The Navy Pier has a reputation as one of the top 10 shore dives worldwide, primarily due to its vast range of marine life - best described as an aquarium without glass.
At the last count, there were at least 200 different species, including big schools of trevally, snapper and barracuda, as well as graceful firefish, angelfish, moorish idols and a Goliath grouper we call the BFG (big friendly grouper)!
As with any jetty dive, underwater navigation is easy. The pier is still a working US naval base, and to protect the amazing diversity of fish life, all dives must be guided and bring your passport - because you are going into international waters. Diving here can only be conducted with Dive Ningaloo, and numbers are limited to protect the site.
This site can be dived during the day or at night, any day of the year (weather/waves dependent).
Why it’s a must-do for divers
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. The pier structure is a macro wonderland. 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.
Fish can’t help themselves!
Divers to the Navy Pier can find large potato cods, lion, angler, stone and scorpion fish, flat worms, frog fish, toad fish, shrimp, moray eels, octopus, large schools of trevally and huge rays dozing in the sand. Cruising through the shadowy structure are also big schools of snapper, rabbit fish and fusiliers, huge grouper, sea snakes and sharks, commonly grey nurse, reef and wobbegongs. Nudibranches of all shape and colour plus sponges that utilise the currents to feed attracting colourful reef fish, butterfly, angel, moorish idol and parrotfish.
How the Navy Pier dive tour works
Dive Ningaloo, has been awarded the sole operating license for the Navy Pier dive, granted until November 2019, with a one year extension to November 2020.
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 must have dived within the last six (6) months. Night dives on the pier are equally amazing and are offered to advanced divers only.
Owner Kirsten Sheppard said “we are really excited about being able to dive this incredible site. 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".