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Latitude Rock


Depth : 10m to 18m

An isolated rock reef feature teaming with life, Latitude Rock is a macro photographers dream.  The reef is an 8 meter tall sloped rock running east-west, on an otherwise sandy bottom. 

 

From any anchor location, you can head off along the reef on either the northern or southern side, largely determined which is calmer in the swell conditions on the day.  If conditions permit, this dive can be done as a loop, where you travel out along one side of the reef, then cross over to the other side for the return journey.  Otherwise, this dive can be done as an out and back wall dive on either side of the reef.

 

The southern side is flat rock sloping from the sand at 18 meters depth to a ridge at 10 meters depth.  Several gutters cut across the sloped rock face.  The flat surfaces of the southern side support kelp beds which in turn attract red morwong and schooling silvers. 

 

The northern side drops as a wall from the ridge down to several gutters, overhangs, cracks and sporadic bombora rocks.  This side is textured by shellfish and brown algae growth.  Since Latitude Rock is fairly shallow and received a lot of natural light, the northern side has plentiful of sponge growth in pink, orange and yellow to shelter all manner of macro life. 

 

Hunting around the various cracks and sheltered holes on the northern side will reveal octopus, cuttlefish, nudibranchs, lobster and three different species of eel (green moray eels and their brown juveniles, mosaic moray eels, and woodwards reef eels).  The gutters shelter grey nurse sharks, port jackson sharks, wobbygong sharks, fiddler rays, shovelnose rays, and turtles.  Eastern blue grouper will follow divers around the site.

 

Looking out away from the reef you can spot yellow tail kingfish, bull rays, eagle rays, and trumpetfish swimming in the water column.  On the sand are blue spotted sting rays.

 

The water temperature at Latitude Rock varies from 18 to 24 degrees, and visibility can range from 7 to 25 meters.  The popularity of Latitude Rock as a site for scuba diving, recreational fishing and spear fishing activities means divers should be wary of other boats in the area, although they will typically be pulling up to anchor or leaving from anchor rather than travelling overhead.

 

You will usually be able to do your safety stop on a shallow part of the reef.  This requires careful buoyancy control for the swim from the shallow ridge over any gap to the anchor line.  In low visibility conditions, it may be prudent to conduct your safety stop on the anchor line itself.