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HOT AIR BALLOONING
The Avon Valley is the only place in WA to offer hot air ballooning,
and Spring is the prime time to plan a ride.
Photography Tourism WA.
SCUBA DIVING & SNORKELLING
From plane wrecks to colourful reefs, there’s a huge array of underwater attractions from Perth to Rockingham,
and further out at beloved Rottnest. There’s plenty for snorkellers, but if you’re keen to grab your dive ticket, head
to padi.com to find a dive centre nearby.
The remoteness, weather and water quality of
WA’s islands and archipelagos mean astounding
diversity above and below the water. Rottnest is
11km long and 4.5km at its widest, with 63 bays
and beaches, squeaky white sands and deep blue
waters. Expect world-class diving with brilliantly
coloured corals, countless fish, rock lobster, and
dozens of wrecks. Less than an hour’s drive south
of Perth are the Shoalwater Islands (Bird, Seal and
Penguin islands). A colourful coral reef, shipwrecks,
and the chance to snorkel and dive with dolphins
provide the drawcards.
Rockingham has six submerged wrecks including
boats, planes and a tyre reef. Unreliable water
clarity and conditions make it hit and miss but it’s
generally fun for a scuba dive. If you’re eager to
explore wrecks but aren’t a scuba diver, you can
snorkel many of the wrecks at Rottnest – each has
its own plaque describing the wreck and its history,
and there are onshore markers indicating locations.
The swell can be a bit temperamental but there are
a number of easy-to-reach sites (for snorkellers, too),
including the Shark at Henrietta Rocks, the Uribes at
Thomson Bay, and the Kiryo Maru I near Cathedral
Rocks (50m offshore and more challenging to reach).
At Rottnest, try the Basin, Parker Point and Little
Salmon Bay. Boy in a Boat Reef (near Hillarys Boat
Harbour) is a fantastic dive that’s close to Perth, and
Mettams Pool, north of Trigg Beach, is a protected
pool ideal for young kids... there’s plenty of fish to
see in the shallows, plus a ramp to the water that’s
handy for wheelchairs or anyone with mobility issues.
The Navy Pier dive in Exmouth is one of the world’s
best jetty dives. Ammunition Jetty at Woodmans
Point is a good option for novice divers, while Bulk
Jetty in Kwinana is another option from late Spring
through to Autumn.
The Avon Valley looks
spectacular in Spring when it
is lush and green, the fields
of canola making a pretty
patchwork when viewed from
above. Chilly mornings see
the mist gather in low-lying
areas. Flying low over rivers
and streams, you can catch
a reflection of the colourful
balloon shimmering on the
water, or pick leaves from the
tops of nearby trees. Flights
from Northam start early in the
morning (wear warm clothes).
Windward Balloon Adventures,
(08) 9621 2000.
Learning to dive
If you’re planning on getting your dive certificate, it’s best to book through a dive centre. They meet very strict
guidelines on equipment used, training materials offered, air quality and medical supplies (such as oxygen and
first aid kits) to be able to offer these dive courses. They also have different ratings, from regular dive centres
right through to career development specialists.
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