Exmouth’s Navy Pier found on Western Australia’s Coral Coast is best described as an aquarium without glass. It will officially open for diving on the 15th November following restoration works. The Navy Pier has a reputation as one of the top 10 shore dives worldwide, primarily due to its vast range of marine life.
There are over 200 identified fish species under the Pier and as with any jetty dive, underwater navigation is easy. As the pier is still a working US naval base, and to protect the amazing diversity of fish life, all dives must be guided.
Exmouth company, Dive Ningaloo, has been awarded the sole operating license for the Navy Pier dive, granted for two years, with a one year extension. Co-owner Kristen Ross said “we are really excited about being able to dive this incredible site for the first time in over 18 months. Often described as being like an oasis in the ocean, restricted access and a ban on fishing has meant that jetty is teeming with marine life that gravitates to the structure for protection. The biodiversity for such a small area is incredible Ms. Ross said.”
Extending out from the shore, the T-shaped pier is 300 metres wide and 110 metres long and includes two outlying “dolphins” (platforms for larger ships to tie up to), reaching a depth of 15 metres. The pier structure is covered in soft corals; divers could spend several days diving the site and not be bored.
Divers to the Navy Pier can find Wobbegong sharks, large potato cods; lion, angler, stone and scorpion fish; moray eels, octopus, large schools of trevally and huge rays dozing in the sand. The pier is regarded as one of the top 10 shore dives worldwide; quite an achievement. Divers will see more individual fish and species here than most people would see in a lifetime of diving. This dive site is a photographer’s dream with an abundance of sea life that is seemingly unafraid of divers.
Due to the area’s large tidal range resulting in strong currents, the Exmouth Navy Pier can only be dived at slack water which occurs for 30 minutes at the top and bottom of the tide. It is therefore critical that before booking the Navy Pier dive, tourists much have dived with in the last six (6) months. Night dives on the pier are equally amazing and are offered to advanced divers only.
To plan your next holiday to Ningaloo region, learn more about the best diving spots on the Coral Coast or to book your tour with Dive Ningaloo, visit www.australiascoralcoast.com
Additional Information on the Ningaloo Region
Western Australia’s Ningaloo Coast Region, spanning from Quobba Station out of Carnarvon to Bundegi Beach near Exmouth, attracts large numbers of interstate and international visitors despite its remote location. The isolation is a key factor in both ensuring that the environment retains the values attractive to visitors and in creating a place where people feel they can escape from urban living. The area was delcared as a UNESCO World Hertiage site in 2011.
Exmouth is 15 hours’ drive north of Perth or under 2 hours via QantasLink with daily flights and connecting morning flights from Sydney and Melbourne. The annual visitor numbers to the town of Exmouth where the Navy Pier dive site is located, is approximately 200,000 (ref: Shire of Exmouth).