Scuba Divers Federation of South Australia
With depths to 40m there
are more than 50 great dive sites around the Island, with lots of different
things to look at. There are 20metre + walls, reefs, 3 wrecks, a couple of seal
colonies, Lots of crayfish, and abalone (in season). Most dives, you will see
seals, there are always big blue grouper, as well as schools of other fish.
Ardrossan - BHP Jetty
Because of the length of the jetty it is best done by boat launching from Ardrossan boat ramp. Huge schools of fish congregate at the end in a depth of around 15m.
An easy shallow shore dive to 6m good for beginners.
The SS Australian was a 49m 352 ton vessel that sank on the Southern end of Wardang Island 8 May 1912. The stern of the wreck lies in 8m of water with wreckage extending up the reef to a depth of 2.5m. The bow section has broken off and is about 100m North East of the wreck in shallow water. Fish life is usually prolific.
GPS 34:32:052S 137:21:874E
Chinaman's Hat Island
Can Be done as a boat or shore dive. Boats can be launched at Marion Bay boat ramp. The best diving is at the back of the island. If done as a shore dive, there is a walk along the beach of around 100m and an equally distant reach the semi exposed reef which you have to get up and walk over. Despite the effort, this dive is worth it and is awesome. There are numerous swim throughs, chimneys, caves, ledges and crevices. There is a lot of fish life and the occaisional crayfish. Depth reaches 15m.
One of the best jetty dives in the Australia with substantial marine diversity. Lots of nudibranchs and seahorses under the jetty. The pylons are covered with sponges. Usually there are heaps of fish life, cuttlefish, squid, octopus and dumpling squid. Port Jackson and small cat sharks are sometimes seen. 50 metres out from the north side of the jetty, there is also a reef, with lots of life on it too.
There is a reef approximately 500 metres off the shore of the Island, running parallel to it. It is a big wall, running the length of the island (more than a kilometre) with the sand at 22 metres, and the wall going up to about 10 metres in some spots. There are caves everywhere, swim-throughs, chasms and gorges. The wall is so long, you can easily do many dives there all in different spots. There are crayfish in abundance. The sponge and soft coral life has to be seen to be believed, it is so colourful, red, yellow, and orange everywhere. But probably the best thing about this wall, is the abundance of fish.
The SS Investigator was a 64m 605 ton vessel that sank on the Western side of Wardang Island 24 April 1918. The wreck lies in 3m to 4m of water. Fish life is usually prolific and the ships anchor and propellor can be seen.
GPS 34:31:600S 137:20:060E
The SS MacIntyre was a 33m converted river barge of 127 tons that sank near the SS Australian 1 April 1927 at the Southern end of Wardang Island. The wreck lies in between 4m and 8m of water. Fish life is sparse compared to the SS Australian.
GPS 34:32:080 S 137:21:980E
Point Turton Jetty
Whilst the jetty is shallow at 5m, the is a lot of life on the pylons and nudibranchs and blue ring octopus are often found here.
Port Giles Jetty
This is a long jetty with the only shore diving access at the steps at the beginning of the jetty. It can also be done as a boat dive launching from Edithburg boat ramp. Being a working grain loading jetty access is not permitted when a ship is in. There is lots of life under the jetty with the pylons covered in sponges and soft corals. There is a big eel bed, with lots of eels there. It's quite deep for a jetty, getting up to around 14 metres at the tank at the end of the jetty.
Port Hughes Jetty
A very underrated jetty. Fish life is prolific. There are nudibranchs galore and this is a macro photographers paradise. Don't let the shallow 5m depth fool you, this is a great dive.
The Songvaar was an 85m iron ship of 2128 tons that sank on 14 April 1912, the same day as the Titanic. The Songvaar was loaded and ready to sail and sat on her anchor as the tide went out and sank herself. Because of the danger to shipping in the area the wreck was subsequently blasted. The offending anchor can still be seen piercing the hull. The fish life on the wreck lying in 9m is amazing.
GPS 34:27:567 S 137:23:277E
Stenhouse Bay Jetty
This is a lovely jetty dive in 10m with shore or boat access. Boats can be launched from Marion Bay boat ramp. There is amazing life on the numerous pylons of this old wooden jetty. At the end of the jetty is a Ford Telstar upside down.
This can be dived either from shore or by boat. Access to the best areas is by boat launched from Edithburg boat ramp. It is a large reef system, that covers a couple of kilometres of shoreline, with huge swim through, bommies, chasms, pinnacles. Depths range to 20m. Fish life is amazing and crayfish plentiful but cannot be taken inside the section of reef inside the reserve.
Wedge is the largest of the islands accessible by boat from Pondalowie Bay. With depths to 50m there are lots of walls, drifts, swim throughs and caves. Fish life is prolific.
The Willyama was a 2705tonne steamer, built in 1897. On the night of 13 April, 1907, she ran aground at Rhino's Head Marion Bay. There is quite a bit left of her, with one of her masts standing a couple of metres out of the water. What is left is fairly broken up and scattered around the bottom. Reaching 12m in depth the wreck is abundant with fish life.
Wool Bay Jetty
A very shallow dive to around 4 metres but the home of many leafy seadragons.
The Zanoni cnnot be dived without a permit issued by Heritage SA. A boat mooring buoy has been installed at the site for the safety of divers and so the wreck will not suffer anchor damage. It is illegal to damage or interfere with the wreck and penalties are severe, and may involve substantial fines, imprisonment and/or confiscation of equipment. The wreck is a marine reserve, so no fishing or taking anything from it.
Built in 1865, and sunk in 1867. Approximately 15 nautical miles from Ardrossan. She was a 3 masted composite ship, 42 metres long. A remarkably intact wreck, for her age. She lies on her side, and a bit of the superstructure is still standing.
GPS 34:30:707 S 138:03:823 E
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Last modified: October 16, 2005