Fish Rock Cave is just off the coast of South West Rocks in NSW. The cave runs straight through the center of a small rocky island and at a 125m (412ft) it is the longest ocean cave in Australia. A typical dive sees you descend into the gutters and down to 24m (79ft) where the deep entrance of the cave is located. This bit is awesome; you descend down in between these huge boulders and big sheer walls and come face to face with a bunch of the resident gray nurse sharks! A close encounter with these sharks is an incredible and very special experience.
Grey nurse sharks are an endangered species and Fish Rock is a safe heaven for some of them. These sharks might look fierce and ferocious but in reality, they are gentle creatures and pose no threat to humans. Unfortunately, because of their vicious looks and reputation as a man-eater, they were killed indiscriminately for many years by recreational spear and line fisherman and their numbers were decimated. Despite the fact that the species has been protected since 1984 (in fact this was the first shark in the world to become a protected species) numbers have been slow to bounce back. It is though that less than 500 grey nurse sharks remain in the east coast waters of Australia today. To see them in their natural habitat and in such large numbers is quite unique. And there really isn’t a more exhilarating feeling than coming face to face with a shark, even if you know it’s not going to bite you.
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