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Perth Scuba

Rottnest Island

Macedon & Denton Holme Wrecks


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Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth):15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:4.7metres
Ave. Visibility:10metres
Dive Rating:Open Water
Ave. Depth:4.7metres
Dive Type:Boat
GPS Coordinates:GPS: S 31°59.2700, E 115°33.3300
Dive Site Information:Located virtually on top of each other, these wrecks lie on top of Kingston Reef just out from Thompson’s Bay. They have been prone to a lot of swell and surge, so apart from timber and iron remnants there is not a lot left. Watch out when you anchor near here and do NOT tie up to the big yellow mooring, as the local glass bottom boat cruises in here to show people the wreck.

Lady Elizabeth Wreck

Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth)15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:8metres
Ave. Visibility:10metres
Dive Rating:Open Water
Ave. Depth:8metres
Dive Type:Boat
GPS Coordinates:S 32°01.145 E 115°32.872
Dive Site Information:The Lady Elizabeth was a composite Barque that left Fremantle bound for Shanghai in 1878, she then founded off Rottnest Island. The wreck is located on the south side of Rottnest at Porpoise Bay, be wary of reefs when entering the area. Located NW of Dyer Island the site tends to be a very calm as the outer reefs protect it from all but the bigger swells. Usually you can get good vis here even when the rest of Rottnest is surged up with silt.

Swirl Reef

Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth):15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:19metres
Ave. Visibility:10metres
Dive Rating:Open Water
Ave. Depth:15metres
Dive Type:Boat
Directions:S32°00.045 E115°28.024 Located at the north west end of Rottnest Island.
Dive Site Information:So called because of the “footprint” visible on the surface of the water after a swell has passed through. The reef is virtually formed like a crater with a hollow in the center and many swim through’s accessible from the inside, especially the northwest and southeast sections of the reef. The most awesome swim through is accessible only from the outside and is again on the northwest side, with a huge cavernous opening at seabed level.

Cigar Reef

Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth)15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:26metres
Ave. Visibility:10metres
Dive Rating:Open Water – Advanced Open Water
Ave. Depth:15metres
Dive Type:Boat
Directions:S 31°58.672, E 115°29.712 Located north east of Rottnest Island.
Dive Site Information:It is a ridge that rises to around 15mtrs from the sandy bottom at 26mtrs. Best time of year for this site seems to be around January – April, outside of this, apart from the winter swells that come in May (or June if lucky), it seems to be an area that gets a dirty swirling current through it, making vis less than great. Even in mid summer you can find extremely cold currents and thermoclines wafting across the reef, you can see them before you hit them.

Parker Point Drop-off

Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth)15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:22metres
Ave. Visibility:10metres
Dive Rating:Open Water
Ave. Depth:20metres
Dive Type:Boat
Directions:S 32°02.049, E 115°31.346 Located on the southern side of Rottnest.

Dive Site Information:

Perth Scuba students at Rottnest Island

This is better as an early morning dive before our famous howling sea breeze makes it’s usual definite summer’s day appearance. The drop-off itself is pretty cool, like flying out over a cliff the top of which sits at about 4-5mtrs then plummets down to about a 10 mtr or so drop. For those that have never done a “bottomless” Wall dive in the tropics, this is the next best thing, especially if the vis is good. Follow the drop-off with your echo sounder and anchor at the eastern end (about the GPS points given), jump in and go straight down the face and swim west, you will pass a few great overhangs that can be looked at on your way back to the boat as they are about midway up the wall. Where the cliff top starts to slope deeper go a little further on and you can find some nice finger sponges then turn around and head slowly up the face and back to your boa

Porpoise Bay Caves

Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth):15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:18metres
Ave. Visibility:10metres
Dive Rating:Open Water
Ave. Depth:15metres
Dive Type:Boat
Directions:S 32°01.625, E 115°32.605
Dive Site Information:

Almost directly linked to Crystal Palace, towards the Island, directly out of Porpoise Bay, Porpoise Bay Caves make for an exciting second dive after the ‘Palace

There are brilliant photographic opportunities here with divers quite regularly seeing Sea Turtles, Leafy Sea Dragons and Fire fish (a species of Lionfish). This dive is simply a sit back and watch the world go by, or explore the caves until your heart is content type of dive. No cave here is the same. Crayfish hunters be sure to take your loop with you, the Crayfish are big out here!
The best way to dive Porpoise bay caves is to start on the southern end of the reef and work your way toward the island. Be sure to get a good compass bearing, as many caves look alike from the surface and the currents here are a little stronger than Crystal Palace. The dive is such an exciting array of caves that you will very easily lose track of where you are and that could lead to a long swim back to the boat if you are not careful. This dive site has a maximum depth of around 18m and runs up to about 8m. Choose this site when winds are light to non-existent as this site does ‘chop up’ fairly quickly on a stiff breeze, which can make the dive a little uncomfortable.
Marine life you can expect to see here are similar to Crystal Palace and you can be sure to see something new every time you dive here

Crystal Palace

Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth):15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:18metres
Ave. Visibility:10metres
Dive Rating:Open Water
Ave. Depth:15metres
Dive Type:Boat
Directions:S 32º 01.601, E 115º32.623

Dive Site Information:

Lee at Rottnest Island


Situated on the south east side of the Island this ‘hidden’ dive site is spectacular.
Positioned approximately 850m South west of Dyer Island, ‘Crystals’ has a depth range of 8-18m.Entering the water, which is generally quite calm due to the position of the site, the first thing you will notice is the sheer amount of caves and swim through’s that you can see just from the surface. Looking down you will know straight away that 1 tank is not going to be enough!
As you descend into this array of caves you will see many fish of all species scarper into different directions to make way for you. This is the site where you are most likely to see just about every species of fish you are likely to encounter around Rottnest in the 1 dive! From the colourful Harlequin fish to the breathtaking big Blue Gropers, that can push you backwards just from the power of a tail kick in the opposite direction. Stay there a while though because he is sure to return curiously to see his new ‘Scuba friend’.
Once you have had a good look around over the top of the reef, begin to explore the subterranean caves for more exciting encounters! On this dive expect to see large Samson fish, the occasional Dhufish, Western Blue Devils, Buffalo Bream, Morwongs, Box fish, Leather-jackets and of course Crayfish! The topography of Crystal Palace is just brilliant with constant caves, holes and swim through’s; this is a dive that you will not get bored with. The site covers around 6-800m of awesome reef, which will excite even the most experienced diver.

