Scuba Destinations

 

Tasmania

The whole world on an island . . . .
Overview:

Tasmania, once known as the "Apple Isle", is the smallest of Australia's states and is located off the south eastern tip of the mainland.  Click here for the map.

Many species are endemic and unique to Tasmania, such as the handfishWeedy seadragons and seahorses are common in our temperate waters.

With three prime locations - HobartLaunceston and the Tasman Peninsula 

Maritime history has left a trail of 480 shipwreck sites around Tasmania.  Ancient mariners discovered at their peril that King Island was one of the trickiest to circumnavigate and 60 ships sank, in the decades after 1800, off the north west tip of Tasmania.

Many sites are protected, including the steamship SS Nord, which went down near Tasman Island in 1915. The superstructure has collapsed but she still resembles a ship and it’s easy to spot brass fittings and Chinese crockery.

Off the Tasman Peninsula, rough hewn by centuries of wave action, dive through 21 metres into the massive entrance of Cathedral Cave.  The awesome power of nature has created a random kaleidoscope of colour and shapes that defy gravity.  Smaller caverns at the back of the cave lead deeper into narrow tunnels and cross passages. Tiny invertebrates cover the walls.

At Bicheno, on the east coast, odd-shaped openings are clustered around large granite boulders that lean haphazardly against other as though tossed by a giant hand. 
 
There are giant kelp forests off the south coast of Tasmania and shipwrecks off King island and Flinders Island.

The best diving in Tasmania is on the east coast where a dive trail has been established to showcase the best dive sites.  Best visibility is in winter-spring (July-Nov) before the plankton bloom in the summer.  Click here to download a guide to diving Tasmania's east coast.

The best time to travel to Tasmania is from February to April, as the weather is most stable from the end of summer to autumn.
What to see:
  • The SS Nord which sank in November 1915.  Situated is one of Tasmania’s few “intact” shipwrecks. Although the superstructure has collapsed she still resembles a ship. A number of artefacts can still be seen including brass fittings and Chinese crockery.
  • Fortescue Bay Kelp Forest - few other dive experiences come close to diving in giant kelp forests and it is one that every diver who comes to Tasmania should try to do. The beautiful and thriving forest provides a brilliant shore dive. It is an easy 10 to 18 metre dive where lots of fish and sponges can be seen and perhaps weedy seadragons and seahorses. 
  • Cathedral Cave - Tasmania’s largest sea cave system, hosting an incredible array of temperate water invertebrates that can only be found at depth or in caves. There is a massive entrance to Cathedral Cave, whose base is at 21 metres.
  • Isle de Phoque - an exposed rock between Maria and Schouten Islands and home to a large seal colony with loads of caves.
Need to know:
  • The wreck of the SS Nord is protected. Divers are welcome to explore provided no artefacts are collected and the site is not damaged or disturbed.
  • Isle de Phoque - Most of the caves are subject to surge and should only be attempted on calm days and with an experienced guide.
  • In Australia, you must have a Recreational scuba diving medical to Australian Standard 4005.1 2000 (AS4005.1 2000).  The South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society lists doctors who have completed a Diving Medical Course and will be able to perform these Medicals. Medicals incur a fee which you pay directly to the doctor.
Useful stuff:
Language: English
Currency: Australian $
Time: GMT +10
Climate: Temperate maritime
Natural hazards: Bushfires
Diving season: Year round
Water temperature: 10–12°C in winter
18–20°C in summer
Air temperature: 12C/55F (June to Aug)
21C/70F (Dec to Feb)

Australasia - Tasmania: Latest User Reviews

Like diving during100km/h gusts?  Eaglehawk Dive Centre, Tasmania 1 Star Rating Added: 8th October 2012 by fullbottle
I've dived all around Australia. I stupidly thought no dive shop would go out in the weather conditions that presented themselves on the day. Despite the incredibly bad weather (see BOM weather report below) Karen @ Eaglehawk Dive Centre told me they still went diving. Amazing! Recommendation: don't put down a...
Scubadviser Search