Momentum builds for a dive site off harbour wall
LIMITED by boat access, some divers, snorkellers and ocean lovers resort to shore dives as their way into the water, which can be challenging at most locations.
Mike Davey from Jetty Dive has proposed to build a pathway down the northern side of the wall opposite the steps at the marina building during the construction of the North Wall to make it easier for locals and tourists to shore dive.
"Coffs Harbour has been, for a long time, known for it's great diving and snorkelling, but unfortunately it is also known for the lack of suitable shore based diving,” Mike said.
"The headlands along the coast including the Muttonbird Island region offer some diving sites but are usually ignored because of the lack of safe and easy access to the good areas.
As a way to develop an eco-tourism opportunity on the Coffs Coast for snorkelling and scuba diving, Mike proposed to the chief engineer in charge of the re-development of the north wall project Andy Hartley to include an easy access pathway to the water from the north wall near the steps at the galley and co-op carpark.
"The ideal location for this pathway is directly opposite the steps leading up the wall at the galley. The rocky reef on the northern side in that area creates a natural basin of smooth water to allow for easy entrance and exit to the water,” he said.
"Scuba divers and snorkellers require safe access to enter the water and areas like Shelly beach at Manly have become largely popular, mainly due to the easy access.
"Gold Coast seaway was always a difficult place to dive until access was built to increase safety.
"My thoughts now, in line with developing new eco-tourism projects, are to extend the concept to a proper pathway, similar in parts to the Gold Coast seaway project.
"The potential benefits of creating this access will be far greater than what most people think. It will in effect develop a whole new use for the area, creating a very popular spot to snorkel and dive.
"It is without question that access is all that's required to change this area.
A decision on the proposal is yet to be announced.