Located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, Cape Le Grand National Park is famous for its picturesque and spectacular coastal scenery. With secluded bays offering pristine white sands against a backdrop of exquisite granite peaks, exploring this dramatic region must be on the bucket list of every nature seeker.
While most travellers throng to this region for its excellent camping sites, beautiful spring wildflowers and opportunities to spot kangaroos and emus, a lesser explored but worthwhile activity to consider when visiting is scuba diving.
Diving in Cape Le Grand
The abundant marine life in the pristine blue waters of this region along with a few scattered shipwrecks have been attracting divers from around the world. Seasoned divers especially enjoy the challenge offered by the frigid waters and strong currents in the Southern Ocean.
Islands of the Recherche Archipelago
Within the Cape Le Grand National park are the scraggly islands of the Recherche Archipelago. Distinctive because of the granite domes that bob out of the water with their underwater caves, reefs and granite walls offering unique under-water environments for the experienced diver.
Exploring the Sanko Harvest WreckLocated at about 12 km south from Hellfire Bay, this is considered to be the second largest diveable wreck in the entire world. Since the 33,000 tonne Japanese tanker was sunk on the reef about 20 years ago this sunken ship has broken into 3 pieces that sit on the ocean floor 13 to 44 meters deep. Divers are able to explore the wreck and spot sponges, kelp, anemones and sea tulips. You can also access the engine room, tower cranes and ships bridge during the dive. Three years after having sunk, this site was declared to be a marine sanctuary and since then it became homes for schools of red snappers, blue gropers and often dolphin and seals.
The best time to dive here is in April when the winds and ocean currents are a lot more manageable.