“Tumby Bay Jetty was built in 1874, the second jetty to be built on Eyre Peninsula. The jetty is known for its resident, the Leafy Sea Dragons!”
Mrs Edwin Harvey performed the opening ceremony by cracking a bottle of champagne over the new structure. The need for the jetty became apparent when ore from the Burrawing Mine was shipped through Tumby. Prior to the jetty, the copper ore and other goods including wheat and wool were loaded into dingies from days or wagons to be transhipped out to larger vessels in deep water. In recent years a new commercial jetty has been built to replace the original jetty dismantled in 1999 due to it being unsafe.
Under our jetty you will find some fascinating residents - some rare. The first is a short sandy stretch, mostly shallow, while the second is filled with seagrasses.
At the end of the jetty, rubble and timber are found scattered on the bottom. Divers should look carefully in the sandy section as a lot tend to pass over it. Diverse creatures such as stingrays and seamoths can be found here, and unless you know what you are looking for the strange bony bodied seamoth, which has a turned down snout and is sand coloured, can be very hard to spot . The first one is the hardest to find.
As the water deepens the masses of seagrass are quite apparent from the surface as a dark stain. Large schools of Old Wife (Enoplosus armatus) can be seen here, as well as moonlighters (Tilodon sixfasciatum) and various species of gobbleguts, cowfish and puffer. Leather jackets hide in the weed, disappearing the moment you recognise them.
Near the end of the jetty where the bottom becomes silty and there are logs and other debris, and the small bottom dwellers have plenty of nooks and crannies to hide in. Here you might find a large octopus or the eggs of the sand octopus waiting to hatch. Even the mantis shrimp normally a crustacean of tropical waters has been sighted here. Divers are still just discovering our hidden wonders.
Tumby Bay's jetty is also home to a healthy leafy sea dragon colony and one of South Australia’s most famous dive spots. Divers are encouraged to post photos, videos, and sightings on the Tumby Bay Leafy Sea Dragon Facebook page.
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Tumby Bay Jetty
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