Szilvia Gogh is a PADI Course Director and breast cancer survivor. She is also a three-time National Champion Lifeguard in her home country of Hungary and has worked as a dive center managing-director, scuba instructor, camp counselor, travel agent, billboard model, photo-journalist and Hollywood stuntwoman. She’s led conservation projects for Project AWARE® and other shark-saver organizations and designs jewelry for her own jewelry company, Gogh Jewelry Design. She also created and curates Miss-Scuba.com, a popular online resource for female divers. Read on to discover more about this extraordinary woman with a true zest for life, whose accomplishments are a testament to the nearly unlimited opportunities a career in scuba can bring.
“Every time I told my relatives that I was going on a scuba adventure, they would say, “Why not just stay home and watch the Jacques Cousteau movies? It’s far less dangerous!” But I was never one who wanted to live my dreams through somebody else’s movies. I wanted to make my own movies, see my own sharks and dive my own shipwrecks. I guess I was always pretty hard-headed: I knew what I wanted to do – and I did it!” – Szilvia Gogh
When did you start diving?
I started diving when I was twelve or thirteen years old. I grew up in Budapest, Hungary which is a landlocked country. Since we didn’t have an ocean filled with pretty fishes, we came up with diving games to entertain ourselves, and I participated in a sport called orienteering diving. The goal of this sport is to find pre-determined objects in low-visibility lakes using a compass and a distance counting device – kind of like a treasure hunt.
I soon joined a dive club and spent every summer holiday by a lake. We’d dive morning, noon or night – at every opportunity. The military gave us the equipment and we didn’t have to pay for training or participating in competitions, but we had to take care of our own equipment; were in charge of painting our tanks and servicing our regulators and wetsuits. From this, I learned a lot about discipline and the necessity of following rules.
Can you tell us about your first ocean dive?
Hungary was a communist country, and we were not allowed to travel anywhere except Mother Russia and East, so I never saw the ocean as a child. After the Berlin Wall fell, our dive club went to a Greek Island, Corfu, for a week-long dive trip. That was the first time I saw the ocean; right then and there, I decided I would live in a place where there is no winter, and where there are palm trees, sunshine and an ocean to dive in!
Then, I experienced my first ocean dive. We dropped down into beautiful, crystal-clear water with almost unlimited visibility. We saw sharks, turtles and octopus… When I came back from that dive, I knew I wanted to be a dive instructor! However, other people considered it a hobby and were often skeptical when I told them I was going to make a living out of this thing that I loved. Every time they told me that I couldn’t do it, I just looked at them and said, “You just watch me.”
How did you make it happen – becoming a scuba instructor?
I was about 20 years old, in college, and decided to join a friend for the summer in Malta, where I visited a local dive center! I didn’t have any money, but I was already a Rescue Diver with lifeguard experience, so I volunteered to intern there while working toward my PADI Divemaster rating. I have never worked harder in my life than I did that summer! But I met people from all over the world, learned a lot and became a Divemaster… and I was never happier in my life!
I went back to college, and finished up with a major in Marketing Management. During my final year, I returned to Malta to get my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor rating. After I graduated, the dive center offered me a job. So, I went to work in Malta as a PADI Instructor.
Eventually, I met a guy and moved to England with him, but the relationship didn’t work out. I decided I needed to go somewhere with palm trees, sunshine and the ocean. I brought out my globe, spun it, and decided wherever finger landed, that’s where I would go. My finger stopped on Thailand. I did the weather check; the season was just starting there – so that’s where I went!
Eventually, you moved to Los Angeles and became a PADI Course Director?
Yes, I am now PADI Course Director! Since I started teaching diving, I have certified more than 1300 divers from Open Water Divers through PADI Pro ratings. I eventually moved to Los Angeles, where I trained divers for the Los Angeles Police, Sheriff and Fire Departments and served as an instructor trainer for the LAPD Search and Rescue team.
You also have experience as a Hollywood stuntwoman?
Since 2005, I’ve been a safety diver and stunt double in both movies and television series, including an underwater double for Drew Barrymore in Big Miracle and Dina Meyer’s stunt double inPiranha 3D. I also worked on Dexter, Desperate Housewives, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I spent time in front of the camera as an adventure show host and worked behind the scenes to train stuntmen, stuntwomen and stunt coordinators in safe diving practices.
