Local Diving Conditions
How to Dive South Australia
Due to South Australia’s large coastline we are blessed with fabulous access to our oceans, both metropolitan and regional areas. Adelaide Scuba hosts an abundance of boat diving departing from various locations around the state, with our dive boats moored at the back door it is very simple to catch a ride to many of our local dive sites.
In addition to the boat diving, the South Australian coastline has a lot of easily accessible shore dives with a variety of entry points, some a little more challenging than others. Many of our dive sites are accessible by jetty/piers which makes diving these sites an easy activity with entry and exits via purpose built dive platforms and stairways. For the more adventurous diver some sites offer rocky shore entries and/or cliff repels.
This is a brief guide on how to assess a shore dive site in relation to the weather forecast and current weather conditions. Before you leave the house and/or when you arrive at the site, this will assist in making an informative decision as to whether or not the dive site is dive able. Remember that every scenario may be different and the weather is unpredictable, so please use common sense and also dive conservatively. Contact our experienced dive team for any further queries relating to our local dive sites and their respective techniques for enjoyable diving. Be a SAFE diver!
We have included a brief description of a couple of the dive sites located in the region. These sites are amongst many other incredible SCUBA diving sites here in South Australia. For further site information and a list of additional sites located in and around Adelaide Scuba, check out the dive site information pages for relevant sites including Jetties/Piers, Reef Systems and Shipwrecks. Escape, Explore and Experience.
Welcome to the Fleurieu Peninsula
There are many dive sites situated on the Fleurieu Peninsula ranging from Glenelg all the way down to Victor Harbour. As a general overview, with a few exceptions, the dive sites situated along this part of the coastline are very temperamental when the wind is blowing from the West; we call this an onshore wind. This is due to the coastline facing towards the west and therefore getting the full effect of unaffected winds blowing through. However, there are a few sites that are still dive able during a westerly wind direction.
Port Noarlunga Aquatic Reserve
Pt Noarlunga is potentially the best and/or worse site during a westerly wind. This is due to the artificial reef at the top of Port Noarlunga jetty. This particular dive site is very much dependant on the right tides. You can still comfortably dive this site during 15-20 knot westerly winds assuming you time it for low tide. During low tide this site is protected by the reef and you get very little disturbance on the inside of the reef. However, there can be a very rapid change in surface conditions if you're still around as the tide starts to rise. As the tide rises the water breaks over the reef and creates a spa like affect below the jetty entry/exit points.
This site is a very popular dive site for training due to its easy access and relatively calm waters. Second Valley is only a short 100m walk from the car park to the entry/exit point on the jetty. This particular site has a north facing bay which makes it perfect for diving in mild 10-15 knot south-westerly winds. This is due to a large headland which provides great protection against the wind and waves coming from that direction. If you happen to be down at this site during a northerly wind we recommend walking a bit of extra distance past the jetty and getting in at the south side of the headland. This side of Second Valley is much more popular for certified divers due to the abundance of marine life and rocky reef habitats. During days of calm water, light winds and small tides, around the 0-5 knots ultimately coming from the south east, divers often explore an offshore reef, 300m out from the sandy beach named, Lassiter's Reef.
Victor Harbour, the Bluff
The Bluff in Victor Harbour resides on the east coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula, therefore is not as affected by westerly winds. This site, as dive sites everywhere, will be blown out by very strong westerly’s but you can get away with a lot more. Where you’re going to have problems at this dive site is when you get a strong easterly and large southern ocean swell. The Bluff is a shore entry and requires a surface swim of around about 50m; unless you are prepared to enter via a rocky breakwater and/or lowering down and up off the jetty wall. We recommend diving this site during low wind speeds and on days with small tidal movement to avoid over exertion.
Welcome to the Yorke Peninsula
Unlike the Fleurieu Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula has a variety of coastlines including western, eastern and southern facing shorelines. The east facing coast has by far some of the most beautiful dive sites located in South Australia and is the best place to go when the Fleurieu Peninsula is blown out. However, if you're living or staying in Adelaide then you're looking at a minimum 2 hour drive to reach a lot of these sites, but let us tell you, they are a real treat. The eastern facing coastline of Yorke Peninsula is ideal when winds are coming from the west as this will cause offshore winds keeping the surface conditions flat and mostly dive able. Yorke Peninsula is commonly dived during the cooler months, generally between May and October, as winds tend to come from the west during those times. Being a relatively narrow peninsula, if dive sites on the eastern side are blown out it will only take a 30min drive or so to get to the other side (western facing coastline) to check out the opposite sides dive sites. As mentioned earlier, the Yorke Peninsula also has a southern coastline which can be quite difficult for shore dive access but a number of great sites still are accessible including Stenhouse Bay Jetty and Chinaman's Hat, both in the Innes National Park region approximately 4 hour’s drive from Adelaide.
Edithburgh Jetty is one of South Australia’s most popular sites and by far the most popular site on Yorke Peninsula. It is a very popular site during the winter months between June and September. The reason for this is due to its eastern facing shoreline. During the winter period the Fleurieu Peninsula gets blown out a lot, due to heavy south westerly winds. During these periods Edithburgh Jetty stays quite sheltered and as a result makes for an awesome winter diving destination. However, if there is a strong south easterly wind you will need to watch out as the seas can get pretty rough. As far as diving this site goes, it couldn’t be easier. It is simply a jetty with a stairway about 20-30m in from the car park. The most common way to dive this site is to try and follow the jetty as long as possible until you need to turn back. Off to the left of the jetty, as your facing east, is a small drop off containing and abundance of Seahorses and if you have really keen eyes you may also spot a variety of Anglerfishes (Frogfish).
Although quite similar to Edithburgh Jetty in the type of conditions that you would look for when planning to dive the site, it is not quite as popular. Wool Bay is renowned for its Leafy Sea Dragons, the marine emblem of South Australia. It is quite a shallow dive with only about a 4m max depth making it a photographers dream, due to extended bottom times and air supply.