striatus. 6.6 m.

Striate anglerfish, Antennarius striatus. 6.7 m.

Striate anglerfish, Antennarius striatus. 3.6 m.

Striate anglerfish, Antennarius striatus. 3.6 m.

Striate anglerfish, Antennarius striatus. 3.4 m.