Roe Reef

Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth):15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:18 metres
Ave. Visibility:10 metres
Dive Rating:Open Water
Ave. Depth:18 metres
Dive Type:Boat
Directions:S 31°58.500, E 115°32.151 Located at the North East end of Rottnest Island.
Dive Site Information:Right beneath the above location should lie the HUGE arch. This is another limestone reef formation, like all of those around Perth. Many swim thrus, canyons and caves. Cray divers haven here (when they are close to the island) and under the overhangs you will find the most amazing growths.

Jackson’s Rock

Location:

Rottnest Island

Travel Time (ex-Perth):

15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat

Max. Depth:

18 metres

Ave. Visibility:

10 metres

Dive Rating:

Open Water

Ave. Depth:

16 metres

Dive Type:

Boat

Directions:

S 32°01.059, E 115°34.954

Dive Site Information:

A nice site, lots of ledges, gullies and caves to be found. When the Leeuwin Current is flowing down from the north around autumn, you never know what you might happen upon here. A good spot for crayfish too, but if there are crays, well there is probably a wobbiegong shark around too, like the one that checked us out as we did our safety stop on top of the reef.

North Point

Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth):15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:26 metres
Ave. Visibility:10 metres
Dive Rating:Open Water
Ave. Depth:18 metres
Dive Type:Shore or Boat
Directions:North side of the Island
Dive Site Information:This dive site is rated as one of the easiest sites and would have to be one of the most under rated dives at Rottnest. Eagle Bay is on the north side of the Island and is easily accessible by boat or a 5-minute swim from the shore. The bay itself, beautiful with crystal clear water and almost white sand, makes it a haven for snorkelling and sunbathing. Being protected from all of the elements, this is truly the perfect beach!
The diving here is quite spectacular. Looking from the surface, there doesn’t appear to be much under the water, but don’t let that fool you. Hop into the water just in front of (the Ocean side) the reef, which protrudes up from the surface and is easily visible from the beach. Descend here. Once you hit the bottom you have 2 options, you can head to the right, which is a reef wall that runs down to the sand and goes around to form a large arc. The other option is to swim directly toward the reef, which has a small cave in it. Enter the cave and follow through to the end. This ends up being a tunnel full of fish and other marine creatures and goes for about 15 metres and turns around an ‘L’ shape. When you come out of this cave you will find yourself at the same point as option 1. Upon your exit, you will find yourself in a huge underwater bay. The sedimentary reef here looks like a row of toppled dominoes with all types of marine life in between the layers. Here you can expect to find the iridescent Blue Devils, Crayfish (many females) and Red Banded Wrasse. As you follow this bay around you will come across a cave, which has an entry hole at sand level with about 1 metre of ground clearance for you to swim through. This is where the bay turns into something quite spectacular! Swim under this roof and into the adjoining cave. Once inside the cave swim to the middle and lay back and watch the show! Describing this cave is never going to do it justice, diving it is the only way! But I will give it a try. The cave is circular and opens up to be around 15 metres in diameter and has a roof about 4 metres high. With the exception of another hole at the other side of the cave, it is totally enclosed. With visibility at 100% clear and no silt, there is a feeling of being in open air. The roof is scattered with holes no bigger than a hubcap (these look like dark patches of weed from the surface). These holes let in sunlight, which forms a beam of light from the roof to the floor. Because of the water refracting on the surface and top of the reef, the light moves around in circles making the beams of light move backwards and forwards like a spotlight. Add another 20 or so of these ‘spotlights’ and you feel as though you are in a night club. The lights dart around the cave occasionally picking up a fish or school of fish in the ray. This is one of the most stunning features of diving in caves and is sure to make you want to sit for a while you take it all in. Once you have had enough of that (which for me took a while), head out to the hole at the other side of the cave and back out into the bay. From here, take time to explore the walls and slats of reef that protrude overhead. Here you will find more Crayfish and a fairly big ‘resident’ Wobbegong shark sleeping or watching a batch of Crayfish. Give him a wide berth and continue along the wall until it comes back around to where you started your dive. The difficulty rating for this dive is beginner and above.
I do recommend that new divers avoid the tunnel part of this dive, as it can feel a little claustrophobic at times. The water here is calm, clear and warm and with a maximum of 4.5 metres it is a relaxing dive for one of those days where nothing else is diveable.

20 Metre Ridge

Location:Rottnest Island
Travel Time (ex-Perth):15 minutes by car + 40 minutes by boat
Max. Depth:34 metres
Ave. Visibility:10 metres
Dive Rating:Advanced Open Water
Ave. Depth:30 metres
Dive Type:Boat
GPS Coordinates:S 31°56.65, E 115°33.897 Located North East of Rottnest Island.
Dive Site Information:A couple of kms offshore, this is a ridge at 20m surrounded by 32m of fairly flat reef.

 

 

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