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Top 5 Dive Sites In Tasmania

Top 5 Dive Sites in Tasmania

Tasmania is an island located to the southeast of Australia and is one of Australia’s states. It is surrounded by stunningly beautiful crystal clear, temperate waters and offers some of the best diving locations found throughout the world. There are over 45,000 hectares of the marine reserve to explore and over 5,000 km of coastline to relax on and dive from. There is certainly no shortage of diving opportunities.


Top 5 Dive Sites in Tasmania

Fortesque Bay Giant Kelp Forest

Buried deep within the Tasman National Park lies Fortesque Bay, which is known as one of the most beautiful campsites found in Tasmania. Beautiful sandy beaches surround Fortesque Bay, as well as a great campsite that’s ideal for divers and families alike, trekking, hiking trails and so much more. Shore dives are ideal at this location and the maximum depth is around 22m, with an average depth of 12m. Diving through a kelp forest is such a great experience for every level of diver and visibility is good.

This top dive site is also great for seeing a family of Draughtboard Sharks that like to rest at the bottom of the Kelp forest. There are also sightings of the occasional Sea-dragon who love to play about in the kelp. Be aware that jellyfish are a common sighting here as well as wrasse. Exploring near the rocks is where you’ll see Abalone and the Southern Rock Lobster.

The best time to visit this amazing dive site is between the months of January through to March as this is the time that the temperature of the water increases and with this increase brings giant Rays and Seals, which make for an amazing experience.

Keep an eye out for Giant Rays in the shallows at Fortesque Bay
Keep an eye out for Giant Rays in the shallows at Fortesque Bay

Governors Island Marine Reserve (Bicheno Marine Reserve)

If you’re visiting Tasmania for a diving holiday and you don’t visit the East Coast, then it will be a travesty. Around 50km north of Coles Bay lies the small town of Bicheno, which is where you’ll find Governors Island Marine Reserve. This reserve is home to more than 15 dive sites.

One dive site that should not be missed off your list is Mount Everest, which is an underwater mound that stretches from 40m all the way up to 5m below the surface. A dive at this location will start with a jump off the boat where you will descend for 20m to a drop off into an enormous cavern. This cavern is filled with soft corals and seagrass all growing up around you. It makes for quite a sensational but eerie dive.

Stunningly beautiful coastline of Tasmania
The stunningly beautiful coastline of Tasmania

Waterfall Bay Caves and Caverns

The structure of the Tasman Peninsula region is mostly mudstone and sandstone. Over time this has eroded leaving huge caves, canyons, and tunnels. The best place to see this magnificent work of nature is in Waterfall Bay.

The largest cave you can dive is Cathedral Cave, which has a huge entrance with a maximum depth of 21m. This dive site follows through into slightly smaller caverns, all of which are connected by small tunnels and crossed passages. This is an epic dive for exploration and to see brightly colored fish that you would normally find in much deeper waters. Make sure you don’t forget your torch on this dive.

Paterson’s Arches

The Canyons that make up the Paterson’s Arch area are home to a range of different marine life, with epic swim through as well as open topped caves, all just waiting to be explored. If you’ve got good buoyancy control, then this is the dive site for you. If you’re interested in seeing Weedy Sea Dragons, then there is an area at the back of waterfall bay, where they are commonly sighted, but don’t mistake them for Kelp.

Keep an eye out for Weedy Sea Dragons found hiding within the Kelp at Paterson’s Arches. Don't mistake them for their cousins, the Leafy Sea Dragon.
Keep an eye out for Weedy Sea Dragons found hiding within the Kelp at Paterson’s Arches. Don’t mistake them for their cousins, the Leafy Sea Dragon.

SS Nord Wreck Dive

The SS Nord was built in 1990 and weighs close to 1057 tonnes and stretches for 289 feet. She sank in November 1915, when she hit a pinnacle close to Hippolyte Rock. Everyone survived and now this is an incredible wreck dive found near a reef, 42m below the surface, just a few miles off the Coast of Tasman Island.

What is so interesting about this wreck is the fact that it is one of only a few shipwrecks around Tasmania that is still vaguely intact. The superstructure has collapsed, but the ship still looks like a ship, with a rudder that is still able to move. Over the last 100+ years, this wreck has attracted countless species of fish and has become encrusted with beautifully colored marine life.

The SS Nord is now protected, even though you can see various artifacts including Chinese crockery and brass fittings, you cannot remove them from the wreck. This dive is more for the experienced divers or divers with Deep Diver specialty qualifications. However, this is not a wreck dive to be missed.

There are so many top dive sites surrounding Tasmania, far too many to list all in one go, so if you know of one that has not been mentioned on this list, please let us know about it in the comments below.

Jennifer Palmer
Jennifer Palmer
Diving since I was 13 years old, I am currently a rescue diver working towards my Dive Master qualification. As well as diving, I am also a freelance writer and a professional baker, with my own recipe blog Jennifer's Cakes.