The Best Scuba Diving Spots For Beginners Around Perth
Words by Jasmine Loda-Batey
Western Australia is home to the country’s most amazing beaches, with most of them located a mere jump away from Perth’s inner suburbs. Perhaps you enjoy basking on the beach, utilising the sun’s rays and calming ocean waves to unwind after a busy week. Or maybe you prefer to engage in relaxing water activities like kayaking and snorkeling, which let you observe the underwater world from a distance.
No matter your activity of choice, as we head deeper into Autumn, everyone is seeking new ways to enjoy the last of the warm weather (warm being an understatement). Scuba Diving (Scuba standing for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus) is a spectacular way to explore the mysterious underwater world and bask in the last glimpses of summer.
As all novice Scuba Divers should know, it is important to only dive within your recreation limits depending on your specific PADI certification. Beginner divers who hold their certified open water certificate (typically the first PADI certification) are allowed to descend to a maximum depth of 18m.
As a new diver who has recently completed their open water (or beyond) certification, you might be wondering about the best Perth locations to develop your skills and become more confident in diving. If you’re hunting for a relatively easy spot to complete a shore dive with your buddy (you should NEVER dive alone) look no further, here is a list of the best dive spots around Perth for beginner divers.
Located about 15 minutes from the City of Fremantle and 35 minutes from Perth CBD, Ammo Jetty is a spot bustling with small sea life. The jetty spans 100m of dive-able length, reaching a typical maximum depth of 9m. This spot provides an easily navigable shore dive as you follow the jetty out and back around in a clockwise (or counterclockwise) direction.
Some things to be careful of at Ammo include remaining cautious of hooks from the fisherman above, courteous to other divers as the site is quite popular, and staying calm in sometimes poor visibility which can make navigation difficult.
Kwinana Grain Terminal
Reaching a maximum depth of 15 metres, the Kwinana Grain Terminal is located about 30 minutes from Fremantle and 50 minutes from Perth CBD. Spanning 800m, of which roughly 450m is dive-able, the Kwinana Jetty is relatively calm and easily navigable depending on swell periods.
Often bustling with crabs, this popular shore dive is enhanced at night when marine life truly comes out to play, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to see during daylight hours. Large schools of fish are more likely to be found as you reach the end of the jetty, but there are many colourful creatures to be found along the trail from start to finish.
Rockingham Wreck Trail
The Petrel, a 15m-long vessel, was purposely sunk in 1985 to form an artificial reef, and, in the years following, five other vessels have followed. The site’s intriguing wrecks and additional submerged items (chicken coops and toilets) have caused it to be highly popular with diving enthusiasts.
Found along the Rockingham foreshore, this diving site attracts quite a crowd, with diving companies often using the site to train new students throughout the week. Located 30 minutes from the city of Fremantle and about an hour from Perth CBD, wrecks depth ranges from 10 to 18m depending on the trail followed.
Relatively simple to navigate following the trail map (located in the car park) and through connected underwater ropes, divers have the option to descend from the flagged (most common) or flagless buoys and explore magnificent underwater visuals.
Bulk Jetty is another great novice dive spot found in Kwinana, located a mere 20 minutes from Fremantle and 45 minutes from the Perth CBD. This shore dive spans 250m along the jetty and reaches a maximum depth of 9m.
Often subjected to poor weather and visibility, this site requires prior planning to ensure you experience it during stable conditions. Located next to a working jetty, it is important to be cautious of boat traffic, fishermen and sunken debris.
It is here that you’ll find smaller signs of marine life, with large starfish, cuttlefish, octopus and ancient looking barnacles spread along the trail they call home.
Boy in a Boat Reef
Located 100m from Hilarys Boat Harbour and a mere 20 minutes from Perth’s CBD, this site reaches a maximum depth of 7m and is probably the most difficult spot on this list for novice divers.
There are two options to reach the reef, the first (and easier option) is to snorkel the near 400m to the site. Alternately, you can walk about 300m, which can be quite the struggle with a heap of heavy dive gear on your back, to the T’ junction point at the rocks.
It is VERY Important to descend carefully from the rocks, making sure you and your buddy help each other down safely. Once here, there is still a fair distance of steep rocks to navigate before you reach the water and swim the 5 or so minutes out to the reef, but once you reach it, there’s an abundance of gorgeous visuals to greet you.
There are many hidden spots, swim throughs and easy caves to explore. Depending on visibility, there is lots to see from vibrant coral, friendly schools of fish, eels and much more.
So, if you’re hoping to find a way to stretch out summer and experience an underwater adventure, sign up for a PADI certified scuba diving course and get out diving with your buddies at some of these amazing sites.
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