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DIVE TASMANIA, DIVE HOBART – DISCOVER KELP FORESTS, WRECKS, MARINE RESERVES, SPONGE BEDS, UNIQUE MARINE LIFE

 

Hobart has started the year with a heat wave and the best place to be is in the water, whether snorkelling or scuba diving. We’ve had dolphins swim past the boat between dives at Tinderbox, seen large schools of pike, seen the fantastic growth in the Bruny kelp forests – nothing to dive on in one area mid-December and too thick to drive the boat through two weeks later.  Lots of gannets and terns diving mean the bait fish are around, along with squid. There’s been plenty to see above and below the water for our snorkellers and scuba divers alike.

Sat 5          Course dives

Sun 6        Course dives

Mon 7      Bruny kelp forests 8 am – 3 pm

Tue 8        Tinderbox Marine Reserve 8 am – 2 pm

Wed 9       Kelp forests  and Tinderbox Marine Reserve  8 am – 3 pm

Thur 10    Tinderbox Marine Reserve  8 am – 2 pm

Fri 11        Bruny kelp forests 8 am – 3 pm

Dusk and Night double dive – Tinderbox Marine Reserve  6 pm -11.30 pm 

Sat 12        Course dives / scuba review

Sun 13      Tinderbox Marine Reserve 9 am – 3 pm

Mon          Bruny kelp forests 8 am – 3 pm

Tues         Tinderbox Marine Reserve  8 am – 2 pm

Wed          Kelp forests  and Tinderbox Marine Reserve  8 am – 3 pm

Thur         Tinderbox Marine Reserve 8 am – 2 pm

Fri             Bruny kelp forests 8 am – 3 pm

Sat             Tinderbox Marine Reserve 80 am – 2 pm

Sun           Tinderbox Marine Reserve  8 am – 2 pm

Costs:

Bruny Island kelp forest day trip, double dive – $145

Tinderbox Marine Reserve day trip, double dive – $125

Full scuba gear hire – $55; tanks/weights only – $22.

Do contact us if we don’t appear to be diving on the day you’re interested in. We have a basic dive calendar (see Mon-Sun listing) but change it in response to requests or course requirements eg switching Tinderbox and kelp forests. We also regularly visit the Betsey Island ships graveyard but, as always, have a requirement for minimum numbers.

(While we’re talking about courses, have you considered doing a specialty or advanced course while you’re with us? Many of our dives are suitable for a range of specialties.)

All of our boat dives depart from Hobart (Battery Point jetty or Watermans Dock in the city) unless otherwise indicated.

For more info or to book any of our dives, contact me by phone or SMS on 0417 015654 or email us on divingATunderwateradventures.com.au

 

Diving in the tannin waters of Ninepin Point Marine Reserve is an iconic Tasmanian dive experience that no diver should miss.

The waters of the Reserve are subject to high levels of tannin from the nearby Huon River. Less dense tea-coloured fresh water overlays the colder sea water and filters out light, which leads to some marine life being seen in much shallower waters than otherwise. Colours are muted and it can take some time for your eyes to adjust but whilst it can be dark, the water can be crystal clear and the sun appears as a beautiful golden glow.

The marine life is an interesting mix of algae and critters. Red algae thrive, along with green and brown seaweeds. There are the usual invertebrate species found in the Channel area – sea whips, bryozoans, sponges, hydroids, sea stars, feather stars, and more. You don’t have to look closely to see large shrimp and other crustaceans.

Fish species, such as the butterfly perch normally seen schooling on deeper reefs, can be seen in shallower water. Species succession is compressed: you see the succession of algae and invertebrates you’d expect on a deeper dive but compressed into much shallower depths. It’s the deep dive you do when you’re not doing a deep dive!

A highlight of Ninepin Point is the inclusion of Arch Rock. The small sandstone island is named for the cave that forms an arch in its centre and it’s a notable geological feature as well as being an interesting dive.

Arch Rock, part of Ninepin Point Marine Reserve

A winter visit to Arch Rock in 2002

The Ninepin Point Marine Reserve is located in the southern reaches of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. The Reserve was expanded from 60 to 731 hectares in late 2009 to include Arch Rock, which is approximately one kilometre south of Ninepin Point.

FACT FILE:
Depth – to 15m
Highlights – invertebrates, fish life, range of algae
Travel time – 90 mins
Of interest – high tannin levels due to proximity of Huon River
Gear – a good torch, SMB or surface signalling device in case of currents

More reading – Parks and Wildlife information about Ninepin Pt Marine Nature Reserve

 

Tinderbox Marine Nature Reserve is one of Tasmania’s best kept diving secrets. If you only do one dive trip with us, this should be it.

