With countless shipwrecks off the coast of South Australia the State offers a wide range of fascinating diving trails. They can be found in many areas of the State – from near-city locations such as Port Adelaide to far-flung regional spots on the Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island.
The Adelaide Underwater Heritage Trail includes four shipwrecks off the Gulf of St Vincent – the Grecian, Zanoni, Star of Greece and Norma. The wrecks represent a variety of vessels associated with trade and development in South Australia during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with the vessels all being built in Britain between 1841 and 1893. The trail extends from Port Willunga, around one-hour’s drive south of Adelaide, to Ardrossan on the Yorke Peninsula, and the wrecks are marked by underwater plaques.
More diving trails can be found on Kangaroo Island, where over 60 shipwrecks have been recorded. Many, such as the Portland Maru, offer fascinating and rewarding experiences for divers.
Safety and Permits
Potential divers should note that diving to and around shipwrecks requires careful planning and an appropriate level of experience and training. Before embarking on a diving trip to a shipwreck, assess the conditions and requirements of diving on a particular site. In many cases, you’ll need a boat to transport you to the dive site. It’s vital to ensure your vessel has all the appropriate safety equipment and that someone stays in the boat at all times. When taking one of the shipwreck trails feel free to dive, photograph and explore the wrecks. Do not interfere with them by disturbing or removing anything or anchoring on top of their remains. Shipwrecks are protected by legislation.
On the Limestone Coast, both Piccaninnie Ponds and Ewens Ponds offer great diving for experienced divers, while the Edithburgh jetty on Yorke Peninsula is a good spot for the less-experienced. Some diving locations, such as Piccaninnie Ponds, require permits or diving qualifications.
There are many reputable diving tour operators in South Australia, and they’re a great way for both locals and visitors alike to take a dive trail.