I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
Published March 27th 2021
Scuba Diving Cook Island with an awesome scuba diving team
Family-owned and professionally managed, Tweed Sea Sports Scuba Diving Centre is located in Tweed Heads Gold Coast in a strategic position to access the Cook Island Aquatic Reserve.
Liat and Peter Comerford are the owners and managers of Tweed Sea Sports, both sharing the same strong passion for scuba diving and marine life.
Peter has been diving for about 40 years and he has been an instructor for about 34 years. In 1983, Peter went on a school trip to Heron Island as a student and it was then when he started to develop scuba diving skills. He has scuba dived all over the world - USA, Italy, France and spent a few years scuba diving in the Caribbean and in the Red Sea.
Peter is also an experienced wrecks scuba diver. He has dived several times the HMAS Hermes in Sri Lanka, Truk (also known as Chuuk) Lagoon atoll that has many wrecks from WWII.
Peter met his wife when scuba diving and together they returned to Australia and opened a scuba diving shop in Tweed Heads. Liat is also a very experienced scuba diver and she has been an instructor for 25 years.
Peter and Liat. Photo courtesy of Peter and Liat Comerford.
Daniel is part of Peter's scuba diving team at Tweed Sea Sports. He started scuba diving ten years ago in Sydney and then he relocated to the Gold Cost. He got to know Peter and did all the courses necessary to become a professional scuba diver and instructor.
Daniel is an enthusiastic and hard-working trainer, enjoying meeting new people and loving teaching scuba diving and helping the students to accomplish their objectives. "What I appreciate most at Cook Island is the variety of sea life, an unbelievable kaleidoscope of different marine creatures. I have noticed that more and more people are becoming aware about overfishing and the pollution in the seas. The conservation messages are spreading and they reach every day more people. "
Daniel on the right emerging after scuba diving in the Tweed River. Photo by Author.
Tweed Sea Sports is very busy scuba diving with school children, sometimes certifying up to 60 kids weekly and run marine study programs with schools. Also Tweed Sea Sports trains the scuba divers who then work in the eco-resort at Lady Elliot Island. At the core of the mission statement of Tweed Sea Sports is scuba diving with safety, fun and to have a positive experience in each dive.
Tweed Sea Sports offers a range of world-recognised PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) courses to suit all levels of interest and skill from beginners to advanced divers.
All the equipment necessary for learning scuba diving and becoming an open water diver is included. You learn to use all the basic scuba gear, including a mask, snorkel and fins, a buoyancy compensating jacket that also carries your scuba tank, a scuba regulator to breathe from, and instruments to monitor depth and air supply. Depending on the time of year and where the dive is, you might also use a wetsuit and a weight system.
Learning to scuba dive requires both theory and practice. PADI eLearning allows you to complete the knowledge development component of your PADI Course at your own pace and in your own time. Using an interactive online classroom, you'll be able to learn all the core principles of scuba diving on your own computer, tablet or mobile device.
Tweed Sea Sports dive boats run during the week and every weekend to Cook Island and Nine Miles. Once you book your scuba dive, the day prior to your dive the shop is going to contact you to confirm the dive and the time.
In the morning, the dive crew help you with your hire gear and help you get set up. You are required to fill out the waiver and then Peter explains the details of the dive and the currents.
Once the boat is loaded with all the scuba diving gear and the dive brief is done you drive to the boat ramp on Dry Docks Road. You board Blue Juice and you travel by boat on the Tweed River to Cook Island.
In season, it is very easy to see many Grey Nurses Sharks. At the bottom of the floor, camouflaged in the sands or rocks are wobbegong sharks, and there are plenty of Green Sea Turtles and some Loggerhead Sea Turtles.
After scuba diving, the boat returns to the scuba diving shop at Tweed Heads. On returning to the shop, the boat is unloaded and you wash the gear. The scuba divers have the opportunity to relax in al fresco area with refreshments offered by the business and to fill up the logbook.
Tweed Sea Sports offers also courses for training to obtain your boat licence and jet sky.
" What impressed me most of Cook Island is the number of turtles, especially Green Sea Turtles. Cook Island is a sanctuary for turtles since the surrounding waters offer rocks and food to the marine creatures. The Aboriginal people have been calling Cook Island Mother of turtles. " as Peter said.
In 1823, English explorer John Oxley anchored at Cook Island to take refuge from southerly winds. Two crew members visited the island and named it Turtle Island, after finding sea turtles and an unidentified shipwreck.
Five years later, British admiral Henry John Rous surveyed the Tweed River and named the island, Cook's Isle, the name that has persisted Cook Island has been a protected area since 1959 and since 1967, it has been located within the Cook Island Nature Reserve. The waters adjoining the island have been located within the Cook Island Aquatic Reserve since 1998.
Cook Island Aquatic Reserve conserves the biodiversity of marine life including temperate, subtropical and tropical species of fish, crustaceans and molluscs.
Tweed Heads is a vibrant town in the North of New South Wales. It is located right next to the border with Queensland, adjacent to its "Twin Town of Coolangatta", a suburb in the Gold Coast.
Tweed Heads is known as a town where people can change time zones due to the proximity of Queensland, which does not observe daylight saving and the fact that New South Wales does. In this way, it is possible to celebrate New Year twice within an hour.
Tweed Heads Town offers miles of beaches, shopping and well-reviewed coffee shops like Baked at Ancora, 118 Wharf St, Tweed Heads NSW 2485; Rawthentic Vegan Wholefoods in 25 Stuart St, Tweed Heads NSW 2485; Next Door Expresso in 56 Dry Dock Rd, Tweed Heads South NSW 2486.