I appeared in TV programs, on billboards and in magazines in Europe, Canada, Asia and the USA to encourage female divers to take the professional path – to become PADI Instructors. In 2013, I was the face of a Nissan worldwide campaign promoting lifestyles of adventure.
Please tell us about your website, Miss-Scuba.com
Miss Scuba is an online site that brings women together from all over the world who share enthusiasm for diving and travel. Women can join in our group travel expeditions to explore the most exotic places and dive at the most exciting destinations, and then share their experiences on the Miss Scuba site. With a database of 6000 women from 20 different countries, Miss-Scuba.com is also a great resource for women to get information about diving and dive destinations and learn about the latest dive gear. The Miss Scuba culture celebrates free will, untamed souls and rebellion against mediocrity – and answers the yearning for adventure and excitement in life. Ultimately, it’s about female empowerment.
What was your inspiration for starting Miss Scuba?
In the 90s, when I became a dive instructor, the industry was very much a male-oriented business – and female dive gear was usually pink. I hated the pink gear and I wanted to find a way for adventure-loving women to get involved in diving, share their experiences with other women and girls and find dive gear they could love!
I also want to empower women, because I know that diving is empowering. Once you become a scuba diver, you open up your horizons – not just to the other 70% of the planet—but also to other cultures, other people and new experiences.
You’ve taken continuing education courses that broadened your own horizons and brought you employment in a variety of fields. Can you tell us about that?
Travel has always been one of my passions, so in 2004 earned a Travel Agent degree, which enabled me to host more than 20 international “female friendly” or “female only” trips for divers of all certification levels. I also combined my marketing background and travel training to produce promotional multi-platform marketing packages (which included video, articles for print and photography) promoting travel and scuba diving adventures for Antarctica, Egypt, the Sudan and South Africa.
In 2006, I earned a photojournalist certification, which gave me opportunities to write numerous dive travel, dive safety and diver education articles for PADI, DAN (Divers Alert Network) and numerous other international travel, fitness and lifestyle magazines.
What does My PADI mean to you?
My PADI is my springboard. It’s because of PADI that I’m a scuba instructor, that I am a stunt woman, that I started my own jewelry line, that I founded Miss Scuba and I got to travel the world. And now, I travel with my husband, Hilaire, who I met through diving; we have a two-year-old son, Enzo, and we all live the dive life and the dream together – because of my PADI.
To hear more about the inspirational and extraordinary life of Szilvia Gogh, visit the My PADI site.
Working as PADI professionals for several years, my girlfriend Christine and I have been lucky to work for many great dive companies and have had some fantastic adventures worldwide. We both started working in the dive industry to have our days spent playing in the ocean and earning money while we travel—two benefits that we have whole-heartedly enjoyed. However, the rewards and overall impact we’ve experienced on our lives working as PADI Instructors has included many things that we NEVER really anticipated. And we are so very grateful for them!
We Have Actually Filled Up Our Passports
One of the coolest things about diving for a living is that it is NOT exclusive to your home country. PADI Instructors are in demand ALL over the world and it has allowed us to live in the places where everyone else vacations and dives regularly at some of the most extraordinary sites in the world. We literally make our home in areas that many people set as their desktop screen saver.
Many jobs we choose are seasonal, so contracts have often been three or six months long which has been enough time to really get to know a place, but still allowed us to keep moving on and exploring. Christine has taught diving in Fiji, Costa Rica, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, the Virgin Islands, the Greek Islands and most every other place you can book a dive vacation. She has made a trans-Atlantic crossing on a small cruise ship and even kept working when they arrived in the Mediterranean. I have had the chance to lead dives and teach in Hawaii, South East Asia and the Caribbean. Every time we see a list of the World’s Top 10 Dive Sites, we get excited because we didn’t just dive these sites once, but we experienced many of these dives day after day.
So, let’s just answer the question we know you want to ask: No, experiencing the same awesome dive day after day does NOT get old!
