It’s not always easy to figure out where to go diving, particularly if you’re new to an area. To make it a bit easier for you, our team has put together a list of our top ten favorite dive sites. South Australia has some of the most pristine diving the world, with incredible visibility and diversity in marine life, so get out there and enjoy it!
Dive in Ewen Ponds
Ewen Ponds is one of the most stunning freshwater dive sites in Australia. Shallow channels connect three ponds within the Ewen Ponds Conservation Park, off Mt Gambier, which are continuously fed by spring water. This makes the visibility up to 80 meters on a good day, some of the clearest diving in the world.
You can easily enter the water via a ladder in pond one, drift through the shallow channels between bonds and exit using a ladder located in pond three.
N.B. A permit is required from the Department of Environment and Water (DEW) as of July 1, 2019.
Depth: 0-10 meters
Level of Difficulty: Easy, but be mindful of buoyancy changes due to freshwater.
Best time to dive: Summer (December-February)
Snorkel with Cuttlefish in Whyalla
The Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park in Whyalla plays host to a massive gathering of Giant Australian Cuttlefish each year during the winter season. Known as the ‘chameleons of the sea’, these impressive animals are able to camouflage themselves to imitate their environment. They grow up to 60cm in length and mate from May to August, with over 120,000 congregating in Whyalla to spawn.
The water is only a few meters deep at the dive site, Black Point, which is located a short 20-minute drive from Whyalla town center. This makes for a very easy snorkel, suitable for all levels.
Depth: 2-6 meters
Level of Difficulty: Easy. Guided tour options.
Best Time to Dive: May to late August.
Dive with Great Whites at the Neptune Islands
The famous “Shark Bay” of the Neptune Islands is approximately 70 km south of Port Lincoln, South Australia. The dive site is located in the heart of the Ron and Valerie Taylor Marine Park and the major attractant is, unsurprisingly, the Great White Sharks. You don’t even need to be a certified diver to participate as all dives are surface dives using ‘hookah’ (surface air supply).
The second largest breeding colony of long-nosed fur seals resides on the Neptune Islands, with approximately 30,000 across the islands. You can also see white-bellied sea eagles, albatross and a range of other wildlife above and beneath the surface!
Feeling brave? Come dive with us.
Depth: 12-35 meters
Level of Difficulty: Easy. Scuba divers, non-divers and non-swimmers can all join this tour.
Best Time to Dive: April to June and November to January.
Snorkel Port Noarlunga Reef
The Port Noarlunga jetty and reef is arguably South Australia’s most popular dive site, located just 30km south of Adelaide. This spectacular site boats over 200 species of marine plants and over 73 types of fish, bryozoans, sponges, hydroids, ascidians, and molluscs.
The reef itself is located at the end of the jetty and runs parallel to the shore for about 800 meters. If you start your dive south (left) of the jetty, you can follow the underwater trail that has been set up. This consists of 12 markers displaying interesting information about the reef and marine life.
If you’re lucky you might spot a nudibranch, pipefish, blue devilfish, wobbegong shark, Port Jackson shark or even bigger animals like southern right whales!
Depth: 3-8 meters
Level of Difficulty: Easy
Best time to dive: Summer
Dive the Investigator Strait Shipwreck Trail
The Investigator Strait Shipwreck Trail is the stretch of water which lies between the southern Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island. 26 vessels have been wrecked in these rough waters with some still undiscovered. Many of the shipwrecks are a haven for marine life and attract diving enthusiasts from all over the world.
The highlight of this dive is its historical background and the diversity of marine life. All divers are advised to consider the option of joining a local commercial dive operator’s tour for safety reasons. The water in this area can be treacherous, especially with sudden changes in weather.
For more information on the trail, click here.
Depth: Varied, 3-20 meters
Level of Difficulty: Easy – Advanced
Best time to dive: Summer
Stay tuned for our remaining five favorite dive sites in South Aus coming in part two!