Tasmania: Scuba Diving
Top Destination for 2009
Tasmania provides many excellent opportunities for the scuba diving. You will find hundreds of sites along its 5,400 kilometres (2,796 miles) of coastline, and experiences for both beginners and advanced divers. Tasmania is home to some of the best temperate diving in the whole world and has a diverse and easily accessible underwater wilderness that will enthral divers of all levels of ability and experience. Tasmania's spectacular coastline and clear waters, where visibility ranges from 13 yards (12 metres) in the summer to 43.5 yards (40 metres) or more in the winter, make for superb diving . The island state's waters are home to a host of unique marine animals and plants; you can explore the giant kelp forests, sponge gardens and caves, or find sea dragons and amazing invertebrates. The Tasman Peninsula offers spectacular dive sites, ranging from vast kelp forests through to brilliant caves and canyons at Waterfall Bay. More experienced divers will enjoy the Hippolyte Rock site where you can dive amongst a colony of Australian Fur Seals. (Its depth and strong currents limit this area to divers with extensive experience). One of Tasmania's prime sites is the Troy D, a 181 foot (55 metre) former Hopper Barge that has become an artificial reef, off the north-west tip of Maria Island on Tasmania's east coast. This coastline also boasts the highly popular dive sites off Bicheno including Paradise Reef with its plentiful sea whips and finger sponges as well as the Golden Bommies, a most rewarding deeper dive. Tasmania is well known for its many shipwreck sites, which provide fascinating insight into Australia's maritime history. Flinders Island is a good location for these. If you’re not a diver already, Tasmania is a great place to take the plunge and learn. Diving courses are available as well as guided charters, gear hire and diving packages. A one day introductory course for scuba diving, for example at the Eaglehawk Dive Centre near Sorell, Tasmania will cost about £100.