You may well think that a scuba diver in Canberra would have very limited options, with only a couple of muddy holes (LBG) to get wet in, and youâ€™d be right. However there are plenty of other options within easy reach of Canberra. Lets face it, we all drive down the south coast anyway, so its about time someone actually started writing up what dives there are to do down there. Long time Canberra divers probably know about most or all of the dives that Iâ€™ve done, so hopefully theyâ€™ll start sending in theyâ€™re experiences.
This week Iâ€™ll go over my latest diving adventure which was to Eden.
Dives â€“ The wreck of the Tasman Hauler, the Henry Bolte and a shore dive of Lennards Island
Driving time â€“ 4hours
Accomodation â€“ We camped at the Ben Boyd Caravan Park behind the Seahorse Inn for $9 a night
Gear Hire â€“ Iâ€™m part of the ANU Scuba Club so for club run trips the hire of tank, BCD and regulators is $10 for the weekend
Tank fills â€“ $8 from the Merimbula Dive Centre run petrol station down at the Eden wharf
For some great photos of the trip check out the ANU Scuba Club photos page here.
As most south coast diving books will tell you the Tasman Hauler and Henry Bolte were tug boats that were sunk just south of Eden in 1987 to create wrecks to dive on.
Tasman Hauler â€“ A very intact wreck with the deepest part at around 28m. Plenty of fish life and we found a moray eel living in one of the sluice holes. Tried to entice it out but no luck. A lot to see of the tug from the intact propeller which is 2.5m high and easy access to the interior, but as it was my first wreck dive I didnâ€™t go in, just sticking my head in some doorways and the engine bay. Also found some cleaner shrimp living up near the wheel house and again counldnâ€™t entice them out to do some cleaning. Had one cheesy moment of standing on the bow railing playing â€œKing of the Worldâ€. A nice easy dive with plenty to see and do.
Henry Bolte â€“ At 26m its not quite as deep as the Tasman Hauler and it looks much more like a wreck as its come apart in many places, giving it more of a feel that its been blown apart rather than just lowered to the bottom of the sea. Again a nice easy dive but possibly not as much to see as the Tasman Hauler. You need a boat to reach both wrecks but they are only a couple of hundred meters apart so you can choose on the day which one you want to go to.
Lennards Island â€“ Getting to Leaanrds Island was a bit of an adventure in itself. You take the road off the Princess Hwy at the Eden tip and then turn right very quickly and youâ€™ll have 3.5km of forestry trail to get down to the shore, my little non 4WD managed it easily enough. Theres about a 50m hike from the carpark to the beach with gear and down stairs, were you have a choice of either going in the north or south side of the island, both having rocky beaches. We went in the south side of the island and ended up having a pretty shallow and uneventful shore dive of 12m. We got a bit battered on the rocks getting out. If we had more time and more knowledge of the site then Iâ€™m sure it would be worthwhile exploring but there was nothing exciting this trip.