Dive Forster at Fisherman's Wharf!

Ron Hunter at the Helm of the Avanti

Ron Hunter has owned and operated the business since 1972; at first we operated as a boat hire and bait sales boatshed.

Ron, since he was a kid at Sydney’s beachside suburb Maroubra, (gee! now that is archival!) has always surfed and spearfished and snorkeled in the ocean waters.

In 1982 he established the first dive centre in Forster, NSW Australia. Buying a compressor and basically indulging his passion for the ocean

The dive centre rapidly overtook the boat and bait side of the business, and anyway it was a lot more exciting and fun.

We bought our first commercial charter dive boat in 1985, so that we could share the superb diving and sites that we pioneered in the area in the early days.

We are now on our fourth boat, each subsequent vessel an improvement over the previous one; and our boat of the last ten years the "Avanti" continues to be the best day dive charter on the East Coast of Australia.

In the late 1980s we began to notice a decline in the population of the Grey Nurse Sharks that inhabit our area. Ron, together with Phil Bowman and the late Noel Hitchins fought a tireless campaign against the NSW government and its many bureaucrats to get the Grey Nurse Sharks’ plight recognised. Finally after many years of effort, the Grey Nurse Sharks were declared "critically endangered" (one step away from extinction) and after another long campaign by the diving community for action by the NSW Government, they finally put into place protection zones at some of the declared critical habitat areas.

Divers from all over the Planet visit Forster and Seal Rocks in order to dive with these magnificent sharks

The diving in our area, whilst the big draw card has always been the Grey Nurse Sharks, is diverse and fantastic in so many other ways; huge schools of pelagics are seen regularly, jewfish, kingfish, tunas plus big rays and the occasional other types of sharks, this is mega fauna excitement diving.

Our Boat

TSMV “AVANTI” is a 10.6 metre catamaran which we had custom designed and built, she was launched in July 1997. She has just undergone a complete engine and electronics refit, and she's running smoother and faster than ever before!

AVANTI is recognised as one of the best day charter boats on the entire East Coast of Australia, its many features include:

  • Twin 315 horsepower Yanmar turbo diesel engines
  • Toilet and 2 hot showers
  • 4 exits and 2 boarding ladders
  • Large central tank & equipment rack
  • Comfortable & spacious seating
  • Fully covered rear deck
  • Spacious dry cabin including plenty of dry storage
  • Modern satellite navigation and depth sounding systems
  • Full compliment of regularly maintained safety equipment
  • Fully surveyed and licensed to operate commercially
  • Fast cruising speed at 21 knots
  • She has a capacity of 20 people plus crew, all crew are fully trained to operate AVANTI and all safety equipment which is carried on board.

AVANTI is a very stable and easy boat to dive from, plus with the added comfort of a toilet, hot showers and experienced crew this will make your underwater adventure with us a pleasurable one!

AVANTI is very much a multi purpose boat, not only do we SCUBA dive and run Swim with the Dolphins Cruises aboard her, we often run BBQ sunset cruises - we remove the tank racks, replace them with tables, chairs, party lights, eskies and a BBQ on board and then we are off onto the beautiful Wallis Lake to party the night away.