Diving on Mackerel Islands is based around Thevenard Island. Thevenard Islands offers excellent sites for divers and snorkellers. Lying just 20 kms offshore from Onslow you can arrive by charter boat, charter aircraft or your own boat.
New dive sites are being discovered all the time but the real fact is that most of the marine life has never come in touch with a human being. Be one of the first to discover and experience this amazing opportunity.
It does not matter if you are an experienced diver or just looking to do learn to dive in Western Australia, the diving on The Mackerel Islands will not disappoint. Please note that dive courses and charters are currenty unavailable at Thevenard Island - but we hope to offering this service again soon.
Featuring large gorgonians and black coral trees in only ten meters of water. It has also resident olive sea snakes, Queensland groper the size of a mini car and again sleeping leopard and nurse sharks (in fact there is a good chance you will see sleeping sharks on any dive amongst the islands). Black Flag and nearby Paroo Shoals are both favourites for an incredible diversity of nudibranchs, so if you like to look small, these are the sites to see.
A site closer to the island. Featuring a large wall visited by pelagics and observed by permanent reef species. 14 metres at the base of the wall rising to 6 metres makes for an easy safety stop at the end of the dive. The wall and out onto the sand has larger species with mackerel and barracuda schooling the edge. The top of the site features colonies of anemones and clown fish, colourful soft corals and small benthic treasures to tempt the macro photographer. This site has a lot of potential as this long wall is yet to be fully dived.
A site also close to the island. There are a cluster of many sites in this location. Most sites between 3 metres to 13 metres. Crevaces, overhangs and small caves are scattered through out. Dense clouds of Pomfreys and Spanish flag frequent the features while larger coral trout and Chinamen Fish lurk in wait. Turtles, reef sharks and mangrove jack have also been frequent visitors. Small colourful soft and hard coral in cobalt blue, pink, yellow and vermillion provide an exciting splash of colour.
Many close sites to the island have large coral bombies, cabbage leaf and green tree coral outcrops. Many of these sites are calm, clear and protected from the wind and make for excellent second dive locations. Due to the shallow depths, most less than 6 metres, give long bottom times to create opportunities for interesting observations of marine interactions. Cleaning stations, schooling behaviours, hide and show of the irrepressible damsels and chromis make for very calm and relaxing dives.
This dive is a favourite amongst those wishing to see large schools of big fish! Around 5nM from Thevenard Island and in 20m of water, up to 40 Rankin Cod will follow you around while you explore the length of a sub sea wall. Sea snakes, Reef Sharks, Coral Trout and many Pelagic species school at this site making it one of the fishiest dives in the Mackerel Islands.
Two new dive locations have been recently explored and are featured in articles for Australian Dive publications This is what the dive journalist had to say about Bessiers Island, Brewis Reef, Rankin Road and about the Mackerel Islands as a dive destination
“We didn’t think the diving could get any better, but we then did some exploratory dives, descending onto reefs that have never been dived before. Around Besser Island we dived three new sites and found some wonderful coral formations, with schooling fish, gropers, reef sharks, turtles and a giant potato cod."
"At Brewis Reef we explored a maze of coral heads decorated with incredible corals and swarming with fish life. But the best exploratory dive was at Rankin Road, where we dived a rocky ridge packed with baitfish, gropers, reef sharks, stingrays and sea snakes."
"When we first arrived at the Mackerel Islands we were very dubious about the claim on their website of ‘world class diving’ but can confirm that it is true, but we would also add that it is some of the best diving we have experienced in Australia!” Nigel Marsh and Helen Rose.