We Have Learned More Than Just Buoyancy Control
If you’re not careful, while working as a PADI Dive Instructor, you will quickly end up with a boat-load of other skills you may not have ever thought about learning, skills that may end up carrying you to the next opportunity without you realizing it. For example, after a few years of working as a Divemaster on daily boat charters, I accumulated enough sea service time to actually go after my United States Coast Guard Captain’s License. With that license, I ended up being qualified for a guiding job in Alaska, rafting rivers and giving boat tours in some of the most beautiful areas of the untamed north. I had never even considered becoming a Captain, but the opportunity was certainly a good one and has opened some doors for jobs that I otherwise wouldn’t have been considered for.
Christine has spent quite a bit of time on liveaboard dive boats as an Instructor. Working on liveaboards requires everyone to pitch in and help (all hands on deck), making you a Jack/Jill-of-all-trades. Christine wound up helping in the galley… A LOT! She learned she loves to cook and it has led to jobs cooking on yachts in Puerto Rico and working as a chef at a ranch in Nicaragua. Each dive job has given us new skills which have led the way to our next adventure!
We Have Pushed and Surpassed Our Own Adventure Limits
Before getting certified, the idea of teaching scuba diving seemed pretty far-fetched and daunting, like it was only for people who have been underwater their whole lives. Working in the dive industry for many years has been a big confidence booster, showing us not only how much we can do, but also introducing us to our passion for adventure sports! While teaching diving is still what drives us, along the way we have also had many new adventures such as rock climbing, skydiving, yoga, ocean kayaking, hiking, kite-boarding, and so much more.
These don’t even include the adventures experienced by simply living in new areas and all the fun changes and traditions that come with a location shift. New foods, new modes of transportation, new apartments…Christine recently faced her life-long fear of driving motor bikes (success!) and I got to try my hand at Thai cooking (nice try)!
Our Friend Network is Worldwide
With each new location comes new faces. One of our favorite parts of starting a new dive job is that it gives us instant access to a community. In our experience, most people in the professional dive industry are wildly friendly. I can’t even count how many first days of work ended with dinner on a new co-worker’s lanai or appetizers at some out-of-the-way local’s pub. Combine that with the people you meet in your new neighborhood and city and you have not just visited a new place, but actually started to get to know the townies and local people. While the contracts end and we eventually have to move on, the friendships remain.
Our Guests Have Been Unbelievable
On top of new friends at work and in your community, being a PADI Dive Instructor feeds you new friends daily in the form of guests and students. We’ve had the unique opportunity to not only help our students experience the underwater world, but also facilitate them to EXCEED their own expectations while educating them about the importance of conserving our oceans.
We have both had students who started their first dive day afraid to put their faces in the water, but with time and patience have been transformed into divers who practically won’t get back on the boat because they are so happy in the water. We’ve gotten to teach and get to know people with all sorts of backgrounds and careers including scientists, celebrities and photographers—all wanting to have an unforgettable experience underwater together!
One day, I was interviewed and filmed at work about manta rays for an Australian TV show, when on other days Christine took movie stars on Discover Scuba experiences! Christine and I have been particularly inspired to teach adaptive scuba diving techniques to people with disabilities in order to help get MORE people in the ocean to experience the freeing effects of diving. Keeping in touch with these worldwide friends has been an added bonus. Christine and I can’t name too many places in the United States where we don’t have a former student or guest who we would love to have a coffee with when we pass through and swap vacation stories! Speaking of stories…
We Have Ended Up With Some Epic Shark Stories
As our dive logs pile up, so do our big animal encounters. It doesn’t matter how many dives we have hung out with dolphins, sharks and humpback whales over the years, my heart still beats a mile a minute when they cruise by! It is breathtaking to see so much grace and so little effort come from something so large. As startling as it was being just feet away from a tiger shark fighting with a spotted eagle ray over a marlin carcass, these are the moments AT WORK that you truly can’t anticipate and make you want to get back underwater again and again.
I realize that everyone has their own version of adventure, but I am pretty happy with the one we get to live. Learning new skills, introducing people to the ocean in the most beautiful destinations all over the world, making friends in dozens of countries and hundreds of cities, and of course, seeing big, beautiful sharks makes for all the adventure I could ever ask for. Every piece is part of the gig and why are so glad to be PADI Dive Instructors.
We NEVER know what will happen next! To hear more from Adam and Christine, visit their website: Fins to Spurs.
