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Local Diving - Adelaide South Australia Historic Ship wrecks

Adelaide, South Australia has hundreds of dive sites stretching along our coastline from Mt. Gambier to Ceduna, many are unique to South Australia and of world class standard. This site lists many of the dive sites offering a variety of experiences from diving with seals, experience the rapture of our famous fresh water cavern diving, to finding the elusive leafy sea dragon or exploring one of our many historical ship wrecks (over 800).

Port Noarlunga Reef (Aquatic Reserve)       Depth 8m

Probably the most accessible dive site in SA and very popular. The reef is 400 meters offshore and 1.6km long, lying parallel to the shore. Excellent dive site for new divers due to the easy access afforded by the jetty.Wonderful snorkelling for all levels of competence and good diversity of marine life. The area is a marine reserve so plenty of fish are always about including leatherjackets, cuttlefish, Old Wives and possible lobsters.

Glenelg Dredge (The South Australian)      Depth 20m

Location: Glenelg 10kms from Adelaide. The Glenelg Dredge is an old suction dredge built Holland 1914 sailed out to Australia 1920 Used to dredge the Port River and Outer Harbor. The wreck was sunk in its current location as an artificial reef by the SA Dept of fisheries early 1985. She lies upright 5-6kms west of Glenelg in 20m of water. She is 35m long by 7m wide, deck sitting in 15m. The Dredge is home to a wide variety of marine life. The Wreck is safe to penetrate into the cabin rooms, the main pump hold through the suction crane on the bow but is unsafe to penetrate behind the boilers in the engine room. The main hazards are rusting metal and silting, and the current. Recommended bottom time is 35mins

Glenelg Barge       Depth 20m

Location: 10kms from Adelaide. The Glenelg Barge is a hopper barge used by the Glenelg Dredge to take the silt dredged up from the Port River. She was sunk in 1984 as an artificial reef and lies in 20m of water. A star dropper trail has been set up to enable divers to travel from the barge to the dredge and vice versa in times of low current. The barge is a very interesting wreck with a wide variety of fish. Divers can swim its 30m length with ease. At either end there is a small opening where divers can penetrate into the work rooms. in these rooms on each side of the hoppers is the entrance to the flotation chambers and divers may peer into them. Divers may be tempted to attempt a penetration and it can be done as long as the divers are properly prepared with lines, torches etc. The entrance to each chamber is very restricted. This penetration is not recommended. The main hazards are rusting metal, silting and restricted entrances to the penetrations. Recommended bottom time is 35mins.

Glenelg Tyre reef     Depth 18m

Location: 10kms west of Adelaide. The Glenelg tyre reef is a series of tyre tetrahedrons, set down as an artificial reef. Set up in 1983 5kms west of Glenelg, 500m south east of the barge in 18m of water. As a fish breeding ground it has been very successful with large quantities of whiting, bullseyes, strongies, silver drummer, old wives and spider crabs. The main hazard is getting loose regs and gauges caught in the tyre straps. Recommended bottom time 35mins.

Macs Ground       Depth 17m

Locations: Glenelg 5kms west of Adelaide. Macs ground is a small reef 4.5kms west of Glenelg in 17m of water. It is part of the old shore line and is reef approx 1m high lying in an east west direction. The reef is about 150m long and has numerous overhangs and a small cave, home to squid and cuttlefish. Other species of fish include blue devils, silver drummer, strongies, bullseyes, old wives, leather jackets and spider crabs. It is a favored fishing ground for winter whiting. The fish life is usually prolific and tame which makes a great dive. Recommended bottom time 40mins.

Milkies Reef       Depth 17m

Location: Glenelg 5kms west of Adelaide. Named after the finder who was a milkman, Milkies is a reef running north south 4.5kms south west of Glenelg in 17m of water. Spider crabs abound and there are numerous blue devils, cuttlefish, strongies,  silver drummer and the occasional crayfish.. At times it is the best local dive around because of the variety of fish life. Very few divers visit this area. Recommended bottom time 40mins.

Leather Jacket Alley       Depth 10m

Location Glenelg 2.5kms west of Adelaide. This dive site is approx 2kms north west of Glenelg in 10m of water and consists of a series of naturally formed gutters inhabited by a wide variety of fish and aquatic flora including sea tulips. The fish can be hand fed and on occasions great schools of sea pike visit the area, forming a seemingly impenetrable wall of fish which is quite spectacular. Recommended bottom time 50-55mins

Broken Bottom       Depth 10m

Location: Glenelg 5kms west of Glenelg. Broken bottom is again part of the old shore line and consists of a series of naturally formed rock piles spread over a large area 2kms north west of Glenelg in 10m of water. Fish life is sparse to prolific with no set pattern. If fish life is sparse you can investigate the rock piles, sea tulips and razor shells. The colours of the sponges and flora is exceptional. At other times the whole dive can be taken up swimming amongst vast schools of sea pike and silver drummer. Many spider crabs inhabit this area and occasional ray and flat head. Recommended bottom time 50-55mins.

