Named after a French Zoologist, Point Peron was once a resettlement area for sailors and part of a series of coastal military defense during the Second World War where long-barreled guns littered the coast with a vantage view of the enemy courtesy from its promontory or high lands. But that was history and the World War has long been over. In 1964, the Australian Government realized the ecotourism potential of Point Peron where many have appreciated its limestone cliffs and protected shores that all adds up to its panoramic postcard view. Of course, coral reefs and other marine ecosystems were also on the list of attraction where its biodiversity index is considered as one of the most diverse in Australia. With this, the management and control of Point Peron was transferred from the Commonwealth Government to the State of Western Australia with the sole and concrete condition that it will be developed for public recreation and protected areas.
Before we proceed, allow us to give you a glimpse of Point Peron’s natural beauty:
Video courtesy from Eden Nguyen
Now, let’s head towards Point Peron and explore a vast marine playground and interact with its wildlife where its protection has been in placed for more than 50 years.
The Dive Plan
The good thing with diving in Point Peron is that it is just 5 minutes away from the Rockingham Dive Trail and the way things are organized is pretty much the same with this two neighboring dive sites. By the way, what we mean about their similarities is just on the management side and they are totally different in terms of topography and thriving resources. As they said: No two dive sites are the same.
Arriving at the car park, you can unload your scuba equipment and start gearing up. In going to the beach, you have two options in going down the concrete pavement: first option is located near the main car park while the other option is on Car Park Number Two. But since we are aiming for the swimthroughs which is one of the main attraction in Point Peron, we suggest you to take the second car park. At the end of the concrete pavement where it meets with the natural limestone formation, there is a designated entry point where you can enter the water via giant stride.
Initially, you will hover over a white sandy patch as you adjust and secure your equipment. Once you commence your descent, your course of direction will head towards south following an algal bed. After swimming for about 3 to 5 minutes, the first swimthrough will appear. The entrance is quite shallow at 3 meters (10 feet) and you will need to go through one at a time.
In case you do not know what is a swimthrough, just imagine a cave that is NOT entirely enclosed at the top and has an exit at the other end. Focusing further on swimthroughs, it is unlike any other enclosed and dark environment such as underwater caves, marine life is limited due to the restriction of sunlight. In the case of Point Peron, it is teeming with a wide variety of marine organisms such as algae like the Sargassum, shells, sponges, barnacles, nudibranch and small fish like filefish, rabbitfish, damselfish and other small reef fish.
Important Note: Never attempt to dive Point Peron alone without a buddy, especially if you wish to explore the swimthroughs. It is best to sign-up with a guided tour or find a site experienced dive buddy on a local Facebook group such as Diving Buddies [Perth]
After exploring the first shallow swimthrough, your divemaster or buddy will lead you to other minor cracks and crevices as you go further south until you will reach a large underwater arch at 5 meters (16 feet) deep. Keep in mind that this large overhead structure will give a signal that you are about to enter the main swimthrough site of Point Peron where many have described it as a maze of multiple entrance and exit. Once you are inside the chamber, you will see that it is filled with marine life such as the ones previously mentioned plus the majestic and picturesque sea fans and lobsters that are usually in pair or in small group. By the way, watch out for some potential and natural hazards like the spikes of a sea urchin.
Once you are out of the main swimthrough, your guide will usually ask for your remaining air. If air is still sufficient, you can head towards west going to a shallow reef. Spending a minute or two at this small ecosystem, you will head towards northeast which will signal the end of your dive. Once you are at the surface, you will be surprised that you will be exiting at the frontage of the car park. But let us remind you though that this is not the car park where you started your dive. But rather, you are at the frontage of the main car park. In other words, you just made a large U-shaped swimming pattern.