Diving in Western Australia has a lot to offer. With less visitors and smaller crowds at dive sites, it may well be an alternative for diving the East coast of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. From the temperate waters in the south to the tropical waters in the north of this state, Western Australia diving meets all the diver’s needs in terms of variety, world-class dive sites and marine life sightings.
Perth is West Australia’s largest city, and easy to reach by air from domestic as well as international locations. Diving in Perth has some good shore dives on reefs, wrecks and jetties. Rottney Island, a short boat ride from Perth, is the city’s prime dive area, with limestone reef structures and a wealth of marine life. Most of the diving in Perth happens in the summer months between June and August and with water temperature between 18 and 22 degrees Celsius, a minimum of a 5 mm wet suit is necessary.
A drive up north to Coral Bay or Exmouth rewards the diver with amazing Western Australian scenery along the way and excellent diving at the Ningaloo reef. This fringing reef is over 260 km long and is teaming with marine life, including larger species like manta rays, whale sharks and turtles. The towns of Coral Bay and Exmouth both give access to the reef and have small airports with connections to Perth. Whale Sharks are sighted here between March and June, Humpback whales pass by from June to November, and Turtles frequent the area for nesting around October and November. Manta rays can be found year-round in the Coral Bay area and seasonally in Exmouth from May to November, when the waters are rich in plankton. The water temperature varies significantly between 19 degrees Celsius in winter and 28 degrees in summer months.
The premier diving site around Perth is Rottnest Island. This island, just off the coast from Perth, has a rich history and sports several recreational activities, including nature walks. Rottnest is said to have over 200 individual dive sites and good diving conditions regardless of type of weather. Rottnest diving consists of limestone rock formations, caverns overgrown with sponges, and coral and surrounded by sea grass. A dive light is recommended for Rottnest dives, so divers can explore the many caves and caverns for interesting critters. Roe Reef is a popular dive site, with an enormous limestone arch, swim throughs and caverns. Another popular Rottnest dive is Crystal Palace. Divers should look out for a variety of marine life, including crayfish, Leatherjackets and boxfish.
Divers don’t have to head out by boat to dive around Perth. There are some good shore dive sites around Swan river, some wrecks, reefs and jetties. Most of these sites offer calm and sheltered conditions. However, some reef dives out in the open sea can only be dived when swell is below 1 meter, due to strong surge.
Ningaloo Reef is a fringing reef, surrounding the North West Cape of Australia. Stretching over 260 km long, this reef attracts a wealth of exciting marine life, like the Whaleshark between the months of March and June. But Ningaloo reef diving has more to offer. Between June and November, Humpback Whales frequent these waters and Manta years are here year round around Coral Bay area. Dive sites are easy to reach by day trip boat from both Coral Bay and Exmouth and can be divided into inner-reef and outer-reef sites.
Asho’s gap is a popular inner-reef dive site to spot reef sharks close to Coral Bay. On the outer-reef, the Elbow is the place to see manta rays at their cleaning station. Rated as one of the world’s best pier dives and highlight of Exmouth diving, Navy Pier is a must-do-dive in this area. This pier attracts over 200 species, including trevally, barracuda, angelfish, nudibranchs, and clown fish. Heading out to the Muiron islands, divers will find tranquil, tropical water teaming with marine life and coral gardens.
Diving in western Australia is accessible from Perth, western Australia’s largest city. Perth airport has good travel connections, both domestic and international. Perth’s harbor, called Freemantle, is western Australia’s main harbor and diving Rottnest island happens from here. Exmouth is the gateway to the Ningaloo reef and easy to reach by air from Perth. The airport is located 35 km from Exmouth, but has excellent connections to the town by bus shuttle. Coral Bay, another town at the Ningaloo reef is another great place to dive from. A drive up north from Perth to either Coral Bay or Exmouth is worth it for divers with a bit more time on their hands, since many places of great natural beauty are situated between the towns.
Diving Rottnest Island can be done by joining one of the boat charters from Freemantle. In the summer months of December till February trips will leave most regularly, while in winter trips will leave less frequently. Several operators run Rottnest Island diving trips in Perth. The Perth Diving Academy is located in Balcatta and has an office in Fremantle for boat departures as well.
For diving Perth locally, Dolphin Dive in Freemantle will gladly inform divers on the best local dive sites, and they organize Rottnest diving by boat. Situated in the heart of Freemantle port, they have a convenient location for exploring the best of Perth diving.
Diving Ningaloo reef is easy from both Coral Bay and Exmouth. Ningaloo Reef Dive is situated in Coral Bay and offers a diverse package of tours, including manta ray and whale shark adventures, scenic flight and other Ningaloo Reef dives. A bit further up north, Exmouth Diving Center organizes a variety of reef dives and diving on the Muiron Islands and Mandu wall. Both these dive centers teach courses, offer whale shark tours and can arrange accommodation.
CDC How many different ways can I describe a bunch of incompetents? All these good reviews... from novice and first time divers. No-one seems to know how good diving and live aboard diving can and should be - least of all the crew. Short version: avoid kangaroo explorer. Probably best to avoid all outer reef trips. It's not the worst experience, not a bad one, but wasn't _fun_. Not for the money I spent. I spent 2.5 times as much ($800 vs $2000) diving with Deep Sea Divers for the same length ...
The premier diving site around Perth is Rottnest Island. This island, just off the coast from Perth, has a rich history and sports several recreational activities, including nature walks. Rottnest is ...
Diving in western Australia is accessible from Perth, western Australia’s largest city. Perth airport has good travel connections, both domestic and international. Perth’s harbor, called Freemantle, i...