Grange Tyre reef       Depth 15m

Location: 4kms off West Beach. Man made reef situated 4kms offshore from West Beach. Made up of a series of squares of squares of old tyres laid down by the Fisheries Dept in the late 70s. The tyres lie in 15m and over the years the squares have split up and spread the tyres over a large area. The dive is interesting with a wide variety of life. In winter it is an excellent whiting ground. Other fish life includes Old wives, strongies, leather jackets, cuttle fish and occasionally blue devils. The dive assures plenty of fish life.

Norma Wreck       Depth 8m

The NORMA was a steel 3 masted vessel that caapsized and sank in the main shipping channel of Outer Harbour in the early 1900's. The wreck lies 4kms offshore from North Haven in 16m and is subject to strong tidal currents. When the Norma sank it settled upright on the bottom and had its masts just below the surface. At high tide this caused a shipping hazard and authorities decided to blow it up. Now the wreck of the Norma is spread out over quite a large area and is very difficult to discern as a wreck. It consists of a large area of twisted metal lying on the bottom. The bow area is still recognisable and acts as a marine haven for fish. The remains are very interesting. Penetration is not recommended. The fish life is prolific. The bow area is also home to a 2.5m wobbegong. If diving the Norma be aware it is still in the shipping channel and it is unwise to leave your dive vessel without surface support as LARGE ships still use the channel.

Noarlunga Tyre Reef                                     Depth 18m

An artificial reef set up to attract fish for breeding purposes. 2.5kms west of Noarlunga Jetty. A lot of fish now inhabit the area including Short-Finned Sea Pike, leatherjackets, Old Wives, bullseyes and many other reef fish, Large strongies and Long-Snouted Boarfish can also been seen.

HA Lumb (Historical Shipwreck)                  Depth 20m

One nautical mile west of Port Noarlunga Jetty, the HA Lumb is 28 meters long and can be viewed on one leisure dive. Sunk in 1994 as a dive site, the wreck was cleaned up and holes were cut in the deck. It is lying in 20 metres of water, upright and totally intact. It is covered in marine life, sponges, scallops and all kinds of fish. Safe dive for the relatively inexperienced.

Seawolf                                                          Depth 19m

Sunk on 23rd March 2002 as part of the Noarlunga Artificial Reef Poject, the Seawolf is 32 metres long. Located 15 metres astern and slightly starboard of the HA Lumb, it lies on it's starboard side with bow inside the Noarlunga Tyre Reef. Lots of penetration holes with plenty of ambient light through the hull.

Star Of Greece (Historical Shipwreck)       Depth 6m

The Star of Greece was lost in a storm in 1888 along with at least 18 lives. Located approximately 150 metres offshore at Port Willunga. Fairly broken up with only part of the framework left, the site offers great snorkelling with lots of reef fish in very shallow water. The best time to dive the wreck is during calm conditions due to it's location in a surf zone.

Aldinga Drop-off (Aquatic Reserve)             Depth 21m

Dropping away to 21 metres, this dive is located at the edge of Aldinga Reef, creating a spectacular site with lots of overhangs hiding colourful soft corals and fish. Home to a large number of Blue Devils, nudibranchs, cuttlefish, seastars, blue gropers, Old Wives, Ornate Wobbegongs, stingrays and scorpionfish, it is also a stopping point for large schools of snapper and pike when they head north to their breeding grounds.

Aldinga Pinnacles (Aquatic Reserve)             Depth 8m

A spectacular dive with lots of swim-throughs, overhangs, fish life and coral growth. Being a protected marine reserve the whole of the reef is abundant with fish life, soft corals and nudibrachs. Unlike other dives in SA you can swim amongst rock pinnacles extending from the sea floor to just below the surface. A great dive to spend an extended amount of the time due to it's relatively shallow depth.

Second Valley                                                  Depth 9m

On the southern side of the jetty are small bays. As a shore dive either from jetty - swimming across the first bay and around the boatsheds - or walk around to the second bay and begin there. Two small caves are easily found at the base of the cliff on the southern point of the second bay and around a little further are some easy swim-throughs. At about 20 metres off shore is a small bommie which is home to a good variety of fish including both Leafy and Weedy Seadragons. Best dived in a south eastery wind.

Rapid Bay Jetty                                              Depth 10m

The jetty is 470 metres long with 200 metre T-section at the end. Under the T-section there is much shelter for a myriad of fish life, sporting the greatest diversity. Described as one of the best jetty dives in Australia, you can expect to see schools of Old Wives, Silver Drummer, pike, mullet and snook, as well as marine invertebrates, colourful sponges and hard corals. There are extensive seagrass beds along the northern and eastern side of the T-section and also the junction of the T with the marine jetty. A newly built jetty runs parallel to the old jetty making for a easy entry exit point. These is one of the best places to search for the Leafy Sea Dragons.

Rapid Head                                                    Depth 8m

Great little dive site, access is by beach launch at Rapid Bay or boat ramps at Marina St Vincent. It's fairly low reef system that heads out to sea from the wall, with lots of fish life, including blue groper, Blue Devils, salmon, magpie Perch, lobsters, abalone, Harlequin Fish, seals, dolphins, Port Jackson sharks, fiddler Rays, just to name a few!

