There’s simply no better way to experience South Australia’s marine parks than exploring the many reefs, ship wrecks and other underwater wonderlands that lie beneath the waves.
It’s impossible to describe the variety and beauty of sea life without seeing it firsthand: the multi-coloured reef fish, giant gardens of sponge and fan coral, vibrant seagrass communities, the mating displays of giant Australian cuttlefish in the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park or if you’re really brave, cage diving with the mighty great white shark off the Neptune Islands Group (Ron and Valerie Taylor) Marine Park.
South Australia is home to some of Australia’s best diving locations with dives to suit all skill levels, and there’s no better place than our marine parks, with all sanctuary zones open to diving (as well as other activities like sailing and surfing).
Four iconic, typically South Australian dives you can experience in our marine parks include:
- Rapid Bay Jetty in the Encounter Marine Park - the best and safest place to see the iconic leafy sea dragon. These amazingly well camouflaged animals gather in the under jetty habitat that has formed in these waters
- Top-Gallant Isles in the Investigator Marine Park - one of the jewels of the marine parks network and home to spectacular invertebrate communities including sponges and sea squirts (considered one of the best dives in the state)
- Aldinga Reef in the Encounter Marine Park - home to one of Australia’s oldest marine reserves, a perfectly preserved example of a temperate, Southern Australian reef that’s teeming with fish, sponges and encrusting communities
- Chinaman’s Hat Island in Southern Spencer Gulf Marine Park - home to a vast array of reef and rocky ledges, reef fish and stingrays.
Tips for enjoying diving in SA’s marine park
- Diving is a safe marine sport, but like anything involving the water, it’s important to be prepared. You should always consult a local dive shop or someone with recent experience in the area before attempting any dive.
- Although diving is allowed in sanctuary zones, try to avoid damaging sensitive sea floor animals like sponges and habitat through contact and fin damage.
- Many regional centres have local dive charter operators. Check local guides for services and package deals.