Published: Friday, 21 May 2021

Wondering where the best scuba diving spots in Perth and Western Australia are? We’ve put together a handy guide to the best scuba spots Perth and WA has to offer. There’s so many!

Western Australia is known for having some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling - in the whole world! There are top-class spots in and around Perth, and up and down WA’s great coastline and offshore islands. The added beauty is you can dive in WA all year round thanks to the climate and consistent water temperatures, and the spread-out marine diversity of WA.

From the famed Ningaloo Reef and Geraldton, the Coral Coast and Jurien Bay, these are some of the best spots for exploring underwater. The Perth region has many spectacular spots on offer, and down south near Margaret River, Albany and Esperance as well.

Think about booking a diving excursion with a local operator and WA experience the abundant underwater beauty and marine life on offer in Perth and WA.


Perth and WA Diving Spot Map


Best Scuba Diving spots: North of Perth

The best scuba diving spots in wa north of Perth.

North West WA


Rowley Shoals Marine Park
Location: 300 kilometres west of Broome WA
Distance from Perth: 23 hr 15 min | 1 hr from Broome Caravan Park

This extremely popular, and spectacular, marine park consists of 3 coral atolls, Clerke Reef, Imperieuse Reef and Mermaid Reef, and is about 300km offshore from Broome. Rowley Shoals are known for their untouched coral gardens, amazing marine life and clear waters. Expect to encounter larger marine animals, such as sea turtles, manta rays, whales and dolphins. 

Get to Rowley Shoals with a local dive operator

Diving Rosley Shoals, Western Australia.

Diving Rosley Shoals, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.

Colourful coral Rosley Shoals, Western Australia.

Colourful coral Rosley Shoals, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.


Carnarvon & The Coral Coast

The dive sites up around Carnarvon and the Coral Coast region are widely recognised for their ecological diversity, and not surprisingly it’s a World Heritage Listed Area. Situated near world-famous Ningaloo Reef and Shark Bay, basing yourself in Carnarvon is a great idea for your next dive trip.


Shark Bay
Location: Shark Bay Road, Shark Bay WA
Distance from Perth: 8 hr 30 min | 3 hr from Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park 

Shark Bay has numerous coral reefs and top scuba diving spots, some you’ll need a boat or 4WD to get to. Divers visit Shark Bay to experience dugongs, manta rays, whale sharks, Humpbacks, Hammerheads and dolphins. Eagle Bluff is great for beginners and family snorkelling.

Dirk Hartog Island and Steep Point are known for coral diving and their many caves. Think about booking a scuba diving or snorkelling boat tour with one of the excellent local operators and tap into their local expertise. Tours exist for all levels from experts to those obtaining their qualifications, so there’s something for every diver.


Ningaloo Marine Park, Ningaloo Reef
Location: Minilya-Exmouth Road, Ningaloo WA
Distance from Perth: 13 hr | 3 hr 30 min from Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park

Carnarvon is an ideal base for diving the jewel of the Coral Coast; the world-famous Ningaloo Reef. Running from Carnarvon to Coral Bay, and on up to Exmouth, Ningaloo offers a wide variety of dive sites all with an incredible diversity of colourful marine life. 

The best time to go is during the autumn and winter months, at which time the whale sharks will be present as they undergo their annual voyage. Expect to see Humpbacks from July to October. Witness the spectacular annual coral spawning during March, 7 days after a full moon.

There are some epic snorkelling and dive spots, some accessible right off the beach, like the famous Turquoise Bay in Cape Range National Park, where the sandy shores give way to stunning coral reef gardens just metres from the shore. You can get more information and advice from the local visitor centre

Further afield you’ll see why this region is one of the greatest snorkelling and diving destinations on earth. Ningaloo offers a copious amount of things to see - over 220 species of coral and over 500 species of fish. One of the highlights would certainly be the momentous Whale Sharks.

We suggest booking a Carnarvon experience with one of the many great open water scuba courses with a local operator who can provide all the training and equipment you’ll need.

Swimming with the Whale Sharks at Ningaloo, Western Australia.

Swimming with the Whale Sharks at Ningaloo, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.


Exmouth Navy Pier
Location: Indian Ocean Drive, Exmouth WA
Distance from Perth: 13 hr

World-famous, this is one of WA and Australia’s premier dive spots. Easily accessible at just a 15 min drive out of Exmouth, the 300m long pier is an active Navy pier and still used from time to time by Navy ships. This does mean it’s only accessible by a licensed company, as there is no public access. The waters are subject to strong currents so you’ll want to abide by their expertise.

These currents add to the richness of marine life and biodiversity found, and under the surface, it’s teeming (no fishing allowed either).