Blowhole Creek                                            Depth 10m

Located off Deep Creek Conservation Park, only accessible by 4WD, you need to obtain a Day Permit on entering the Park. Access to the site is by following the signs through the park down the dirt road to the car park. Go down the steep path for several hundred metres until you are within 300 metres of a small beach. Entre anywhere from the beach. Beware of strong currents and freak waves. Ideally dive this site with someone who knows the area. Teeming with marine life this dive showcases lobsters, seals and seadragons.

Kangaroo Island Diving

Portland Maru (Historic Shipwreck)           Depth 16m

The remains of the Portland Maru are slightly west of the cliffs of Cape Torrens and 500 metres from the shore. Broken up over many years, the hull is lying flat on the seabed with a number of straight lines encrusted with sponges and coral. Standing tall in the water are the 2 huge boilers and steam engine covered with colourful growth. There is a large concentration of fish, including Red Snapper, Old Wives, Long-Snouted Boarfish, Blue Devils and a huge assortment of decorator crabs and lobsters.

Castle Rock                                                   Depth 17m

Visibilty is usually in the range of 10-20 metres. At 7 metres there is a small recess which has it's wall and ceiling covered in 60 to 70 small gorgonian fans, ranging in colour from bright yellow to deep velvet purple. This site is also home to some very large lobsters, Ornate Cowfish and Mosaic Leatherjackets.

Snug Cove                                                     Depth 24m

You can access the site via boat from Western River Cove. The marine life at the cove includes seals, dolphins, blue groper, lobster and corals among others. This site is close to the Fides, wreck in 1860, it is a declared Historic Shipwreck.

Pissy Boy Bay                                            Depth 21m

This site has three great dives, The Cut Depth 10m, The Amphiteatre depth 17 metres and The Arch depth 15m. The site teem with marine life including colourful soft corals, the breathtaking Harlequin Fish, Electric Blue Nudibranchs, Eastern Blue Groper and both New Zealand Fur seals and Australian Sea Lions. This is a world class dive and visited by many overseas guests. (Call KI Shop)

Western River Cove                                   Depth 15m

The rocky shoreline on the west side of the beach drops to just over 15 metres. The east side is a system of gullies where the rocky terrain is covered in kelp. There are swim-throughs, caves, ledges and outcrops which are inhabited by marine life including lobsters and a friendly blue groper called 'Old Blue'. Pods of dolphins are seen around this site also. It can be accessed by shore but would advise to talk to the KI Store regarding baot dive.

Stokes Bay                                            Depth 18m

Good diving along the coastline with average visibility of 20 metres. This dive is mainly cliffs that descend into the sea and open up to uncover a huge array of marine animals including seals, dolphins, blue groper and a variety of fish life launching at the local boat ramp is available.

Emu Bay                                                Depth 15m

The west side of the bay has a reef system that protrudes several metres above sea level, with gullies that point west. Schools of reef fish frequent the area including Silver Drummer, Old Wives, stunning Zebra Fish and again the amazing blue groper.

Fannie M (Historic Shipwreck)             Depth 7-8m

Located in Nepean Bay, which has a number of other great dive sites, this shipwreck is 50 metres long. The Fannie M ran aground in 1885 and is a declared Historic Shipwreck. Over the years the ribs of the ship have been covered in growth and the wreck is now surrounded by schooling fish and a host of invertebrates.

Kangaroo Head                                            Depth 13m

The reef is home to lobster, boarfish, perch, morwong and a number of passing sharks. At 9 metres there is a change from algae to animal communities and it is also the site of New Zealand Fur Seals. One of the best places to view Leafy Sea Dragons on the Island. Boat is the only access to the many small coves at the head.

Penneshaw Breakwater                              Depth 13m

The breakwater is built on top of a temperate water reef. Many different reef fish including Silver Drummer, Zebra Fish, Old Wives, juvenile blue groper, and at approximately 9 metres a vast array of colourful sponges and coral, provide an amazing backdrop to the dive.

Ironstone Point                                            Depth 16m

The cliff face descends 16 metres to a broken rocky bottom. At 12 metres it is predominately brown algae and then it changes to animal communities, colourful sponges, ascidians and anemones, seastars, bryozoans and large fans of gorgonian coarls.

Cable Hut Reef                                            Depth 26m

This reef runs seaward to a depth of 26 metres, where at 15 metres, the algae gives way to a colourful array of marine life including large fans of gorgonian corals, seastars, ascidians, nudibrachs, brittle stars and cowries. The resident reef population includes goatfish, morwong, octopus, cuttlefish and wrasse just to name a few.

Snapper Point                                            Depth 50m

Located at the largest headland on the island, Snapper Point offers a number of special dives. The front section descends rapidly to 40+. At 18 metres there are a number of small caves which are filled with large gorgonian corals inside and at the entrance. On the western side of the headland there is an underwater archway covered in red and yellow gorgonians with the sea floor covered in lace corals and sponges. On the eastern side a gently sloping sandy floor follows the reef line down into deeper water with small reefs covered in white and yellow sea tulips.