We’ve been celebrating the recent success at CITES CoP17 this week, where proposals to list all 13 species of sharks and rays (silky sharks, thresher sharks and devil rays) were accepted. With this good news and the resulting buzz across the scuba diving world, there’s no better time to make the most out of your dives with these beautiful creatures.
We’ve shortlisted four PADI specialty courses that can improve your encounters with sharks and rays (and others, too!) – so get your dive gear ready and jump in:
#1 – Digital Underwater Photographer
If you want to share your amazing shark and ray memories with your fellow buddies, friends and family, then the Digital Underwater Photographer course will teach you to make the most out of your point-and-shoot or DSL camera. You’ll learn how to choose the best camera system for your needs, editing and practical techniques, and principles of composition (since you’ll want to make sure you’ll get all of that beautiful thresher’s tail in the shot).
#2 – AWARE Shark Conservation
Many PADI® Dive Centers and Resorts offer the AWARE Shark Conservation Distinctive specialty course, where you’ll participate in a range of educational talks and workshops. Topics include shark anatomy, conservation issues surrounding shark populations, specific information on sharks in your local area, and how you can get involved to help protect them. You can even put your new knowledge to the test by undertaking shark-spotting and identification dives.
#3 – Enriched Air Diver
Diving with enriched air nitrox gives you longer no decompression time and shorter surface intervals – especially on repetitive scuba dives. So, if you’ve been lucky enough to dive with devil rays, but were disappointed once your underwater time was up, then why not become an Enriched Air Diver and enjoy that mobula magic for a little longer on your next encounter.
#4 – Rebreather Diver
You might solve the no decompression limit problem by switching to enriched air nitrox, but if it was your air consumption that cut things short? By becoming a Rebreather Diver, you’ll reuse the gas that you exhale, making it stretch further to give you even longer dives. Plus, many rebreather divers find they get unmatched experiences with marine life because there’s no bubbles to scare them away.
There is a wealth of information out there about the negative effects of stress on the human body and the positive effects of taking time out to relax, meditate and “just be”. It’s easier said than done though. Due to our busy lives and sometimes hectic schedules, meditating is something of a luxury for many of us. It’s not always easy to find a quiet place where we won’t be interrupted.
Even when we do find the right environment and the time it’s hard to clear your mind when it’s reeling from a day at work, thinking about family commitments or how you can squeeze in time with friends. This is why scuba diving gives you an advantage, you don’t need to imagine being in a “happy place” – you are in one for real. The phone won’t ring underwater, you can’t check your emails and you don’t need to make a mental effort to get away from the real world because you physically have.
There are numerous techniques for successful meditation but they all center around one key factor – breathing. Controlled, yet relaxed breathing. Focusing on breathing allows you to become more self-aware, more centrally focused and more relaxed. On a good day it comes easily but on a stressful day it is hard to switch off and zone out. Often that’s because even though you are sitting in a quiet room and willing your mind to take you away it’s just too busy. Scuba diving gives your brain tranquil alternatives to focus on such as marine life, coral and the underwater world. You’re also blissfully aware that you won’t and can’t be disrupted by a ringing phone or a pinging inbox.
As divers we understand the practice of breathing for diving – slowly and steadily. By employing this breathing pattern we not only improve our buoyancy and our overall diving experience but we also create a more relaxed mind and body. Even the rhythmic sound of our bubbles as we breathe out contributes to a more relaxed state of mind. (If you want to become a master of underwater breathing techniques and buoyancy ask at your dive shop about the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty course).
Most forms of meditation (of which there are many) begin with relaxing and slowing your breathing pattern, taking deep and controlled breathes in and out and focusing your mind solely on your breathing. As divers when we are underwater this comes naturally to us. Breathing in this way helps us to relax and it also means that in potentially stressful situations we are more likely to remain calm.
Deep breathing increases oxygen levels which benefits both the mind and the body. As we focus on our breathing we enter a meditative state in that our minds are cleared of the many thoughts that we would otherwise be having on land. All that matters is our breathing and the underwater world around us. Achieving a singular focus is one of the main aims of meditation – one which many people can struggle with as their minds tend to wander and take them off course. For divers we achieve a singular focus state of mind almost every time we enter the water and become one with the world around us, our breathing and our body.
