Find an Australian Sea Dragon

Find an Australian Sea Dragon

 

Rare in every other place in the world, this mythical creature has been taunting us from Melbourne’s coastline. This is how we found an Australian Sea Dragon and why Flinders is one of the best places to see in Australia.

 

After one freezing attempt to snorkel in the ocean off Flinders point on a gusty day, we came back to the beach with nothing more than a few mouthfuls of saltwater and a cold. We decided to try once again this week by doing what we do best, blowing bubbles.We hired two tanks from Ocean Divers in Bentleigh, they assisted us with an appropriate dive plan and diving style to locate the Sea Dragons. Basically, find some weed and rest in the weed, patience.

It’s a wee walk into the ocean with all of your gear on, and then a stumble to fit your fins, BCD and comfortably float underneath the famous Flinders pier. A hub of activity exists around this pier, jumpers take a giant leap from above, further along are several fishermen while snorkelers and divers wallow in the shade below trying to avoid the dingys.

We know we don’t have much time, despite 30 degree temperatures above the surface the ocean is not as warm and inviting. Down we go, but slowly down since we have forgotten to bring lead weights and have instead accumulated several rocks in our pockets in exchange. Two metres down and we reach our target depth for the remainder of the dive, adjust ourselves to get comfortable and start to kick… but Prue is already squealing through her regulator and right there is our little gem.

An Australian Sea Dragon cruising above the grass in pristine blue water.

 

Five minutes with him until we are distracted by a 6 foot round, cow tail ray and seconds later a mobular ray who swims beneath us as we rise into a snorkel scuba combination.Mission accomplished. If it were warmer we’d be poking around the soft coral that has attached itself to the pillars of the long pier or exploring the anemone covered crabs, but for now we are happy.

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Cow Tail Ray.
Cow Tail Ray.
Australian Sea Dragon
Weedy Sea Dragon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Written by

Rebecca Mayoll is a ‘just turned 30’ freelance writer and photographer from England. She is the co-founder and author of straightondetour.com, a travel website with the mantra ‘find your own adventure.’ Promoting adventurous destinations, independent travel and giving a humorous insight to the World of travel is what Becky does best.

4 Comments
  • Oooh, I’ve always wanted to see a leafy sea dragon! Is it strange that my favourite hangover activity has become browsing through your scuba diving the world section?! I’m very jealous of your camera. I’ve managed to break/loose/get stolen about 4 or 5 underwater olympuses. 🙁

    • Katie, you are so sweet! Leafy sea dragon was on our list for a long time and when we were in Victoria, we just wouldn’t let the opportunity slip by. So there we go, hired tanks with rocks in our pockets for weight… traipsing into the water beside a jetty to spot this little critter we have only seen in books. Haha the randomness was half the fun! Argh sorry to hear about your camera escapades, Olympus are not cheap! Where is your dream dive destination?

      Prue

      • This just popped up on twitter and I thought “wow!! they’ve seen a leafy sea dragon!!!”- just popped over and realised I’ve been here before…

        My dream dive destination would be Tonga with humpbacks I think. I learnt in Honduras and that was pretty incredible, but mostly just snorkelling since then. I love that too though 🙂

      • Snorkelling gives you so much access and freedom, many of my own favourite encounters have been this way. Even with the weedy sea dragons we were barely 80cm below the surface, you’d have laughed if you’d seen us half diving and half floating 🙂

        I’ve had those cheeky Tongan humpbacks on my list forever, I think snorkelling would be the way there too, do you think you’d be scared? I think I would but you wouldn’t be able to keep the smile off my face either haha.

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Hi we're Prue and Becks, travel writers and photographers who have been travelling the world together since 2012. Without taking ourselves too seriously, we divulge the lesser known, out of the way places and give you the tools to replicate it. Want to know more? Click on our pic.
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