Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 021 Contents January - June 2012 Scoop Traveller 207
Explore WA scoop.com.au
Margaret River Region GUIDE
Where | Geographe Bay, Busselton
Distance | 1.8km from shore
Access | Best by boat, you can also walk or take the train depending on
permission, but you can’t walk around the underwater observatory
Level of difficulty | Easy
Maximum depth | 8.5m
Best time | October-April, for 26 degree water temperature
Like diving in a saltwater aquarium, the volume of marine life in this
small area is incredible, and divers can even wave at the people in the
observatory. The variety of colourful hard and soft coral growths on the
pylons makes it feel like floating through an underwater forest. The Jetty is
a 10-minute boat ride across the sheltered waters of the bay from the Port
Geographe Marina, where the public boat ramps are located.
See | Giant cuttlefish, octopus, many varieties of colourful sea stars,
flatworms and nudibranchs as well as butterfly fish, leatherjackets,
gurnard perch, John Dory, morwong and many more. Also known as
Fluffy Dive, it is a nice and slow-paced dive running from the very end at
the northern point of the jetty down past the observatory to the weather
station. Easy to navigate and with so much to see, it is a photographer’s
delight. This dive is particularly good for macro photography or close-up
photography, usually of very small subjects.
Look out for | Knight fish (or pineapple fish), so called due to its yellow
pineapple-like exterior. This fish has a little light on its forehead that
emits a green glow at night to entice prey close to its mouth. These are
normally solitary fish, and the Jetty is the only site in the world where
they have been found living in family groups.
Beware of | Numb ray or numb fish look a bit like small round stingrays
without tails, and nestle under the sand with only their eyeballs peeking
out. Touch or kneel down on them, and they’ll give you an electric shock!
THE HMAS SWAN WRECK SITE
Where | Geographe Bay, Dunsborough
Distance | 2.6km from shore at Point Piquet
Access | Boat only. Private boats require a $20 permit that can be
purchased at Busselton and Dunsborough Visitor Centres, as well
as The Dive Shed and Cape Dive.
Level of difficulty | Easy to advanced
The wreck itself is 113m long, 12.5m wide and 22.5m tall, so there
is plenty to explore – it’s recommended as a double dive. The HMAS
Swan was sunk in 1997 specifically for divers, so there are many access
holes and plenty of light throughout. For the more adventurous diver,
there are still no-light zones and plenty of tight spaces to explore. The
dive site is easily accessed, however due to the maximum depth of
around 31m, people diving privately should be trained to dive beyond
18m. Both The Dive Shed and Cape Dive run charters to the wreck site
daily and provide dive guides.
See | Many species of marine life, including pink snapper, blue groper,
dhufish, sergeant baker, scalyfin, footballer sweep, western blue devil
fish, cuttlefish, breaksea cod, batfish, mulloway and many more.
Throughout the year many pelagic species such as benito, samson
fish, tuna and yellow tail kingfish visit to feed on the schools of baitfish,
and this makes for a awe-inspiring show. There is plenty of marine
growth on both the inside and outside of the wreck, making for
spectacular wide-lens photography.
Listen out for | The songs of the migrating humpback and southern right
whales can be heard during the months of September to December.
Did you know? When the HMAS Swan was in service, it never fired a
shot in anger. It was, however, the first Royal Australian Navy vessel
to empty its entire magazine in a single event since 1942 (during a
gunnery exercise in 1995).
Photography Shannon Conway.
Photography The Dive Shed Busselton.
Links Archive Scoop Traveller WA 020 Scoop Traveller WA 022 Navigation Previous Page Next Page