Other recommended Coral Coast scuba dive sites:

  • Aquarium at Point Quobba (Quobba Blowholes)
  • Nor-West Reef
  • Gullivers Navy
  • Pier Blizzard Range
  • Mandu Wall
  • Bundegi Sanctuary
  • The Fish Pit
  • Sponge Garden Drift


Muiron Islands
Location: 10 miles offshore from Exmouth
Distance from Perth: 13 hr | 3 hr 30 min from Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park

Set in the Ningaloo Reef and boasting tranquil tropical waters, the Muiron Islands are teeming with coral gardens and marine life, making for an unforgettable scuba diving experience. There are several great dive spots dotted around the islands, depths ranging from 3 to 20 metres.

Muiron Island dive spots:

  • The Cod Spot (South Muiron)
  • The Keyhole
  • The Gap (Between North & South Muiron Islands


Lighthouse Bay, Exmouth
Location: Yardie Creek Road, Exmouth
Distance from Perth: 13 hr | 3 hr 30 min from Carnarvon Capricorn Holiday Park

There are various great dive locations near Lighthouse Bay, on the edge of Cape Range National Park, just outside Exmouth. Depths vary from 12 to 30 metres, and all offer beautiful tropical fish and an array of pristine coral formations. 

Lighthouse Bay dive spots:

  • Blizzard Reef
  • The Labyrinth
  • Helga’s Tunnels


Geraldton

Geraldton is the ideal stopping off point to the famous Abrolhos Islands and its many stunning reefs, beaches, wreck sites and some of WA’s best dive spots.


Abrolhos Islands
Location: 60km NW of Geraldton
Distance from Perth: 5 hr | 60km from Geraldton Belair Gardens Caravan Park

Located 60km offshore from Geraldton, likened by some to the Galapagos Islands, the Abrolhos are accessible by boat or scenic flight. There’s a lot to do, especially if snorkelling and scuba diving is your thing! The islands themselves are surrounded by the world’s southernmost coral reef, making it a snorkelling and diving paradise. Plenty of WA divers call this their #1.

We recommend booking a Geraldton dive and snorkelling tour to the infamous Batavia wreck site off Beacon Island, the scene of the infamous Batavia mutiny in 1629. This is one for experienced divers and snorkellers, and the weather conditions need to be right - so it’s the best way to go. You can dive the wreckage at 4-6 metres depth, and view the outline of the hull, still fully equipped with cannons and anchors.

Book your Abrolhos Islands tour and comfortable Geraldton accommodation for stress-free travel.

So much to see at Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia.

So much to see at Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.


South Tomi Wreck Dive, Geraldton
Location: 3 nautical miles off Geraldton
Distance from Perth: 5 hr | 60km from Geraldton Belair Gardens Caravan Park

The 57m Patagonian fishing vessel was scuttled three nautical miles off Geraldton in 2004, forming an artificial reef and dive attraction. Permits required. Average depth 25m.

More fantastic Geraldton scuba dive spots:

  • Kevin’s Reef, Pages Beach
  • Supermarket, Point Moore


Jurien Bay

As well as being known as a prime fishing destination, the town of Jurien Bay is spoiled with many limestone reefs following the shoreline and the Jurien Bay Marine Park, optimal for snorkelling and diving.

Some of WA's best offshore boat diving is near Jurien Bay and we definitely recommend booking yourself an offshore excursion with one of the great Jurien Bay local tour operators who can take you out to the very best spots, giving you the best possible scuba experience.


Boullanger Island
Location: 1km offshore Jurien Bay
Distance from Perth: 2 hr 30 min | 2km from Jurien Bay Tourist Park

Just offshore from Island Point, below Jurien Bay, Boullanger Island has many sheltered great dive spots, such as the seagrass meadow on the western side.


Best Scuba Diving Spots: Perth

The Best Scuba Diving Spots in WA Perth and Margaret River region.

Just off the Fremantle coast, Rottnest Island has some superb scuba diving spots, over 200 in fact, as well as plenty of fantastic and easily accessible family-friendly snorkelling spots - perfect for weekend adventures.

The limestone formation of the island has over time formed interesting cave systems and dive friendly swim-throughs, along with plenty of shipwrecks, tropical species of fish, playful seals, meadows of seagrass, sponges and soft corals.

Consider taking a day tour with a local operator for the ultimate Rotto scuba diving experience.


Rottnest Island Dive Sites
Location: 18km west of Fremantle
Distance from Perth: 30 min

Popular Rottnest snorkelling spots include The Basin, Parakeet Bay, Little Salmon Bay and Little Armstrong Bay. The island also boasts Perth’s premier dive spots full of species in the coves, caverns and reefs surrounding the island.

