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Tasmania's clear waters and biologically diverse environment offer some of the best temperate diving in the world. With more than 5,000 kilometres of coastline and more than 45,000 ha of marine reserves, there's no shortage of easily accessible underwater wilderness to explore.

Tasmania's East Coast is a diving mecca, with several protected, deep water dive sites. The town of Bicheno has exceptional diving, including the popular Paradise Reef, the deep water Golden Bommies and the gullies of Magic Garden in the Governors Island Marine Reserve. The Reserve is one of the best dive sites in Australia.

Further down the coast, divers will find marine reserves with some of the highest marine biodiversity around Maria Island. Also off the north-west tip of Maria Island is one of Tasmania's prime dive sites, the Troy D, a 55 metre former Hopper Barge scuttled in 2007 to form an artificial reef and now teeming with marine life.

Tasmania's early maritime history has also left the island with many shipwreck sites to explore. Underwater explorers with a taste for history can discover shipwrecks at sites around Flinders and King Islands in Bass Strait and at other locations along Tasmania's east coast.

In the north west, divers are attracted by quartzite reefs at Rocky Cape and Boat Harbour.

There are also excellent dives in the south including the giant kelp forests, underwater caves and deep water sponge gardens of the Tasman Peninsula - home to rare fish species, seals and towering sea cliffs.

Closer to Hobart, marine life teems among the shipwrecks at the Betsey Island Ships' Graveyard and at the underwater trails of Tinderbox Marine Reserve. There's also exceptional diving to be had off Bruny Island, with caverns, overhangs and extensive year-round kelp forests.

Visibility in Tassie's dive sites ranges from 12 m in summer to more than 40 m in winter when serious wetsuits are required.

Diving courses are available as well as guided charters, gear hire and diving packages.