Scuba diving encourages a meditative state which increases consciousness and control of the body, allows us to achieve inner peace through single focus which clears our minds so they become free from our day to day stresses and worries.
What is the Benefit of “Underwater Meditation”?
Meditation benefits mental wellbeing, quality of life and our health. One crucial benefit of meditation is that it reduces blood pressure which therefore reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke. With regular meditation stress and anxiety levels are reduced and our ability to cope with problems and difficult situations improves. Medical studies have shown that by reducing our stress levels we also improve our relationships, concentration, sleep patterns, general wellbeing, positivity and happiness.
If that doesn’t have you reaching for your wetsuit then other benefits of meditation include; strengthening your immune system, slowing ageing, longer life expectancy, a reduced risk of depression and addiction to substances such as nicotine, alcohol and recreational drugs and a reduced risk of panic attacks and hypertension.
How can meditation have such wide reaching benefits? The biggest benefit, and the one that really affects us, is that meditation leads to an all-round more balanced and calmer life.
So if you are ready for your next dive/meditation session, check out what is on offer at your local PADI Dive Shop.
Sometimes, we all just need a good ‘pick-me-up’. Here are just a few ways in which scuba diving can deliver the antidote to life’s ups and downs and help you feel great about yourself again.
Assuming you’re not jumping into the sardine run for a thrill-seeking challenge, the underwater world has a wonderfully calming effect on the mind. For many divers, the ocean is a go-to destination for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life . It’s a soothing place where buzzing phones, over-flowing in-trays and domestic worries feel a million miles away as your mind focuses on marine life, corals and colours. If you want to take your inner peace to the next level, try giving underwater meditation a go on your next dive.
From joining up with your buddy and sharing dive stories with the other guests, to impressing non-divers with your exciting tales from the ocean, scuba diving is a sure-fire way to explore common interests and forge connections with those around you.
As those who have progressed their diving to professional ratings will know, it’s incredibly satisfying to teach other people to dive. The look on a student’s face when they first descend, spot their first turtle, or finally nail that buoyancy control is priceless. All PADI Pros know the feel-good factor that comes with helping someone overcome their fear, or setting them off on their career path. Becoming a PADI Instructor can bring massive reward for divers who want to give back to a sport they’re passionate about.
If you pair up your diving skills with a higher purpose (like cleaning up marine debris, or rescuing marine life) then you’ll know that you are helping to protect the ocean for generations to come. Not only is that an awesome thing to do for planet Earth, it’s undoubtedly going to make you feel great about yourself, too.
Scuba diving is not just a way to relax after a busy week – it can promote wellbeing on a much deeper level – physically and mentally. PADI AmbassaDiver Gary Green overcame Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after discovering the underwater world. P.T. Hirschfield, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer three years ago, talks about how scuba diving makes her feel alive, “Scuba gave me the incentive to get well—the idea of getting underwater motivated me not to give up, lie in a corner and die, as they said I might.”
Every time we kit up and jump into the water, we’re learning – and not just when we complete our PADI courses. Every minute spent below the waves is an opportunity to discover new marine life, explore new wrecks, hone our photography skills – or even soak up inspiration and advice from your buddy. By learning, we’re stretching and enriching our minds – and that’s a fast-track way to feeling on top of the world.
If you’re looking for a little feel-good factor in your life, then visit your nearest PADI Dive Center or Resort to jump into scuba diving.
There is truly nothing like Australia. It is a unique destination highlighted by the diverse scuba diving environments found on this vast continent – the world’s sixth largest country. From the northern tip of the world famous Great Barrier Reef on Australia’s east coast, all the way around to pristine dive conditions off Western Australia, the diving choices are immense. Australia is comprised of the states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, as well as the island state of Tasmania. Each state offers such different diving adventures that you could spend years exploring any one area. From colorful coral reefs in northern tropical water to giant kelp forests in the southern temperate seas, Australia offers it all. On the surface, you can enjoy astounding natural beauty from beaches to rain forests to deserts or visit bustling cities with first-class dining and entertainment. It’s truly a magnificent place not to be missed by any diver.