  • 10 Metre Spire
    Accessible by boat, this one’s for advanced divers with an average depth of 18 metres and a maximum depth of 27 metres. Lots of swim-throughs and big overhangs, the highlight is a large amphitheatre cave normally teeming with fish life.
  • Opera House (Shark Cave)
    One of Perth’s premier dive spots, and extremely photogenic, known for the high likelihood of an up-close encounter with a grey nurse, who use the cave to rest during the day. The cave opens at about 15m and goes down to 26m.
  • Rottnest Shipwreck Trail
    The Rottnest Shipwreck Trail at Little Salmon Bay and Kingston Reef joins thirteen underwater wrecks - with information plaques on the ocean bed for you to scope out. Most of the wrecks are in shallow (<10m) water.
  • Jack's Patch
    Near Salmon Bay on Rottnest, Jack's Patch is an open water dive site with lots of fun swim-throughs, ledges and a large cave. An average depth of 15m and a maximum depth of 27m. Very popular with photographers.
  • Parker Point Snorkel Trail & Drop Off
    On the southeast side of Rottnest Island at Parker Point, there’s a Snorkel Trail great for both divers and snorkellers and features a number of plaques on the sea bed. The drop-off goes from 5m to about 15m and is one of the best scuba spots on the island.
  • Eagle Bay
    Eagle Bay is a great shallow spot for a snorkel or to learn to scuba dive.
  • Crystal Palace
    Accessible by boat, Crystal Palace is just off little Dyer Island, southeast of Rottnest. With a relatively shallow average depth of about 8m, there’s a great system of limestone caves full of fish species and coral to explore.


Marmion Marine Park
Location: West Coast Drive, Marmion WA
Distance from Perth: 20 min

Perth’s Marmion Marine Park is an easily accessible area with a wide variety of dives. It’s as easy as wading off the water edge to start your dive. There’s a dedicated dive trail directly offshore from the Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club.

Also part of the Marmion Marine Park is Boyinaboat Reef which is one of the most popular, and pretty, Perth city dive spots. Get to it from behind the Aquarium of Western Australia. It’s small but has a disproportionate number of swim-throughs and spots to explore in and out of, as well as a large amount of incredible marine life.


Key Biscayne Oil Rig
Location: 1 hr 20 min offshore from Lancelin
Distance from Perth: 1 hr 20 min

One of the best dive sites on WA’s coast, a long way offshore from Lancelin is Key Biscayne oil rig wreck. A large structure sitting upside down directly on the sandy seafloor creates reasonably deep (25-45m) and very fun swim-throughs. You’ll be spotting plenty of crays and grey nurse sharks.

This site is subject to currents and is recommended only for experts and with a tour group.


West Coast Dive Park/Shoalwater Islands Marine Park
Location: Warnbro Sound, Rockingham
Distance from Perth: 45 mins

A world-class scuba diving and snorkelling destination created by the WA State Government. Features 10 wrecks plus the Saxon Ranger, a purpose-sunk ship added in 2005.

More must dive Perth spots:

  • Coogee Maritime Trail
  • Point Peron
  • Boy in a Boat Reef (Hillarys Boat Harbour)
  • North Mole Wreck, Fremantle

Diving the HMAS Swan Wreck at Geographe Bay, Western Australia.

Diving the HMAS Swan Wreck at Geographe Bay, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.


Best Snorkelling Spots: South of Perth

Margaret River, Geographe Bay and The Capes Region

The Margaret River region is brimming with amazing beaches and coastal scenery. Beginners and expert snorkelers and divers alike are spoilt for choice too. Why not book a Margaret River scuba diving lesson or tour on your next holiday down south?

Undersea walks at Busselton Jetty.

Undersea walks at Busselton Jetty. Image credit: Busselton Jetty. 


Busselton Jetty Undersea Walk
Location: Queen Street, Busselton WA
Distance from Perth: 2 hr 30 min | 45 min from Margaret River Tourist Park

Voted one of Australia’s best shore dives, from December through April you can dive, snorkel or take an Undersea Walk tour 1.6km out to sea under the famous 150-year-old jetty’s pylons.

The best spot for diving along the jetty is at the last 200-300m (pay a donation and jump on the jetty train to make it easier with all that dive gear).

See the historical jetty at Busselton in a whole new way.

See the historical jetty at Busselton in a whole new way. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.


HMAS Swan
Location: Point Piquet, Geographe Bay
Distance from Perth: 2 hr 50 min | 45 min to Riverview Tourist Park

One of the first, and still largest, sunken dive wrecks in Australia! The site is 1.3 nautical miles off Point Piquet, Geographe Bay, and is a recreational diving site and artificial reef. For advanced divers, the best time is from mid-September to mid-May. Depth range 9 - 32m.

