Download GPX file for this article
-34.219418.4672Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The dive site Stern Reef is an inshore rocky reef in the Rocklands Point area on the False Bay coast of the Cape Peninsula, near Cape Town in the Western Cape province of South Africa.


Map of the sites at Rocklands Point including the position of Stern Reef
See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Understand
Stern Reef from the parking area at Spaniard Rock. The break in the middle of the picture is on the reef.


  • 1 Stern Reef: S34°13.164’ E018°28.032’ — An extensive area of high to low relief granite corestones on a sand bottom, marked by a rock which breaks the surface at some states of the tide. About 260 m South of Spaniard Rock, towards Miller’s Point.

This site is in a Marine Protected Area (2004). A permit is required.


Maximum depth is about 14 m, and the top of the reef breaks surface at low tide. Other rocks are lower. but the bottom is fairly level.

Stern Reef (centre) on a quiet day, showing the top of the rocks just breaking the surface.


Coarse sand bottom with big granite boulders and reef. Largely fairly high to high relief with some low areas. Quite nice, specially just seaward of blinder, with quite a nice swim-through and some deep gullies between boulders. The reef has not yet been surveyed, but is thought to extend at least 50m to the north, east and west of the breakers. The bottom to the south is sandy.

Geology: Late Pre-Cambrian granite of the Peninsula pluton.


Shore diving is limited by entry and exit conditions. Boat dives may be done in bigger swell with more surge, but the site is fairly shallow and surge will usually reach all the way down.


Same parking area as for Spaniard Rock

Get in[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Boat dives

Optional shore dive from Rocklands Point: Parking at side of main road on gravel shoulder. Access not easy and entry/exit a bit rough if there is much swell.

Can also be done as a boat dive from Miller's Point slipway or Simon's Town jetty. The site is easy to find as there is almost always a break over the top of the reef.


Marine life[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#The marine ecology

Kelp on top of shallower reef areas. Heavy encrustations of red bait and feather stars with a variety of other invertebrates typical of the area.


Fairly good site for macro photography.


No specific route recommended.

Stay safe[edit]

See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Stay safe


The path from the road is steep and slippery and usually in poor repair. Shore entry and exit are over a boulder beach.


No special skills required for boat dive. Some fitness and agility required for shore entry and exit.


See also: Diving the Cape Peninsula and False Bay#Equipment

No special equipment required. A light is handy for looking into crevices and overhangs. A compass can be useful for keeping track of where you are.


Stern Reef and nearby dive sites

Back to the list of dive sites in the Rocklands Point area

Other regional dive sites:

This dive guide to Stern Reef is a usable article. It has information on location and equipment as well as some complete entries on what to see. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.