Queensland & The Great Barrier Reef
Queensland is known as the holiday destination of Australia and rightly so. It is home to the Great Barrier Reef, which is the largest coral reef system in the world, and has its own dedicated PADI Vacation Spotlight. Learn more about diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
New South Wales (NSW)
New South Wales offers a rich variety of year round diving with both warm and cold-water currents spread across the coastline. In the north, you’ll encounter warmer water marine life in several marine parks. The central coast region has some spectacular sites including the HMAS Adeliade wreck. Sydney has world class diving right on the doorstep of this exciting and vibrant city. Further south, where the water becomes temperate, there are pristine sites, including more than 30 dive sites off Jervis Bay. Lord Howe Island, 700 kilometres to the east of NSW, features the world’s southernmost coral reefs with more than 60 dive sites to explore.
Victoria is packed with attractions including incredible underwater environments only found in temperate waters. Near the lively capital city of Melbourne, the Port Phillip Bay region hosts some truly amazing wrecks and caverns. Here you’ll encounter beautiful marine life including cuttlefish, octopus, giant sea stars, rays, seahorses and even seals.
The beautiful state of South Australia has a rich heritage that is equally matched by its natural beauty both above and below the surface. South Australia’s bio diverse temperate waters offer amazing shore dive opportunities under the many jetties in and around Adelaide, as well as some stunning wreck dives! Expect to see anything from sea lions to seahorses and if you have a keen eye, maybe even the state’s underwater emblem: the Leafy Sea Dragon, which can be found under many of the local jetties.
Famous for being bathed in sunshine, Western Australia is fast becoming a top dive destination. From Perth you can easily explore the beautiful dive sites off Rottnest Island or visit spectacular wrecks, such as the HMAS Swan. It’s possible to encounter whale sharks off Exmouth or near Ningaloo Reef, Australia’s longest fringing reef.
Separated from the mainland, Tasmania is known for its natural and untouched beauty. With cooler water than most of the mainland, visibility can seem endless when you’re not in the middle of a giant kelp forest. The many wrecks, huge rocks structures, caverns and endemic marine species make diving in Tasmania a real adventure.
The coral reefs off Darwin have a rich diversity of reef fish and invertebrates, and arguably Australia’s best collection of World War II shipwrecks and plane wrecks. Divers at Gove Peninsular East of Darwin find manta rays, reef sharks, turtles, schools of pelagic fish and even whale sharks at certain times of the year.
North Stradbroke Island, Brisbane – The premier dive sites here, Shag Rock and Flat Rock, are home to healthy numbers of leopard and grey nurse sharks. At Flat Rock, watch for wobbegongs and turtles in the gullies. Shag Rock, with a maximum depth of 15 metres/45 feet, is popular with newly certified divers who enjoy the gullies and a swim through. Manta Ray Bommie has great viz and is visited, as the name implies, by manta rays in summer. It’s also home to leopard sharks and other abundant aquatic life.
HMAS Brisbane, Sunshine Coast – Lying in just less than 30 metres/100 feet of clear currentless water, the 133-metre/436-foot HMS Brisbane became an artificial reef for divers in 2005. Many divers consider it among the best dives in Australia. The ship was well prepared and has many entry and exit points cut in the hull. Eagle rays, turtles, kingfish and groupers prowl the wreck.
Bare Island, Sydney – This popular dive site was featured as the virus factory in Mission Impossible II. The eastern side of the island tends to have better visibility and shallower depths which make it suitable for new divers. The western side has abundant aquatic life, notably beautiful sponge gardens and a rocky reef wall with overhangs and depths to 18 metres/60 feet. Keep an eye out for Port Jackson sharks.
HMAS Adelaide, NSW – Purposely scuttled off Terrigal on NSW’s central coast in April 2011, the HMAS Adelaide has diver access holes strategically placed to allow easy exploration of key areas. The wreck is developing a nice marine community that includes giant cuttlefish, grouper, kingfish, blennies, octopus, banner fish and bat fish.
Shelly Beach, NSW – The only west-facing beach on the entire east coast of Australia, this popular shore dive has nice white sand and boulders forming a natural reef for marine life. Cruising along shallower than 14 metres/45 feet, you may see a few wobbegongs and Port Jackson sharks along with huge grouper and lots of other fish.
HMAS Canberra, Victoria – This naval ship was prepared and purpose-sunk as a dive site in 2009. Sitting on the bottom at 28 metres/92 feet, the HMAS Canberra’s mast reaches up to within 5 metres/15 feet of the surface. This wreck is now a Marine Reserve and hosts a healthy variety of marine species.