The Reserve offers wonderfully diverse diving with sponge beds, soft corals, kelp forests, weedy reef, rock ledges and crevices, seagrass, sand and silt bottoms and deep offshore reefs. It is a place that will delight photographers and anyone with an interest in marine life.

The currents and eddies along the Reserve feed sea whips, sea pens, basket stars, and corals. No-where else do you have such easy access to such special and diverse marine life.

On the rocky reefs there are encrusting corals, sponges of all shapes and colours, zoanthid, lace bryozoans, jewel anemones, not to mention sea hares, nudibranchs, sea horses and sea dragons; schools of bastard trumpeter, mackerel, pike and jackass morwong and masses of southern hula fish. Look closely and find the rarely seen red velvet fish, weed fish, draughtboard sharks and more. There are dozens of species of invertebrates, fish and algae.

Much of the best invertebrate life is in 10-15m of water, which means Tinderbox is accessible to divers of all certification levels and the longer bottom times provide excellent opportunities for photographers.

We dive several locations within the Reserve, giving you access to the highlights – the kelp forests, sponges and soft corals of the northern zone and the sea whips, gorgonias and sea pens of the south.

Tinderbox was one of Tasmania’s first Marine Reserves and was proclaimed in 1991. It is one of only two no-take reserves in SE Tasmania (the other is Ninepin Point).

FACT FILE:
Depth – to 30m
Highlights – invertebrates including soft corals and sea pens, fish life, range of algae including small kelp forests
Travel time – 30 mins
Of interest – definitely the invertebrates!
Gear – SMB or surface signalling device in case of currents, a torch can be useful

More reading – Parks and Wildlife information about Tinderbox Marine Nature Reserve or the Marine Reserves Fact Sheet that provides general information.

 

Tasmania’s south coast is a privilege to scuba dive. It’s not a place we can dive every day but on a good day awesome is an understatement.

The south coast is Tasmania at its best – spectacular above and below water, rugged, scenic, teaming with wildlife, calm and sunny one day and howling the next. (You can check out some of the above-water photos in the Underwater Adventures facebook album.)

Underwater Adventures is the only dive operator to run scuba dives in southern Tasmania. We cover the southern D’Entrecasteaux Channel, South Bruny Island, the south coast, south west and Port Davey.

This is remote diving and in this environment it’s even more critical that you’re diving with someone who routinely runs diving activities rather than fishing or general charters,  is fully equipped to manage all aspects of recreational diving, and that you’re protected by insurance for your in-water activities and not just as a passenger.

Some of our sites include:
The Friars
Partridge Island
Pineapple Rocks
Courts Island
Actaeon Islands
Recherche Bay
Southport Bay
South East Cape
Maatsuyker Island group
Pedra Branca
Mewstone Rock

Bookings are for groups only because of the travel distances involved. Please contact us to plan your diving in this spectacular area.

 

fish, doughboy scallop and other marine life at Simpsons Pt with Underwater Adventures

One of the best locations to see dense beds of sea whips and sponges is Simpsons Point.

The top point of South Bruny Island, Simpsons Point extends north into the D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Unlike the deep water reefs off the Tasmanian east coast where sponges and sea whips are often found, this area is a complex mix of invertebrates and algae in depths ranging from 5-15m.

The tannin-rich waters and high currents encourage a range of invertebrate life. Sponges, sea fans, sea whips and other corals, bryozoans, sea stars, scallops, nudibranchs and more can be found alongside green Caulerpa and red algae.

On the tip of the point is a rocky outcrop covered in sea whips and sponges that are more exposed to current in comparison to the more sheltered reef along the eastern shore of the point.

Invertebrates and Caulerpa at Simpsons Pt with Underwater Adventures

NOTE: Good buoyancy control is essential to avoid contact with and damage to the fragile marine life. This applies equally to photographers who should note that there can be strong currents. Needless to say, we don’t anchor in this area.

FACT FILE:
Depth – to 15m
Highlights – invertebrates including sponges and sea whips, fish life
Travel time – 90 mins
Of interest – range and density of marine life, including in shallow water
Gear – a good torch, SMB or surface signalling device

© 2011 SNORKELING AND SCUBA DIVING: SNORKEL OR SCUBA DIVE SE TASMANIA AUSTRALIA WITH UNDERWATER ADVENTURES Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha