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msblucow

I'm moving to Australia! Where to dive?

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It looks like I'll be moving from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia for 10 months starting at the end of September. So I have a couple of questions.......

 

1)What are my best bets for dive ops/sites in the Melbourne area?

 

2) I plan to leave for Australia a week early so I can get in a week of diving before I start my job. If you had your choice, would you go for the Coral Sea, Indonesia, Lembeh, Fiji, or place 'x'? What operators for your preferred destination would you recommend?

 

Thanks!

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It looks like I'll be moving from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia for 10 months starting at the end of September. So I have a couple of questions.......

 

1)What are my best bets for dive ops/sites in the Melbourne area?

 

2) I plan to leave for Australia a week early so I can get in a week of diving before I start my job. If you had your choice, would you go for the Coral Sea, Indonesia, Lembeh, Fiji, or place 'x'? What operators for your preferred destination would you recommend?

 

Thanks!

 

I can't tell you too much about Melbourne but if you hop on a plane, you can be in Tasmania - Hobart in an hour, Launceston in 40 mins and I think it's pretty special here.

 

40-50 mins from Hobart airport is Eaglehawk Dive Centre, with a wide variety of dive sites, including the SS Nord at 42M, Cathedral and Waterfall Bay Caves (12-20m), wall dives, seal dives and even a giant kelp forest at Fortescue Bay. One of the business partners, Karen Gowlett Holmes is anm award winning u/w photographer and biologist and very helpful.

 

Around two hours drive from both Hobart and Launceston, is Bicheno, which sits on top of the Governor Island Marine Reserve. Both areas were visited by David Doubilet, about 10 years ago and featured in an article in Nat Geographic, with some awesome photography.

 

It's considered coldwater diving by Aus standards, top temp around 18C in Summer, bottoming out at 11C in winter - which is also when we get our best vis, often over 30m on the East Coast but this can happen any time, although not so much in early summer (Nov-Jan) when there is often an algal bloom which may bring it down to maybe 10-15m. We don't have hard corals here but we do have fantastic sponge gardens, once you get to 30m+, very colourful and great for photography.

 

Check out these websites too:

 

http://www.discovertasmania.com/pdf/divetrail_A4_web.pdf

 

http://www.eaglehawkdive.com.au/

 

http://www.bichenodive.com.au/

 

There's also a dive centre at Wynyard on the NW coast, although they don't have their own website. I've not dived there myself but my club usually organise a trip up there each year and the photographic opportunities look excellent.

 

http://www.divinginaustralia.com.au/tasmania/wynyard.asp

 

Low Head on the northern end of the Tamar Estuary, about 60kms north of Launceston is another fantastic diving area but is subjected to very strong tidal flows - you can dive slack water there and that's it.

 

Regards

 

Richard M.

Edited by Richard Mason

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1)What are my best bets for dive ops/sites in the Melbourne area?
Ask that question here:

 

DiveOz

 

And I'm sure you'll get a truck load of answers.

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Even though I live in Bali, Indonesia, I'd say do something unique. The temperate water diving in the south is very unique with marine life you won't see anywhere else. I haven't been to the east coast of Oz, but I've spent time diving in west and south west Oz and loved it all. Sadly this was prior to my underwater camera days!

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I'd add a vote for doing temperate stuff :D

 

If you want to venture beyond Melbourne I'd have three tips

  1. Jervis Bay
    March - May is the best diving, warm blue water season (not guranteed, but more likely)
    You can fly Melbourne to Albion Park (Wollongong) direct. May the humpback whales are usually around.
    There is a great liveabord here or you can hook up with the Jervis Bay Divers Club (PM me)
     
  2. Port Stephens
    Gotta see it to believe it really. Shore dive if you go. One for the critter lovers.
     
  3. Montague Island (from Narooma, NSW)
    If you want to dive with seals this is a great place to do it.

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Ah, you've even got me interested in coming back to Oz for the temperate water diving and in particular those cool critter dives directly from the shore!

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I'm interested in Melbourne area diving as well. I've got a trip to Melbourne coming up in November, and can probably get a few days diving in.

 

And so I don't get accused of hijacking the thread, diving the Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserver over here in New Zealand should probably be considered. Its semi-tropical: not quite tropical and not quite temperate. Just a thought.

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