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Diving Activities Things to do in Coral Coast

Things To Do in Australias Coral Coast


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Diving at Cod Spot

The site features a long wall about 4m high covered in a variety of soft and hard corals.

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  • Activities:Diving
  • Type:Activity Sites

Description

At the northern end of the wall is a sand patch which if crossed for approx 10-15m will lead to a large bommie. This is, during the season, a manta ray cleaning station. Several mantas can be at the location at any one time.

The location got its name form the presence of several large potato cod resident here. They will often follow a diver around the site as a large school or circle them during safety stops.

Diving at South Tomi

Fascinating marine ecosystems and stories of pirates, pursuits and poaching can be discovered off Geraldton on a South Tomi diving adventure.

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  • Activities:Diving
  • Type:Activity Sites

Description

Geraldton is already renowned as the gateway to the scuba diving wonderland of the Abrolhos Islands. Now, however, this coastal city 450km north of Perth has another underwater attraction to lure diving enthusiasts – a sunken pirate ship.
The ship is the 57m confiscated fishing vessel South Tomi, which was scuttled in September last year to serve as an artificial reef and dive attraction. Already dozens of divers have visited the wreckage, just two and a half nautical miles from Geraldton city’s shores. Rock lobsters line the sand at the ship's base, schools of fish dart through the corridors and seaweed grows from every surface. And they say swimming weightlessly through the ship's cabins, galley, wheelhouse and bathroom is a surreal, almost eerie, experience.
The feeling is all the more surreal when you consider Tomi's wildly colourful history. Just two years ago, this very ship was sailing the southern oceans – a modern-day pirate ship plundering high seas for precious Patagonian toothfish. However, this illegal fishing activity came to a dramatic end after Tomi was captured in what was then the longest pursuit in Australian maritime history.
 Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA) crew pursued the vessel for 6100km over 14 days, from Heard Island 4100km south-west of Perth to within 390km of Cape Town, South Africa. Although the AFMA vessel remained within about two nautical miles of the Tomi throughout the chase, it eventually took an Australian Defence Force deployment of 35 officers to South Africa to wrest control of the vessel.
After storming the Tomi they then turned her around for the 19-day, 8500km return journey to Fremantle. The pursuit made news headlines across the country as the Australian population became entranced by the pirate-like story of Tomi's capture. Then Tomi made headlines once again after her spectacular scuttling, when international explosives experts set off a series of detonations, sending Tomi to a watery grave 25m below the surface.
Already sea life has begun inhabiting the vessel. Trevor Beaver, who led the scuttling effort, expects the fish, coral and weeds to increase substantially as full marine ecosystems develop over the new few years.
Trevor takes dive charters to the Tomi wreckage for qualified scuba divers, dependant on numbers and weather conditions. His business, Batavia Coast Dive Academy, is also the place to go to receive the necessary permits to dive to the vessel, if you wish to visit by yourself.
Trevor says the dive is suitable for any qualified diver, providing the weather is suitable. His charters include full tours of the vessel, through each of decks, the galley, engine room, toilet and wheelhouse. Your guide will point out small oddities like old, weed-covered boots nailed to the floor at the helm and fish cleverly disguised in their new home.
If you’ve got it, you're welcome to bring your own dive gear on a charter, but Batavia Coast Dive Academy can also hire you everything from wetsuits to scuba tanks, masks and fins. Chartered trips to the dive site cost $105 with scuba equipment included and $65 without equipment. Permits to visit the wreck cost $80 for one year, $40 for a week and $25 for a day, if you’re interested in exploring the scuttled ship in your own time.
Batavia Coast Dive also offers dive courses, which give you diving qualifications recognised anywhere in the world. For more information contact Batavia Coast Dive Academy on (08) 9921 4229.

Diving at Turtle Bay

This is a flat topped limestone reef that projects out about 500m in to the waters of the bay.

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  • Activities:Diving
  • Type:Activity Sites

Description

The sides range from 1 metre high to 3 metres further out. A wide range of life lives along the walls and in the many nooks and crannies with in the limestone itself. The base of the ledges grade into rubble and then into the fine white sand which makes up the beach. As it is close to shore a surge develops towards low tide that can make the closer in section unpleasant.

Along these walls there is a number species of hard and soft corals offering some great photo opportunities. A wide range of fish are also seen. A survey done in south passage at the southern end of the island reported 323 species of fish. This end does not appear to be much less. The beach is a nesting beach for loggerhead turtles and they are often seen in the waters of the bay. Dolphins, sharks, whales, manta rays and whale sharks are also seen in this area.

The large fish feeding event in early 2001 which featured hundreds of sharks, Brydes and humpback whales and large pelagic fish was between this reef and cape Inscription.

DIRECTIONS: Northern point of Dirk Hartog Island, just to the east of the Cape Inscription Lighthouse. The main bit of reef runs out from the beach just east of the old jetty pylons. This is about 20 Nautical miles from Denham and is exposed in northerly weather. This is rare but caution is required. The crossing from Denham is good in most conditions. In rough seas head across to homestead bay and follow the coast up. unless you are experienced in offshore boating use one of the many charter boats working out of Denham.

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