Rapid bay jetty

Rapid Bay Jetty

Underwater Photographer's dream location in Adelaide


Tucked away near Adelaide, Australia is a gem of a dive site known as Rapid Bay Jetty. Beautiful Leafy sea dragons, pier pilings covered in life, and large schools of fish await you at the Rapid Bay Jetty. You could spend days exploring the macro and wide-angle underwater photography opportunities at this site.


rapid bay jetty

The first jetty in the photo is the "new" rapid bay jetty. You walk to the end of this jetty and easily enter the water via stairs. Pilings underwater guide you directly to the 2nd jetty. The 2nd, larger jetty behind it is the one you actually dive. The best diving is towards the "T" section of the 2nd jetty you can almost see in the background of the photo.


Rapid Bay Jetty Marine Life


What will really impress you about Rapid Bay Jetty is the quantity and diversity of fish. After a while I lost count of the different species, large and small, living in the different environments found under the pier. In addition, all of the pier pilings are covered with dense, colorful invertebrate growth including nudibranchs, featherduster worms, sponges and tunicates. Although I found a couple nudibranchs, there many more species across the bay at Edithburgh Jetty.


There were many species of filefish. They would move in little groups, and enjoy staying just out of photography range most of the time.


Rapid bay jetty underwater photography tips


  • The best diving is under the "T" section of the larger, old jetty - swim out there from the end of the new jetty and carefully take a compass heading. Large schools of fish fill the area until the "T", on a sunny day it's quite a spectacular sight looking up at the schools of fish with the pier pilings in the background.
  • Use a wide angle lens with the schools of fish. Get close, shoot up, and carefully set your shutter speed to get the desired background exposure.
  • There's a large number of fish species under the pier - take time to learn the species, and their behavior, and then try out some fish photography.
  • Carefully scan the pier pilings for macro subjects such as crabs and featherduster worms
  • Look for leafy sea dragons underwater at the deeper parts of the pier, to the left and right of the "T" section.


Rapid Bay Jetty Underwater Photos


 Rapid bay jetty pier piling

Rapid bay jetty pier pilings


schooling fish at rapid bay jetty

Schooling Old wives at the Rapid bay jetty


Leafy sea dragon

Checking out a leafy sea dragon at the rapid bay jetty


Dive Logistics


Rapid bay jetty lies 90 minutes south of Adelaide, 15 minutes from Cape Jervis. It's a short walk 1 minute walk from the parking area to the "new jetty". After walking to the end of the new jetty, you enter the water and make a short underwater swim to the "old jetty". There's even markings underwater to guide you to the new jetty. Simple! If you wish, you can even surface swim part of the way towards the "T" section of the old jetty where the best diving is.


  • Water temps: 16-19 degrees
  • Depths: 7-12 meters




Divers Delight dive shop - a great source for dive gear around Adelaide

Guide to the Leafy Sea Dragon

Guide to Wide-angle underwater photography

Diving Adelaide



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