Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 019 Contents 38 Scoop Traveller December-June 2011
scoop.com.au Explore WA
Pier Dives | The Busselton Jetty is back – we hope! The dive has been a
no-go zone during a massive restoration project, but it’s expected to be
open to divers again around February, ongoing construction permitting.
Well known as a great night dive, this spot has 300-odd species of tropical
and sub-tropical fish thriving in the warm Leeuwin current and the shade
of the jetty. With any luck all that life hasn’t been lost in the refurb.
While Busselton has been out of action there’s been a burst in popularity
at the US Navy Pier in Exmouth. You can see a bunch of life here, from
barracuda to anemones, and there’s heaps of growth on the old pylons.
You can’t just walk off the beach, though – tours run out of Exmouth.
Island Dives | Up north, off Onslow, the Mackerel Islands make for a
variety-filled dive location that is little-explored except by fishermen.
Divers with a pioneering spirit will be encouraged to know that new sites
are still being discovered up there, and the fish life is great – Ningaloo
Reef is just to the south. Currents and winds can affect visibility, so pick
your day. April to September is the best time to go to explore what’s being
called ‘the new frontier’ of diving. One of the best sites is Black Flag,
loaded with fish, caves, ledges, canyons and swim-throughs. Mackerel
Islands Dive is a new tour operator in the region, offering extended
dive tours of up to seven days. They’re also running an underwater
photography competition at the Mackerel Islands between April and July.
There’s $7500 in prizes in the offing. See mackerelislandsdive.com .au
Wreck Dives | Autumn is a great time for visibility, perfect for getting
among the dive wrecks. The purpose-sunk ones are generally the most
accessible. Here are some highlights.
HMAS Swan, Dunsborough There’s good growth on the biggest
purpose-sunk wreck in the southern hemisphere, only accessible by
dive charter. Average visibility is 18-25m.
HMAS Perth, Albany Much of the ship’s equipment and machinery is still
visible, and there’s a sea lion that takes a regular interest in divers. Get a
dive permit from the visitors’ centre.
Key Biscane, Lancelin An upside-down mass of mangled metal, the
wrecked oil rig in 42m of water makes a spectacular dive in good weather.
Cheynes III, Albany The first purpose-sunk wreck in the southern
hemisphere, the Cheynes III is so old it’s starting to collapse on itself
(keeping to the outside is recommended). There’s heaps of life, and it’s
well protected from east winds.
Sanko Harvest, Esperance Once a huge eco-disaster, now a spectacular
dive. It’s the biggest diveable wreck off the Australian coast, at 174m long.
Charter boats go from Esperance.
Gearing up | There are dive tours all over the State now, so it pays to bring
your dive ticket – or spend five days getting one if you’re newly inspired
– s o you’re prepared when the right conditions hit on your next holiday.
If you don’t have your own kit, hire is an easy option. But if you’re into
collecting gadgets, check out the new wrist computers with full-colour
screens that have just hit the Australian market.
Some of the amazing marine life
seen by divers at the Mackerel
Islands is captured in these shots.
Links Archive Scoop Traveller WA 018 Scoop Traveller WA 020 Navigation Previous Page Next Page