Every Thousand Kilometres

Kilometres, not kilometers. You read right, because these are kms around Australia.

I would like to dive at least once every 1000 km of Aussie coastline. Can it be done? Has anyone done it? I’d be curious to hear.

Before we dwell deeper into the diving around the continent, we have to clarify what we mean by ‘every 1000 km’. As the late great Benoit Mandelbrot has shown, coastlines are a fractal. This means, they are a bit more than 2-dimensional. Thus, their exact length depends on the length of the ruler we use to measure them. Look at the map of Botany Bay below: if we use a long measurement stick, the length between the Royal National Park and Bondi is 23 kilometres. If we use a short one, we can fit it into all the little bays and inlets, and the distance is 72 km. Ha. Re-spect for Mandelbrot for figuring all of the math of this out.


Depending on the size of your measuring stick, it’s either 23 km or 72 km from Royal NP to Bondi.


14000 km, when measured rather coarsely, to make it around Australia.

Ok, diversions into mathematics aside, I want to dive every 1000 km (measured with a ~100 km stick). I get a coastline of Ozland which is ~14000 km.

Here is the easy part:

Around the major population centres, and the tourism-heavy areas, there are lots of dive shops and well known and accessible dive sites. And I have dived, from north to south, at a few spots in the GBR, Southwest Rocks in northern New South Wales (shark central), in the Sydney region (plenty), in Jervis Bay, and in Port Philipp Bay near Melbourne. To fill in a few spots, Townsville & Rockhampton in QLD, Flinder’s Reef near Brisbane and Byron Bay would surely provide the opportunities for some nice future dives. Going further west, I am hoping to dive near Adelaide next year (and see the leafy seadragon), and at some undetermined time in the future, Western Australia should be a great place to dive as well, nicely developed for dive tourism up to the Ningaloo reef.

It’s also possible to go on a pricey but fantastic tour of the northern parts of the GBR, up to Cape York. There, as one of my dive buddies has done, you can drink a beer in Australia’s northernmost pub.

There seems to be some organized diving around Darwin, although I have not talked to anyone who has dove there.

by Pacificklaus

A shark watcher at Magic Point in Sydney. Sharks are your friends, people!

But here is the hard part:

West of Darwin, in the NT and in the Kimberley region in northern Western Australia, there are seemingly few, if any, dive shops. In fact, there are few shops at all. Few people, even. But, so I hear, lots of largish saltwater crocodiles with healthy appetites. Is that area even diveable at all? I would be very interested in hearing if anyone has been underwater there (a big ‘there’) and what it was like.