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Diving and Snorkelling in Rockingham

Curious about the wonders that lay underwater in Rockingham?

Apart from the abundance of wildlife, historical significance and award-winning restaurants and cafes within the Rockingham region, visitors will find a memorable experience when they venture into the underwater realm that surrounds Rockingham.

Snorkelling and diving are amongst the best and most unique things to do in Rockingham – with the waters off Rockingham being home to a myriad of different marine life and submerged reefs, plus a number of picturesque historic shipwrecks. With over 30km of spectacular open ocean to explore, scuba diving and snorkelling is a wonderful activity for all ages and levels of ability.

Follow our guide for the best diving and snorkelling sites in Rockingham:

Saxon Ranger

Location: Warnbro Sound

Depth: 11 metres

Formerly the Atlantic Seal, the Saxon Ranger was built in the UK and fished the North Atlantic until the early 1970s. It was then brought to Australia to work the south coast trawler fisheries out of Albany and Tasmania. Plagued by bad luck, it eventually washed up during a gale on the Rockingham foreshore in 2003. The vessel was salvaged and eventually scuttled in Warnbro Sound as a purpose sunk dive wreck in 2006

The wreck sits with the bow facing the west with a maximum depth of 18 metres. The wheelhouse was removed prior to sinking and the wreck starts at a depth of around 11 metres. Similar to the HMAS Perth and Swan wrecks, a permit is required before visiting the site. Sitting just over a mile from shore, the yellow wreck marker is visible from the Bent Street boat ramp. There are two public moorings on the site, one off the stern and one off the bow, both with lines running from the moorings to the wreck.

Dive passes for the Saxon Ranger can be purchase at the Rockingham Visitor Centre

Little Penguin Trail

Location: Penguin Islands Southern Beaches

Depth: 2-5 metres

This is a fun, captivating site suitable for both beginners and experienced snorkelers! Take the path to the left of the Penguin Island Discovery Centre and walk along the beach to the southernmost point you can reach. Here you will have to wade across the shallow reef around the base of the rocks and caves. The entry point is in 2-3 metres of water.

This shallow area is packed with marine life and is one of the more exquisite places to snorkel in the Perth metropolitan area. One of the first things you will notice are the schools of tiny silver baitfish, which forms the basis for the diet of the Little Penguins which inhabit the island. It is an ideal place to explore with fascinating underwater ledges and overhands, lumps, low broken reef and seagrass areas.

Point Peron

Location: Parking at end of Point Peron Rd

Depth: 3-7 metres

Point Peron is one of the best shore dive or snorkelling sites in the Perth metropolitan area. You can reach the site from the beach at Long Reach.

Sea urchins and sea anemones shelter in the seagrass near the shore. Other inhabitants of the shallow sand areas include turban shells, plump sea stars and spider crabs. As you swim out to the fringing reef, you will discover schools of fish such as whiting and baitfish.

Point Peron and Mushroom Rock are ideal snorkelling sites as the limestone has been carved into numerous overhands, small caves and swimthroughs very close to shore in a maximum depth of 5 metres. Colourful sponges, sea squirts, feather stars, lacy bryozoans and hard corals can also be found clinging to the limestone.

Situated about 150 metres offshore from Long Reach beach, you will find a different reef more suited for the avid scuba diver. The underwater features lie in water up to 7 metres deep. Here, the swimthroughs are bigger and the caves are deeper!

Churchill Park Dive Trail

Location: Rockingham Beach, Parking at end of Flinders Ln

Depth: 17 metres

The Churchill Park Dive Trail is one of the safest and most popular shore dives in Western Australia! The site has ample parking, a grassed area to kit up, toilets, barbecues and a range of cool cafes happy to cater to wetsuit-clad divers.

With a northerly aspect, the site offers good protection from the sea breezes during summer. The dive is easy to follow and also provides a good opportunity for certified specialty divers, such as night divers and photographers.

The site, about a 60 metre wade out from the Rockingham Foreshore, is made apparent by two floats running parallel to the shore. Each float is attached to a rope which guides the diver to each of the scuttled wrecks.

During the dive, you will encounter four boats and two planes. The wrecks are heavily encrusted with tube worms, soft corals, bryozoans, sponges, ascidians and other forms of marine life. The fish community consists of wrasse, blennies, old wives, WA butterfish, boxfish, herring, sea stars, eels and numerous crustaceans. The most striking of all would be the Western Australian sea horses that can be spotted by those with a keen eye!

So if looking for adventurous date ideas or something to do with the family this weekend, be sure to check these spots out. For more information, please contact the Rockingham Visitor Centre on (08) 9592 3464.

Note: For those looking to hire or buy equipment, local dive shops such as Scubanautics Diving Academy supply everything you need for safe snorkelling and diving and conduct regular charters.

Learn more about scuba diving: Scuba Diving 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Exploring the Ocean

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