Are you a fan of being underwater? South Australian diving is seriously underrated, and we want to show people how great it is. To help you figure out where to go, our team has put together a list of our ten favourite dive sites in SA. Last week we talked about five of our top ten, which you can check out here. This week, we bring you our remaining five sites.

Jetty Dive at Edithburgh

Edinburgh JettyEdithburgh Jetty is easily one of Australia’s best jetty dives, particularly for underwater photographers. It is located on the Yorke Peninsula, only a three-hour drive from Adelaide. It is also only a one hour drive from the beautiful Innes National Park.

The colourful life that covers the pylons underwater is one of the reasons this dive is so special. Sponges, sea squirts and bryozoans call these pylons home, which also provide protection for sea stars, crabs, feather duster worms and nudibranchs.

Leafy sea dragon’s are commonly spotted here, as well as spider crabs, cuttlefish, Port Jackson sharks, seahorses, and pipefish. You might also spot beautiful pyjama squid or dumpling squid buried beneath the sand if you have a keen eye.

The jetty is a fantastic spot for a night dive if you’re game. You’ll have a much better chance of spotting the pyjama and dumpling squids after dark with a torch, and maybe even a blue-ringed octopus!

Depth: 3-10 meters

Level of Difficulty: Easy.

Best time to dive: October-May

 

Rapid Bay Closed Jetty Dive

Rapid Bay Jetty is one of the best dive sites in the Fleurieu Peninsula, which is only one and a half hour drive from Adelaide. This dive actually consists of two jetties; the old (closed off to the public) and the new (open to the public). Divers can enter the water from the new jetty using a nice platform and stairs and swim across to the old jetty, which is where the better diving is.

The Leafy Sea Dragon is the highlight of this dive site, which lives underneath the old jetty, giving all divers an excellent opportunity to see them closely. Soft corals and sponges cover the pylons, with nudibranchs hiding amongst the foliage. There is also a range of other marine life in this area such as dolphins, black rays and pygmy leather jackets.

Depth: 3-11 meters

Level of Difficulty: Easy.

Best Time to Dive: November-May

Ex HMAS Wreck Dive

Ex HMAS HobartThe shipwreck is located in the Encounter Marine Park, which means it is protected along with all the fish and marine animals in the area. It takes several dives to see the whole body and is suitable for different levels of divers.

You will need a permit to dive the HMAS shipwreck, which can be obtained here and valid for 12 months.

Advanced and Nitrox Certification is highly recommended.

Depth: 30 meters

Level of Difficulty: Advanced

Best Time to Dive: November-May

Aldinga Drop-off

Port Jackson SharkThe Aldinga drop off is on the edge of Aldinga reef, located on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The reef is located 1.5km off the Aldinga beach and can only be can only be accessed by boat. The reef drops off from 5m to 21m to a spectacular dive, which is a famous breeding ground for Port Jackson sharks. You can find hundreds of these cute animals between August-November resting under ledges between mating rituals.

The reef is inside the Aldinga Beach Aquatic Reserve, one of Australia’s earliest marine reserves. You can find large schools of fish here, including old wives, pike, and kingfish. You can also find cuttlefish, perch, boarfish and blue devil fish hiding away. Beautiful gorgonian fans grow along the drop-off as well as soft corals, sponges and much more. You might even spot sea stars and nudibranchs hiding along the wall.

To really enjoy this dive good buoyancy control is essential as the sand is very fine and easily stirred up, resulting in a drop in visibility. The wall is approximately 800 meters long.

Depth: 5-21 meters

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Best time to dive: November-June

Tumby Bay Snorkel

Leafy Sea DragonLocated only a short 40-minute drive from Port Lincoln, this is our favourite local dive. The main attractant is the leafy sea dragon, camouflaged by the weed covered seafloor. It’s fairly shallow, so you can take the easy route and just use a snorkel and you’ll still be able to spot the leafies!

While you’re there, keep an eye out for nudibranchs and big-bellied seahorses hiding amongst the weed.

Depth: 2-4 meters

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Best time to dive: October-May

Now go forth, snorkelling and divinh your way around South Australia. The waters are some of the most pristine in the world and there are natural treasures awaiting around every turn. Enjoy!

 

Image Sources:

Edithburgh Jetty

Rapid Bay Jetty

Ex HMAS Hobart

Port Jackson Shark

Leafy Sea Dragon