These diving sites really showcase the biodiversity of Western Australia and show the diversity of Perth’s coastline.
The main attraction for divers on Rottnest is the ability to see a large number of sharks without even getting in the water. At certain times of year you can see up to 100 or more grey nurse sharks in one spot. Grey nurse sharks are rare and protected and so seeing so many of them at once is a special experience. You can do a shore dive to see the sharks or go on a boat dive around Rottnest Island to view them from afar.
Rottnest also offers some nice reef diving, with lots of fish life and underwater structures to see while scuba diving.
Rottnest Island is not the only place you can see sharks in Perth, with sharks being spotted regularly at City Beach, Floreat Beach and Mullaloo Beach. The best time of year to spot a shark is between September and November when they are migrating south towards Antarctica. The sharks are usually spotted from the shore so it’s only possible to view them while you are swimming in these areas.
Shark diving can also be done at Rottnest during October when the sharks are most prevalent. Cage diving allows divers to get up close and personal with one of Australia’s deadliest predators without getting wet.
Marmion Marine Park:
Marmion Marine Park is home to some of the best scuba diving in Perth. The park has over 30 dive sites, with each side holding its own special characteristics.
Marmion’s main attraction for divers is arguably the abundance of marine life that lives there. With so many different types of creatures inhabiting the same space, interactions are often seen between different species.
The park is also home to an abundance of reef fish, with over 200 different species calling the Marine Park home. The most interesting of these include rare and threatened species such as seadragons, leafy sea dragons, red Irish lords, giant cuttlefish, and octopus.
Heirisson Island is a small but beautiful reef located to the west of Rottnest. The island used to be a limestone quarry before it was made into a nature reserve. It’s now home to an abundance of marine life, including sharks and turtles. It’s also one of the best places in Perth for diving at night.
The main attraction for divers at the island is the high number of large predators that you can see here, including sharks and stingrays. Barracuda are also common in this area, making it one of Perth’s best places to spot these fish.
Shipwrecks make up some of the more interesting diving sites in Marmion Marine Park, with the HMAS Swan and HMAS Warrnambool both within close proximity. These two shipwrecks offer a great opportunity to see some of the very few remaining boats from World War II in WA’s waters.
Heirisson Island is another place where you can view the wrecks of old ships, with the SS City of Ceylon and the SS Ly-ee-Moon being popular choices.
Other wrecks in these parks are also appealing to divers, with the HMAS Perth wreck north of Rottnest being one example. This wreck was sunk deliberately after it had been retired from service so divers can enter most parts of this ship while scuba diving.
Mannington Park is a great place for shore diving, as you can park up on the beach and then walk into the water with your wetsuit already on. There are no roads to this area, with it being a short walk from Shenton Park train station to reach the entry point.
The park is home to both open ocean diving and sheltered reef diving. When the swell is small it’s possible to see some big marine creatures in Manning Park, including sharks, stingrays, and turtles.
Boat dives are also commonly done at this spot with good reason. As well as seeing large predators like sharks in the area, there are several wrecks to explore. The HMAS Swan, HMAS Broome, and the MV City of Bunbury are all popular options for those looking to dive at Manning Park.
Campbell’s Cove is a popular shore dive right next to Fremantle. The water in this area can be quite shallow depending on the tides, making it a great option for those that don’t have much experience or confidence with scuba diving.
Perth has a number of great dive sites which are all worth checking out. Night dives can be particularly interesting, as most sea creatures tend to come out at night.
If you don’t have your own diving equipment there are plenty of places that hire it out and/or offer instruction for those just starting out on their diving career.
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