Travel Guide: Natural Pool at Watson’s Bay
Are you an avid scuba diver? Do you love adventure? Are you looking for somewhere fun and exciting to visit for the first time?
Scuba divers know that the most important aspect of the hobby is to always keep an eye out for new sights. While the underwater scenery is almost always changing, diving in the same place year after year can still feel a little mundane.
If you’re in search of a new diving location, you might want to head down under to Australia. Off the Australian coast, there are plenty of ideal diving spots to check out featuring beautiful ocean life and breathtaking natural wonders.
Among these diving locations, one of the best is Sydney’s Watson’s Bay.
What is Watson’s Bay?
Watson’s Bay is located on the southern head of Sydney Harbor. While most tourists don’t bother venturing to the spot, choosing other local attractions instead, the Bay has proven to be a favorite among those who have made it a regular part of their Sydney experience. Some would even say that it is Sydney’s best kept secret.
There are numerous ferries that connect the bay to Circular Quay, making it an easy hop from the Bay to nearly any part of the beautiful city of Sydney.
While Scuba Diving is a great feature of the bay, it also offers hiking trails and the iconic Hornby Lighthouse. It’s definitely a beautiful spot to take the family or just to enjoy some time away to yourself.
What Makes Watson’s Bay Unique?
One of the main scuba diving attractions at Watson’s Bay revolves around the bay’s rich WWII history.
In 1942, Australia installed a boom net along the Sydney Harbor. It stretched the entire width of Port Jackson and the winch house for the net was built at Watson’s Bay.
Later in that year, three Japanese submarines tried to invade Sydney Harbor, but were caught in the net. After trying to free themselves, the crew realized that they were not going to get away. They detonated bombs on the submarines, not only killing themselves but also completely destroying the vessels.
Today, many scuba divers still find pieces of metal that are believed to be parts of those destroyed submarines.
Things to Know about Watson’s Bay
If you are intrigued and want to visit the Bay, you probably have several questions about how to make the trip planning run more smoothly. Below, we will outline some of the most important factors to consider when booking your trip.
Sydney, itself, is loved for its scuba diving and Watson’s Bay is no different.
Watson’s Bay hosts a wide variety of marine life ranging from octopus to clownfish and whales. Many animals found off the shore of Sydney are not able to be found anywhere else in the world, making Watson’s Bay a truly once in a lifetime experience.
There are also a number of scuba diving companies found in Sydney that are happy to lead guided dives off the bay. The diver guides are all skilled at knowing the best spots and times to catch breath taking marine life.
The city of Sydney also works hard to keep all its shorelines and bays free from pollution, offering a clean dive to boot.
Nearby AccommodationsThere are a number of hotel and housing accommodations near Watson’s Bay. The most popular, by far, is the Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel. The hotel is built on the shoreline of Watson’s Bay and frequently hosts parties and festivals at the location.
Sydney is a melting pot of cultures in Australia and has a rich indigenous background. It is not uncommon to find Watson’s Bay hosting a number of events, most of which are catered by the Boutique Hotel’s fine dining restaurant.
If you do not want to stay right on the bay, there are several hotels to be found within the city of Sydney. Diving companies from the bay actually host shuttle services that will pick you up and return you to your hotel after your underwater experience.
Peak Tourist Times
Sydney’s warmest weather and peak tourist times fall between December and February. You will want to avoid the bay between June and August when weather in Sydney is the coldest.
5 Best Watson’s Bay Pool Tours
Watson’s Bay has more to offer than just Scuba Diving, of course. If you are looking to take your whole family or a group of friends, odds are that not everyone will be satisfied to spend the vacation underwater. Similarly, bad weather can affect your ability to dive, so you should always have a backup plan to keep your visit from feeling like a disappointing waste.
Fortunately, the natural pool at Watson’s Bay hosts a number of fun tours that you can take in, each of them offering a unique experience all on its own. Below, we will outline five of the best tours that Watson’s Bay has to offer.
Hop-On Hop-Off Cruise
The cruise boats run constantly throughout the day. When you pay for your tour, you’ll be provided a wrist band to prove your admission fee has been paid. Then, you can hop on and off the boats throughout the day as you visit some of the best ports along the shore of Sydney Harbor.
The cruise bracelets are good for two days and you can begin at any of the eight stops on the tour. Every 45 minutes, a new boat will come through each destination for visitors to hop on or off. While you are on the boats, the captain will provide live commentary describing the locations and sights that you visit and giving pointers for things you might spend time seeing if you should choose to hop off.
Sydney Tour with Harbor Lunch Cruise
On this full-day tour, an expert guide will take you through all of Sydney’s most iconic attractions. You will get to see the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, as well as a number of beautiful beaches and natural landmarks.
The tour also includes a lunch cruise down the Sydney Harbor, where you will be treated to a delicious meal while viewing the sights of the harbor from the comfort of an elegant cruise ship.
Sydney Whale Watching Cruise
This cruise lasts four hours and kicks off first with either lunch or breakfast aboard the cruise ship while you sail across Sydney Harbor.
As you dine, the boat sails from the harbor and out into the Pacific Ocean to find the local southern right and humpback whales. A guide on the boat is trained to locate them, so every cruise is guaranteed to see whale activity.
The guide also provides expert commentary on the whales and other marine life as well as the Sydney skyline.
Dolphins, too, frequently make an appearance on this tour and many have reported having a fun experience when the dolphins have approached the boat to say hello.
James Craig Sailing Adventure
The James Craig is a restored square rigged ship. The ship offers sailing excursions only every couple of weeks, so you’ll want to make sure you buy tickets ahead of time if you are planning to visit the area.
The tours last six hours and includes morning tea, a picnic lunch, and afternoon tea. During the tour, you will hear amazing stories about the history of the ship as well as the maritime history of the city of Sydney.
You will get to help the crew hoist the sails and see the Sydney skyline from the boat, as well as sail right under the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
Aerobatics Flight Experience
This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for thrill seekers across the world. During this tour, you’ll fly for 45 minutes on an aerobatic flight across the city I a Robin 2160i aircraft.
The flight includes loops, rolls, and fast turns creating an adrenaline rushing experience as you soar. You can even learn to fly the aircraft yourself and take control as an expert pilot provides careful and calm instruction!
No flying experience is required for this flight and safety is assured by the plane’s state of the art piloting system, which allows the pilot to take over if you begin to lose control during your training.
The natural pool at Watson’s Bay featured off of Sydney Harbor is a great tourist destination for anyone interested in diving. The city of Sydney offers a lot of great tourist attractions throughout and the harbor definitely helps keep the welcoming and exciting feel of the city going.
While diving, you can experience marine life that is not found anywhere else in the world. You can also search for WWII relics at the bottom of the ocean.
If you get tired of diving, you can continue your Watson’s Bay experience by sailing like a pilot or learning to do your very own stunt flight, among other wonderful local tourist offerings.