Diving Julian Rocks Marine Reserve

The Julian Rocks Marine Reserve located in Byron Bay is truly an amazing place to visit. This place has been considered a top diving spot in Australia. This marine reserve is located 2.5 kilometers from the shore of Byron Bay. This place comes with a rich history and colorful legend. According to the Bundjalung people, there was a jealous husband who threw his spear towards the canoe of his wife and the wife’s lover. After the impact, the canoe was broken into two and this sank at the bottom of the ocean. It was only the rear portion and the front end of the boat that can be seen from the water. The sunken canoe has created a rock formation and this was later named as Julian Rocks by Captain Cook in 1776.

Julian Rocks houses ancient sedimentary rocks as well as remains of a volcanic eruption that has occurred more than 20 million years ago. This is considered an extension of Cape Byron which is separated by water and has formed a unique marine reserve. The place provides shelter as well as food to more than 500 species of tropical fishes and temperate fish species.

Locals used to fish in the area. However, in 1982, this was placed under the Fisheries and Oyster Farm Regulation. The placement of Julian Rocks under this regulation means that any removal or disruption of all forms of marine life within 500 meter radius of the rock formation has been prohibited.

With the changes in current and water temperature, there are also many noticeable seasonal visitors in this marine reserve. In fact, grey nurse sharks visit and breed in Julian Rocks during the winter season. While these sharks may seem ferocious, experts confirm that it is perfectly safe to dive with them. On the other hand, during spring season, one can see blue tang in Julian Rocks. This fish is unique and one can easily identify this through its distinct blue colored body and bright yellow tail. In addition, one can also witness schools of trevally during the summer months in Julian Rocks.

Leopard sharks are commonly seen when diving during the mid summer periods, but you’ll want to use a dive computer in order to keep track of your stats while you’re down there. This is the time when the water is considered warmest. Even though most of the time the sharks are resting on the sand, one can see them swimming or moving their long tail slowly. During summer and early autumn, the manta rays are often seen.

One can also see different species of the wobbegong sharks, cuttlefish, turtles, and eagle rays. In addition to these marine animals, Julian Rocks is also the home of egg cowry shells, banner fishes, moray eels, shovel nose rays, and guitar fishes. Aside from fishes, there are also colorful sessile animals in Julian Rocks like the tunicates, sponges, hard corals and soft corals. With these colorful attachments to the simple rock formation, one can definitely marvel at a wonderfully created underwater garden. In addition to having rich marine life in Julian Rocks, the place also serves as a resting as well as nesting grounds of many species of birds like cormorants and seagulls.

Julian Rocks Marine Reserve is definitely a great place to visit and experience. With the colorful and abundant marine life, this marine reserve is definitely a place professional and novice divers should not miss out when visiting Byron Bay.


Diving Julian Rocks Marine Reserve – South Wales, South Wales, 2481, Australia

How to Get There

Byron Bay is a town located in the region of New South Wales Australia. One can reach Byron Bay through cities like Hayters Hill, Skinners Shoot and Ewingsdale. However, the major cities that can pass through going to Byron Bay are Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle, and Gold Coast.

Scuba Diving FAQ

Here are a list of questions that our customers ask about our popular SCUBA diving lessons. We have compiled a list of answers which may surprise you!

What does SCUBA mean?
SCUBA is an acronym for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. This unit and other diving equipment makes breathing underwater possible.

Take a look at our SCUBA diving equipment and gear page for details of the equipment we lend you for your diving lessons.

What is PADI?
PADI stands for Professional Association of Diving Instructors and is the world-wide leader in diver education and tuition. All of Essex Scuba Diving’s Essex based Instructors are fully qualified PADI Open Water SCUBA Instructors.

Who can Dive at Essex Scuba Diving?
Anyone from the age of 10 years and up and who is in reasonable health and in or around Essex. For your safety, you will complete a simple health questionnaire before your first dive, if any health concerns become apparent we will ask you to get checked out and given the ‘all clear’ by your doctor. You can find details of the forms on our PADI diving safety page.

Do I need to be a good swimmer?
No, SCUBA is not about swimming, so you do not need to be a great swimmer. But, you do need to be able to swim and you also need to be fairly confident in the water. If you are uncertain or under confident in your ability then just give us a call for an informal chat, you are probably worrying unnecessarily

Where can I SCUBA Dive?
Anywhere there is water! The PADI Open Water certification means you can dive anywhere in the world! Our confined and open water environments are suited to your learning curve and we strive to teach you to be a safe and responsible diver.

Do I need my own SCUBA equipment?
No. We will provide you with the necessary equipment to get you going during your course. If you do wish to purchase your own kit we are happy to chat about suitable starter-kit items and reputable brands from our suppliers in Essex.

What’s it like breathing Underwater?
Exhilarating and amazing and relaxing too. It’s a strange combination! As we enter the aquatic realm we see sights and sounds and experience sensations most people have not yet experienced. Light and sound act differently, while underwater creatures do not seem too surprised to see us in the Big Blue. We dive in a 3-D weightless environment surrounded by diverse life; it is truly a unique sensation!

What SCUBA Course should I Start?
Most people start with the very popular PADI Open Water course and then develop their diving by becoming PADI Adventure Diver. The PADI Adventure Diver allows the diver to focus on areas of interest, be it Wreck Diving, Underwater Photography, Conservation, Boat, or DPV (Diver Propelled Vehicle) and many more… please see our PADI specialty trips for more Details..

Is it expensive?
In relation to other sports no. SCUBA is certainly cheaper than Golf Lessons and last’s a lot longer than Bungee Jumping! We offer our courses at very competitive prices. We do not charge for “hidden extras”. If elsewhere a Course seems too cheap to be true it probably is. The price you pay with us includes everything you need, with no nasty surprises.

Is SCUBA diving safe?
We work hard to ensure our student safety at all times. As with any activity that involves some form of physical exertion, diving is not without risks, but we will ensure that these are as minimal as possible while you are with us. Our job at Essex Scuba Diving is to train you to dive safely to the best of our ability and to ensure you are as protected as much as possible from any risks.

What do I get once I have completed a Diving Course?
Depending on what course you are undergoing you will receive a PADI certification card and wall certificate. The certification card is recognized World-Wide as a sign of your diver training. It is essential that your card and log-book are presented to dive shops and schools prior to any dive activity.

What happens next?
Well, really it is up to you. Continue your diver education and tuition with us or continue your recreational diving with us. Either way, Essex Scuba Diving in Essex will be here to help and guide you for the rest of your diving career.