Lonsdale Wall, Victoria – This long wall can be explored on many different dives. You descend along a sheer wall with small ledges and big overhangs that often create swim-throughs. Look for fish hiding under the ledges, including the western blue devil fish, and soft corals and sponges clinging to the wall.
Rapid Bay Jetty, South Australia – Relatively close to Adelaide and with easy entry and exit, this is South Australia’s most popular jetty shore dive. You can see huge schools of fish in between the pylons and this jetty offers the best chances of spotting leafy sea dragons and even the occasional weedy sea dragon! Playful sunrays penetrating the old jetty above create an amazing playground for underwater photographers.
Edithburgh Jetty, South Australia – This shallow dive site hosts a remarkable diversity of marine life. The jetty structure is covered with sponges and soft corals and provides a playground for all sorts of macro life. Everything from tassled anglerfish to pyjama squid and from tiny seahorses to a playful resident seal can be found under this jetty, as well as a small colony of leafy sea dragons!
Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia – This reef lies off the remote northern coastline of Western Australia, stretching nearly 260 kilometres/150 miles from north to south – making it the longest fringing reef in the world. It supports more than 220 coral species and more than 500 fish species. However, it’s the big animals – whale sharks, humpback whales, manta rays and dugongs – that really add excitement to the area.
Rottnest Island, Western Australia – There are numerous dive sites around this limestone island, each offering something a little different. Indian Ocean currents have helped shaped deep crevices, caverns and huge swim-throughs off Rottnest, which create mazes at some sites. The fish around the island are diverse and soft coral are just sensational.
Cathedral Cave, Tasmania – This is the most visited cavern in Waterfall Bay because its three large openings make entering easy and allow light to filter in, just like a big cathedral. The cavern is around 30 metres/100 feet long and approximately 21 metres/70 feet deep. Colorful sponges and invertebrates cover the walls.
Governors Island Marine Reserve, Tasmania – The reserve contains more than 15 dives sites. You can dive on huge underwater mounds and peer into enormous caverns with soft corals growing on the walls. There are lots of fish and the odd pod of southern right whales and dolphins.
USAT Meigs, Northern Territory – The USAT Meigs is a 131-metre/430-foot long US transport ship that sank during the first Japanese air raid in Darwin, Australia during World War II. Sitting in18 metres/60 feet of water, this wreck is a popular dive. Look for a variety fish, including pygmy barracudas, golden snapper and large estuarine cod.
Want to know more? Visit ScubaEarth® for further information on thousands of dive sites, marine species, destination essentials and more.
Visibility – Water clarity varies greatly from not-so-good to unbelievably clear depending on the area and time of year.
Water Temperature – In the north of the country, water temperature averages 30°C/85°F in the summer and 24°C/75°F in the winter months. In the middle, summer temperature averages 24°C/75°F and around 18°C/64°F in the winter months. In the south, water temperatures range from 12-18°C/54-65°F depending on the season.
Weather – Diving is great year round in most states. Australia has temperate weather for most of the year, however, this can vary due to the size of the country. The northern states experience warm weather year round while the southern states have cooler winters. Cyclone season is from November through April, mostly affecting the northern states.
Featured Creatures – Australia has an extensive array of iconic marine life, from enormous humpback whales to smaller critters such as the weedy sea dragon. The dazzling Australian giant cuttlefish is found in many locations and the wobbegong shark and blue-ringed octopus showcase the unique marine life. Stingrays, nudibranch and groupers also frequent many dives sites.
Note – Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.
Language – English, although many tourist destinations have staff that speak various languages.
Currency – Australian Dollar. Credit card are accepted almost everywhere.
Major Airports – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and Cairns Airports all receive international flights. Domestic flights take you to many other areas of the country.
Electricity – Electricity is 240 volts, 50 Hz. Internet access is available almost everywhere.
Topside Attractions – The list of things to do in Australia is nearly endless. Visit the outback to get a feel for Aboriginal culture, which is one of the oldest on Earth. Cruise through wine country. Hang out at one of the famous surfing beaches. Tour a crocodile farm or explore a rainforest. Australia could provide a lifetime of adventure both above and below the sea.