Australia / Diving / Travel / Wildlife

Diving the Mornington Peninsula

4 May ’14

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After the heat of the previous location, we headed further south to the Mornington Peninsula and indulge in some amazing pier diving. We were lucky to be hosted and showed around by the most famous local and now tv-star, but above it all our amazing friend, Sarah Shark. It is always a good thing to have local knowledge when you are visiting a new spot, it makes things easier especially when you have limited time in that location! And speaking of which, what a location, the green hills border the beautiful blue ocean and beach. It feels like the perfect place to kick back and relax. The number of wineries in the vicinity might have biased me a bit but it is truly a great place to visit.

Après la chaleur de Mungo, on a repris la route pour vers le Sud en direction de la Péninsule de Mornington. On y a passé plusieurs jours à se reposer mais aussi profiter des spots de plongée très accessibles ! On était chez une de mes meilleures amies et présentatrice du documentaire Sarah Shark. À voir absolument ! C’est toujours un atout d’avoir une personne locale pour nous montrer les bons coins et permettre d’optimiser notre temps à pour une destination. La qualité des plongées et la présence de vignobles près des villes en font un endroit très sympa pour se prélasser, déguster et plonger !

Having only a GoPro as underwater shooting gear gave me a nice break from lugging around my heavy equipment for the usual terrestrial wildlife photography. Although, I quickly go back to complaining about the lack of control over exposure and all the rest after each dive… Nonetheless, a great tool to bring back excellent memories from trips like that (or your everyday diving spot).

N’avoir qu’une GoPro pour faire de la photo sous-marine, ça me donne l’avantage de voyager léger pour le moment ! Mais je me remets vite à râler au vu du manque de contrôle sur la bête… Avec un peu de concentration et en se rappelant les points essentiels, on peut tout de même faire des souvenirs sympas !

DCIM104GOPROMy most anticipated wildlife encounter was the Weedy Sea-dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus). It is such a fascinating animal and I’ve wanted to see one for quite some time. Sarah took us, amongst other places, to the Flinders pier on the ocean side of the Peninsula. A great spot for the sea-dragons but also for rays (see images below). I feel lucky to have been able to photograph both of the sea-dragon species in Australia. The Weedy Sea-dragon on this trip and the Leafy Sea-dragon (Phycodurus eques) last year in Kangaroo Island (see all the images here South Australia Pictures). most anticipated wildlife encounter was the weedy sea-dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus). It is such a fascinating animal and i’ve wanted to see one for quite some time. Sarah took us, amongst other places, to the  Flinders pier on the ocean side of the Peninsula. A great spot for the sea-dragons but also for rays (see images below). I feel lucky to have been able to photograph both the sea-dragon species in Australia. The weedy sea-dragon on this trip and the leafy sea-dragon (Phycodurus eques) last year in Kangaroo Island (see all the images here South Australia Pictures).

Une de mes rencontres les plus anticipées était le Phyllopteryx taeniolatus, aussi appelé le dragon de mer commun. C’est un animal fascinant et j’avais envie d’en voir un depuis longtemps. Sarah nous a amenés sur le spot de ‘Flinders pier’, sur le coté océan de la péninsule. Un spot génial pour les dragons mais aussi pour les raies. Je suis chanceux d’avoir pu photographier ce dragon de mer (ainsi que l’unique autre espèce de dragon de mer un an auparavant a Kangaroo Island – voir les images ici : South Australia Pictures).

weedy sea-dragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus mornington peninsula

weedy sea-dragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus mornington peninsula

DCIM104GOPRO

DCIM105GOPRODespite the poor weather on land, we had some great visibility dives. Exploring the kelp looking for sea-dragons, seahorses and Blue-ringed Octopus among other things, was a great experience. Diving and exploring with such a great group of close friends certainly was a plus! Driving around in wetsuits from spot to spot, withstanding the long days with lunch usually around 4pm and everyone crashing on the couch after a full day of diving. Ending the day by kicking back and enjoying the warmth of a blanket was amazing. the poor weather outside we had some great visibility dives. Exploring the kelp looking for sea-dragon, sea horses, blue ringed octopus and so forth was a great experience. Diving and exploring with such a great group of close friends certainly was a plus! Driving around in wetsuits from spot to spot, withstanding the long days with lunch happening at 4pm and everyone crashing in the couch after a full day of diving, kicking back and enjoying the warmth of a blanket was amazing.

Malgré la mauvaise météo en dehors de l’eau, on avait une superbe visibilité sous l’eau. Ce fut une grande expérience que d’explorer ces eaux peu profondes et limpides à la recherche des hippocampes, raies et dragons de mer. Pouvoir le faire avec un groupe d’amis, en vacances, rouler de spot en spot avec nos combinaisons sur nous de spot en spot et faire de gros repas d’après plongée avant de s’endormir au chaud… Que du bon !

diving mornington peninsula diving mornington peninsulaI definitively recommend this destination to all budding divers out there, easy shallow dives and a very interesting suite of animals to observe.  After having recharged our batteries, jumping into the new year in a wet fashion we headed for our next destination, the highest places in Australia…

Je recommande chaudement ces spots de plongées à tous les plongeurs qui passent dans la zone. L’eau est peu profonde, pleine de choses à observer, des plongées faciles. Notre prochaine destination nous amènera vers les sommets les plus hauts de l’Australie.

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Author

I am a nature photographer specialising in wildlife photography. I have a special passion for this type of photography which comes from my background as an ecologist & conservation biologist.

Comments (2)

  • January 16, 2015 by hepiegne

    hepiegne

    superbe cet hippocampe !
    un sacré plaisir de le voir en live !

    • February 12, 2015 by rqko

      rqko

      Merci! C’etait vraiment une superbe rencontre et je recommande ces plongées a quiquonque passe dans le coin!

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