Scuba Diving Rottnest Island

The Ultimate Guide To Scuba Diving Rottnest Island

The experience of tranquil island life you get on Rottnest Island is one not to be missed on any visit to Western Australia. Beautiful, clear, and colorful water surrounds this peaceful island. Despite its small size, there’s an endless amount to see and do. A day trip here is almost not enough to take in all it has to offer!

Situated just 19km off the coast of Perth, Rottnest Island is a popular destination for all types of traveler. A boat ride and easy bike hire make the island very accessible and easy to explore for anyone. With picture-postcard scenery and the instagram-famous Quokka (happiest animal EVER), this is one not to be missed!

The beautiful underwater environment surrounding Rottnest also lends itself well to diving! Scuba diving Rottnest Island hosts great marine biodiversity as well captivating shipwrecks full of history. Whether you want to see whales, sharks, or even little penguins, Rottnest has you covered!

Scuba Diving Rottnest Island

What’s Good About Rottnest Island Diving?

As if the postcard-worthy sights and cute little Quokkas aren’t enough (really?), Rottnest offers a range of interesting and diverse dive sites ensuring you’ll get the most out of your island exploration. Here are some of our highlights!

No Crowds

Rottnest Island is small enough to bike around in a day but still big enough to get off the beaten path and escape the crowds. This is more so true in the water as people are generally busy frantically trying to capture the ever-elusive Quokka selfie.

While Rottnest is popular for snorkeling, its diving is somewhat overlooked. Enjoy the tranquility of the island’s dive sites in peace and take in all of its wonderful spectacles without any of the crowds.

Good Diving Conditions

Australia is known for its great weather and that holds true here. Rottnest Island is a year-round diving location and has warm water temperatures for most of the year. While it cools off in the winter months, it’s no issue if you’ve got a thicker wetsuit.

Good visibility and warm, calm waters make for a great diving experience for divers of all abilities.

Diverse Marine Life

There’s something fascinating to see here for all kinds of marine life lovers. Depending on the time of year, you’ll have opportunity to spot nurse sharks, barracuda, humpback whales, and even penguins.

What’s more, over 135 species of tropical fish and 25 species of coral await you beneath the surface here!

Rottnest Island Scuba Certification

Scuba Certification

In general, you aren’t required to be certified in order to scuba dive on Rottnest Island. Moreover, there are many tour operators that cater to those of all levels of ability, no problem for a first-time diver. There are plenty of beginner-friendly and easily accessible dive sites to get your flippers wet for the first time.

Having said that, it’s always recommended to get scuba certified to give yourself the best, most enjoyable diving experience possible. While you’ll have a great time scuba diving Rottnest as a first-time diver, there’s a lot you can miss out on without the extra confidence and diving experience, such as the more challenging swim-throughs and wrecks.

In addition, becoming scuba certified will help you feel more comfortable and confident underwater. This leads to maximum enjoyment and safety from your diving experience and something worth considering.

Rottnest Island Scuba Diving Requirements

Scuba Diving Safety

Rottnest Island doesn’t have any specific laws or rules with regards to diving. As always, tour operators state that you must be in good physical condition and have some swimming ability. Children must be at least 10 years old to scuba dive with a tour operator.

With that said, it’s always highly recommended to have a dive buddy when you’re out scuba diving in the waters of Rottnest, as it is anywhere else. This is particularly the case if you’re out diving without a tour operator or guide. In this situation, it’s also good practice to make use of diver down flags.

Best Sites for Scuba Diving Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island offers much in the way of a tranquil island life, and diving is one of its little known gems. Here are some of our fave dive spots around the island.

Crystal Palace

Rottnest Island Dive

Rottnest is an island made up of limestone which makes for a unique diving experience here as the limestone reef system forms elaborate swim-throughs and a diverse underwater environment.

What’s more, it’s one of the lesser-known sites around Rottnest and doesn’t attract big crowds meaning you’ll be able to enjoy its beauty without any issue. The water is generally calm and so is suitable for first-time divers. Just from the surface, you’re able to see the vast array of caves and swim-throughs on offer.

If this sounds ideal to you, be sure to check out our recommended experience below!

Shark Cave

Rottnest Island Shark

The soft, porous limestone rock coupled with the currents of the Indian ocean produces a multitude of fascinated crevices and caverns to explore that you won’t see diving anywhere else.

Don’t let the name intimidate you! If you’re a more experienced diver, this unique site offers a great opportunity to get up close with the friendly nurse sharks that inhabit the area. Divers explore the outside of this cave system and the sharks pop out to see what all the fuss and bubbles are about!

Check out our recommended experience below, a great experience for more advanced divers heading to Rottnest.

Parker Point Wall

Underwater Wall

Situated between just 5m and 10m deep, Parker Point Wall is the perfect opportunity for beginner divers to get their first taste of wall diving. The wall spans east-to-west like a clifftop before plummeting down a sheer drop to a depth of around 10m.

The rock face attracts lots of crayfish that you’ll have the opportunity to see. You’ll also see some great overhangs and finger sponges on the sloping walls. If you haven’t had a chance to wall dive in the tropics, this is an opportunity not to pass up!

Check out our recommended experience below for more details.

Best Time to go Diving on Rottnest Island

Depending on the time of year you decide to visit Rottnest, you’ll have the opportunity to spot various marine life such as Sharks, Humpback Whales, and even penguins. This means there’s always something on offer, and never a bad time to go.

With that said, it might be a good idea to avoid the winter months of June-August as the water can be a little colder at an average of 66°F. With the spring/summer months of September-April offering great weather conditions in and out of the water, and much better visibility.

Having said that, we visited in July, the height of the Australian winter, and got a nice pleasant spring-like day!

How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost on Rottnest?

If you’re looking at booking an experience through a tour company on Rottnest, you’ll find prices between $250-$300 AUD. The prices generally include gear rental and levys so there are no extra fees.

In addition, a PADI Open Water Certification will set you back around $600 AUD, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Scuba Diving Gear on Rottnest Island

Scuba Gear

There are plenty of dive shops situated in Freemantle and Perth, the locations from which the Rottnest Island ferries depart. This means gear rental is always an option.

It’s worth noting, you’re left with one less thing to think about when going with a guided tour operator as all equipment and gear are included.

However, buying your own gear might be ideal for you if you’re a more keen and experienced diver!

Be sure to check out our buyer’s guides if you’re looking for scuba gear. There you’ll find all of our top recommendations for a range of scuba gear, including masks, dive computers, and complete gear packages!

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