The marine reserve at Governor Island provides some of the best diving in Australia. Shallow kelp-covered reef quickly drops down to spectacular sponge gardens. Butterfly perch and other fish swarm across the bottom. Granite boulders and ledges provide habitat for kelp in the shallows and colourful invertebrates below 25 to 30 metres. Since the reserve was proclaimed, the numbers and size of rock lobster has increased dramatically. Large rock lobsters are now a common sight, especially in the deep sponge gardens and in sheltered ledges amongst the kelp. Depth and exposure in much of this reserve means that it is most suited to experienced scuba divers and boat operators. Less challenging dives down to around 24 metres can be found around the smaller islands such as Bird Rock. At these sites, a small torch will help you investigate the numerous overhangs and small caves which are covered by colourful sponges, zoanthids and other invertebrates.
Governor Island is also an important sea-bird rookery. One of Tasmania's largest breeding populations of crested terns nest on the island. Underwater, the spectacular scenery of sheer rock walls, deep fissures and caves, is home for an unusually diverse range of colourful and captivating marine communities.
Sea Tulips by Heidi Dungey
The reserve is jointly managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service and Marine Resources.