Fleurieu Peninsula Diving Sites
Aldinga Drop Off
Aldinga Drop Off, South Australia
The Aldinga Drop Off is on the edge of the Aldinga reef lying 1.5 kms off the Aldinga beach. Access is via boat which can be launched from the Southern end of Aldinga Beach or from O’Sullivan’s Beach ramp. The reef drops away from 5m to 21m creating a spectacular dive that is a mass of caverns, crevasses and overhangs. The reef is inside an aquatic reserve and fish abound making this a photographers paradise. The Drop Off is where the big schools of snapper stay when travelling north to their breeding grounds. When the snapper are running it is advisable not to dive this area as the snapper school is occasionally followed by white pointer sharks.
GPS 36:16:270 S 138:25:799 E
Aldinga Pinnacles, South Australia
Part of the Aldinga reef system closer in shore from the drop off. Spectacular dive with lots of swim throughs, overhangs, fish life and weed growth. The dive is in only 8m of water so an extended amount of time can be spent exploring the reef system, the overhangs and occasional cave. Visibility here is generally very good and swimming amongst rock pinnacles extending from the sea floor to just beneath the surface of the sea is very different to other SA dives.
GPS 35:16:010 S 138:26:020 E
Black’s Reef, South Australia
Black’s reef is between the Bluff and Wright Island in Encounter Bay at Victor Harbour. It is quite a swim if done as a shore dive. Alternatively access is by boat from the Bluff boat ramp. There is an extensive reef system with depths to 14m.
ExHMAS Hobart, South Australia
The ex HMAS Hobart was a Charles F. Adams class guided missile destroyer in the Royal Australia Navy (DDG 39), built in the United States of America and commissioned in 1965 in Boston. The vessel completed three tours of duty off Vietnam and in 1968, two sailors lost their lives and seven others were injured after the vessel was hit by “friendly” fire. The Hobart was sunk in November 2002 as an artificial reef and lies in 30 metres of water approximately 4 kms off Rapid Bay. Access is by boat from Sunset Cove boat ramp. Permits must be obtained to dive the Hobart: https://www.environment.sa.gov.au/marineparks/enjoy/diving/diving-the-hmas-hobart. The 134m wreck which takes several visits to see it all caters for all levels of diving experience.
Fisheries Beach, South Australia
The beach is east of Cape Jervis. A shore dive, to the right of the sandy beach is a line of rocks that goes out 50 metres into the water. Directly out from that is a reef 3-400 metres offshore, that runs parallel to the shore. The reef isn’t overly high, but there is a quite a bit of life on it. Around the reef, and between the reef and shore, are heaps of anchors, cart wheels chain, etc. that are almost 100 years old.
Gull Rock, South Australia
Gull Rock is a small island close to shore at the southern end of Maslin’s Beach. A reef extends out from the rock for several hundred metres. Access to the reef is by boat from O’Sullivan’s Beach boat ramp or from the beach south of Aldinga Reef. The reef extends from just below the surface to around 10m.
GPS 35:14:590 S 138:27:570 E
It is a 50m diameter dome shaped reef in 8m of water. The is a surprising variety of sea life and residents include the leafy sea dragon. Access is by a long swim from the beach at Second Valley or by boat from Sunset Cove boat ramp.
Myponga Beach, South Australia
A great shore dive with lots of crevices, walls and ledges. Most of the dive, there is a 4-5 metre vertical wall, with lots of drummer, Talma, old wives, goat fish and leatherjackets hanging around.
Rapid Bay Jetty
Rapid Bay Jetty, South Australia
Rapid Bay Jetty is one of the best jetty dives in South Australia, with abundant growth on the pylons and large numbers of many species of fish under and around the jetty. Pedestrian access to the original jetty has been closed to fishermen and the general public for several years, with the result that the underwater environment has significantly improved. Access is now from the new jetty via purpose-built stairs and platform: the underwater route to the old jetty is marked by star droppers (approximately 50m from the new to the old jetty) or you can snorkel across. The jetty is mainly famous for a resident population of Leafy Sea Dragons which, although cryptic, can be found with perseverance (or take a tour with a guide from one of the dive shops). When viewing or photographing these, we ask that you maintain your distance and resist the urge to touch them.
Rapid Head, South Australia
An interesting dive site, with a vertical wall, from the bottom which varies from 6-8m deep and usually an abundance of fish life. Access is by boat from Sunset Cove boat ramp. There is a fairly low rocky reef system, that heads out to sea from the wall.
Second Valley, South Australia
On the southern side of the jetty are 3 small bays. A shore dive, entry can be made by walking around to the second bay. South of this bay and cut into the cliff face are 3 small caves including a swim through with a right angle in it. Fish life is often sparse but leafy and weedy sea dragons are sometimes seen.
Star of Greece
Star of Greece
This 125 year old wreck of a 3 masted iron ship build in Belfast in 1868 lies 200m off the beach at Port Willunga; it can be a shore dive or accessed by boat from O’Sullivan’s Beach boat ramp. It is popular for snorkelling as well as diving, when the area is free of swell and wind. Sand coverage of the wreck comes and goes with the weather conditions. Take in the reef as well which lies south of the wreck itself.
The Blowhole, South Australia
This site is in Deep Creek Conservation Park 80 kms south of Adelaide and is only accessible by four wheel drive. You need to follow the signs through the park, down the dirt road to the car park. Four wheel drive only from the carpark down a very steep track to the end. Follow the steep walk/path several hundred metres to a small beach. Entry is anywhere from the beach. This is a beautiful unspoilt site. It is teeming with life, crays galore, seals and sea dragons. You do have to watch for heavy current and freak waves and its strongly advised you dive with someone who knows the area – at least at first.
The Bluff, South Australia
The Bluff at Victor Harbour is an awesome in good conditions. Entry is from the small wharf on the eastern side of the Bluff. Leafy sea dragons are often seen here. There are also seals, seahorses, weedy sea dragons, crayfish, nudibranchs, plus lots and lots of fish. The area is strewn with big granite boulders, stacked one on top of the other, with big holes, ledges, swim throughs, etc. In the holes are a big variety of sponge, and soft coral life, as well as the occasional nudibranch. Depth ranges from 4m to 40m.
Whale Bones, South Australia
Whale bones is in Encounter Bay at Victor Harbour. Follow the road to the bluff and turn off at the hospital. Whale bones is the reef in front of and to the right where this road meets the beach. Access is from shore over a 100 or so metres of knee deep water or by boat from the nearby Bluff boat ramp. This is a big system of limestone caves, undercuts, swim-throughs, and reef. It is a virtual honeycomb of caves, and passages. The top of the reef is only in about 2-3 metres of water, with lots of holes in the top, that lead down into the caves. If you head out to sea, you will also see a drop-off, which also leads into the caves. The site got its name from the fact that there used to be lots of whale bones in the area, as the whalers used to dump the whale carcasses in the area.