EXPEDITIONS

The Neptune Islands

The beautiful Neptune Islands are a Conservation Park consisting of 2 island groups (North and South) and are located at the mouth of the Spencer Gulf, here in South Australia.

Both of these island groups are home to large breeding colonies of the protected New Zealand fur seals (Arctocephalus forsteri) which is of course why the great white sharks visit. The smaller North East island also has a very small number of breeding Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea.)  These beautiful sea lions are listed as both 'rare' and 'endangered'. See Sharks and Seals for more information.

Where we anchor each day is dependent on the weather but usually in winter this is nicely tucked up in 'The Main Bay' of North Neptunes West and in summer is usually north of North Neptunes East and in 'Action Bay'.

The sea surface temperature around the islands ranges from 14-22°C (57-72°F) and the water visibility of over 20m can be experienced in our surface cage and ocean floor diving.  We will always anchor taking weather, diving and best place for sharks into consideration.

The depths we ocean floor cage dive in can vary depending on where we are anchored but average around 18m, so to take part in this world exclusive experience a basic PADI open water certificate or equivalent is all that is needed. Remember no dive certificate is needed for the surface cage diving!  

Depths further around the islands are 30-50m.

Each expedition inlcudes a tour (weather dependent) around the islands in our tender boat to get a better look at the amazing array of species that live there. Access on to the islands is not permitted.

The Main Bay is where we spend most of our winter trips, away from the prevailing westerly wind and where the fur seals get protection from the weather. It is shallow enough for easy ocean floor diving. Most diving is in 12-18 metres.  

Action Bay is the best ocean floor diving location on the northern side. In the middle of Action Bay, a large saddle of rock runs out into deep water, and is home to thousands of colourful reef fish.  This makes a beautiful back drop to the cruising sharks, which seem to like visiting us in this location.  

The western side is open to the prevailing westerly swell, and only on very low swell days and easterly winds (mostly summer) is this a workable location.  We also need to locate very tightly in to the Western Crevasse to get shallow enough depths for the ocean floor dives.

The South Islands are also a breeding colony for New Zealand fur seals and is a haul out site for the Australian sea lions.

The ocean floor topography here is very different to the North Islands and our ocean floor dives lower to a beautiful expanse of flat sand.  

Unlike the North Islands, the South Islands have been inhabitated. From 1901 - 1985 a cast iron light house and 3 keepers cottages were manned all year round. A lonely existence indeed!  The newer structure that replaced the cast iron light house was converted in the mid 90's to solar power and the light house keepers were withdrawn.

The original cast iron light house is now a museum piece in Port Adelaide and well worth a visit and the later light house and the 3 keepers cottages can still be seen from our dive boat when on location.

Click here for more information on the history of South Neptune Islands.

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