The nearest boat access to the site is Old Dunsborough Boat Ramp, Dunsborough Professional Fisherman’s Ramp at Quindalup (4WD only) or Abbey Boat Ramp, Busselton.

Local charters to the wreck operate from Busselton and Dunsborough.

Diving the HMAS Swan Wreck at Geographe Bay, Western Australia.

Diving the HMAS Swan Wreck at Geographe Bay, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.


4 Mile Reef
Location: Geographe Bay, WA
Distance from Perth: 2 hr | 45 min to Margaret River

This stretch of limestone running through Geographe Bay from Cape Naturaliste to Bunbury hosts numerous dive sites dotted along it. Depths up to 18 meters and a great range of corals and marine life to witness up close.


Lena Wreck
Location: Bunbury, WA
Distance from Perth: 2hr

A fascinating story involving one of the longest sea chases in maritime history resulted in this illegal Russian fishing vessel being purposefully sunk in 2003 to form an excellent dive site. With a maximum depth of 18m, the wreck is large at 55m long. To dive into this site you need to be an Open Water Certified diver. The site features some great swim-throughs, excellent visibility and a large variety of marine life species to see. 


South West: Albany/Walpole/Denmark:

The Best Sruba Diving Spots in WA Great South Coast.

In Albany, you’re spoilt for choice with several wreck sites, islands reefs and great shore dives to choose from.

Take a scuba diving class at Albany, Western Australia.

Take a scuba diving class at Albany, Western Australia. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.


HMAS Perth Wreck
Location: Seal Island, Albany
Distance from Perth: 4 hr 40 min

Albany’s best-known dive site, for good reason. Scuttled in 2001 the 133m former missile Destroyer has extensive coral and sponge growth and the scale of the wreck has a real visual impact. The mast of the ship is 8m above the water. Depth of 36m, with diver platform at 5m and average depth 26m. There are lots to see including equipment and machinery still in place, along with a large gun. Great for all skill levels, however, permits are required to dive this site, available from the Albany Visitors Centre.


Michaelmas Island, Breaksea Island
Location: Albany, WA
Distance from Perth: 4 hr 40 min

An interesting open water dive with average depths of 12m. Diving around the edges of the islands you’ll explore the boulders, caves and swim-throughs surrounded by colour and marine life.

Other great dive spots near Albany:

  • Cheynes III wreck
  • Button Bird Island
  • Cheynes Beach
  • Middle Rock, Herald Reef
  • Little Beach – Two People’s Bay


Best Snorkelling Spots: South Coast WA

The granite islands around Esperance and the Recherché Archipelago provides divers with spectacular diving. Scuba divers and snorkellers alike travel from far and wide for the area’s temperate waters and abundance of drop-offs, underwater caves, swim-throughs and the famed Sanko Harvest Wreck.

 

Sanko Harvest Wreck
Location: 1 hr 30 min from Esperance
Distance from Perth: 7 hr 30 | 60 min from Esperance Bay Holiday Park

The Sanko struck Harvest Reef 40km from Esperance in 1991. Bunker oil and fertilizer would leak but a worse environmental disaster was avoided, and the wreck became the largest wreck dive site in Australia, the second in the world. It’s so big you can get disoriented, so be careful. We’d recommend taking a dive tour with a local Esperance tour operator. The area is visited by the occasional humpback whale and of course, the area is your best chance of seeing the rare leafy seadragon.


Tanker Jetty
Location: Fisheries Road, Esperance WA
Distance from Perth: 7.5 hr | 4 min from Esperance Bay Holiday Park

Very conveniently located right in Esperance, and practically on our doorstep, Tanker Jetty is a popular spot for fishing and viewing the marine life from above, but it’s really special thanks to the artificial reef off the end of the 670m long jetty. 


Woody Island Snorkel Trail
Location: Shearwater Bay, Woody Island WA
Distance from Perth: 8 hrs to Esperance then a 40 min tour boat

One of the only publicly accessible islands in the famed Bay of Isles, Woody Island has its own Snorkel Trail. Swim to The Woody Island Snorkel Trail from the swimming platform or beach at Shearwater Bay. 

Other spectacular Esperance scuba diving spots:

  • Wharton Beach
  • Blue Haven

Up close with a friendly Potato Cod fish.

Up close with a friendly Potato Cod fish. Image credit: Tourism Western Australia.

 

Book a Diving Holiday in Western Australia

Western Australia has so many amazing, easily accessible scuba diving spots to explore, no matter your level of diving expertise. Book your next WA holiday near one of these top diving spots.

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