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Capital: Canberra
Current: 240V / 50 cycle
Population: 20,000,000
Currency: Australian Dollar
Language: English
Departure Fees: $30 USD but it should be included in the ticket price
Recompression chamber: Yes-Queensland (Townsville),Sydney and others


Great Barrier Reef Dive Sites

The Great Barrier Reef stretches along the entire Queensland coastline covering several regions and the state's warm sub-tropical climate means you can dive and snorkel all year round. You could dive on the world's largest marine park every day for the rest of your life and still not see it all, so a few recommendations will be helpful!

Tropical North Queensland Region

Stretching from Cairns to Cape York at the northern tip of mainland Australia, the northern region of the Reef offers a fantastic range of diving holidays in the cleanest waters of the world with visibility often exceeding 100m. There's spectacular marine life, isolated atolls, amazing drop offs, exciting shark feeding stations and intact shipwrecks.

Many of the most exotic dive sites are close to Cairns. Popular reefs include Thetford Reef which has sand cays, walls and coral gardens and small caves in 20-30m of water, and Norman Reef, the site of a large fully-roofed pontoon that serves as a base for visits to nearby smaller reefs.

North of Cairns, Lizard Island and the Cod Hole are dive sites of international repute. Divers journey from around the world to dive with the friendly giant potato cod.

Shipwreck buffs must include a dive on the RMS Quetta wreck which sunk in the Torres Strait in 1890 and lies on her side in good condition off the tip of Cape York.

Townsville Region

The section of the Great Barrier Reef covering Mission Beach, Townsville and Bowen offers some great diving experiences along the outer edge of the Reef. This is a region where the serious diver should look to make use of the many excellent charter boats and take extended trips.

Most of the reefs in this region boast terrific photograph opportunities. Bowl Reef No. 1 has many large and varied Gorgonian fans, caves, drop-offs, fish feeding and good night diving. John Brewer Reef is good for shallow reef diving and some shark feeding. When your time is limited Kelso Reef is a great day trip option.

The coral reefs off the coast of Bowen are littered with shipwrecks including the famous Gothenburg which sank with great loss of life and a cargo of gold in 1854.

Whitsunday Region

The most popular scuba diving locations around the Whitsunday Islands are located at the northern end of Hook Island which is sheltered from the southerly weather. There are many day trips and extended cruises departing from Shute Harbour at Airlie Beach and the island resorts.

Bait Reef and its famous Stepping Stones in the north-east of the region is the closest reef to the mainland. This reef is famous for its diversity of great dive experiences and locations. Another popular dive site is Black Reef, a fantasyland for scuba diving exploration.
To maximise your dive or snorkel time you can stay overnight on Reef Sleep a pontoon permanently moored at Hardy Reef.

Mackay Region

The most popular dive site of the Mackay Region is Credlin Reef which has at least ten excellent sites along the permanently moored giant pontoon for both beginner and advanced divers.

Located 150km offshore south-east of Mackay, is a vast intricate reef system extending south for 200km and known as Pompey Complex. Here strong currents have scored great coral rivers as deep as 80m between the reef, flowing up to 12 knots and creating giant whirlpools and undersea currents.

Capricorn Coast Region

For ideal diving in this region make your base Great Keppel Island, situated in the heart of the Capricorn Reef which has nine great diving sites.

Nearby North West Island is the largest coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef, covering an area of 91 hectares. Other dive sites include Man and Wife Islands, Bald Rock, Halfway Island, Barren Island, Parkers Bommie sea gardens and Child Rock.

Gladstone Region

Make Gladstone your departure point for coral cay Heron Island, which also offers a stylish resort and the Swan Reefs. Located at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef, about 200km offshore, magnificent reef is just a few steps from the beach at Heron and a vast patchwork maze of coral gardens and lagoons provide spectacular dive sites to explore.

Bundaberg Region

There are many first class diving adventures waiting for you in the Bundaberg Region include Evans Rock which is about 22km from Burnett Heads. This small reef is like an oasis in the sand. For something completely different, explore a World War II bomber which came down in 1943 in 27m of water and seven nautical miles from Bargara.

Lady Elliot Island, which lies 85km northeast of Bundaberg is an unspoiled coral cay which is actually part of the Reef. It is central to ten dive sites including Lighthouse Hommie, Coral Gardens, Moiri and Shark Pool. The visibility is excellent and ranges from 80-25m. You can also explore the many shipwrecks in the waters off the island. Another dazzling coral cay, Lady Musgrave Island, is an easy day trip from Bundaberg.

Fraser Coast Region

There's interesting diving to be enjoyed in the sandy straits between the mainland of the Fraser Coast Region and Fraser Island. The water is alive with dugongs, turtles and porpoises. Explore sunken wrecks teeming with marine life at Roy Rufus, the largest artificial reef in the world.

The many wrecks of Fraser Island include the Panama (1864), the Sterling Castle (1836) and the Marloo which lies 400m off shore in 12m of water and which is abundant with marine life.

Sunshine Coast Region

Abundant marine life and shipwrecks attract divers to the reefs offshore from Mooloolaba and Noosa Heads. Wolf Rock off Double Island Point is a power packed dive with many turtles, leopard rays, barramundi and giant manta rays.

Brisbane Region

Moreton Bay is the Brisbane region's offshore playground complete with unique diving experiences. Flinders Reef has 10 magnificent acres of beautiful coral gardens and majestic drop offs. There are more varieties of coral in this spot than in any other part of the Great Barrier Reef. Off Moreton Island lies Curtin Artificial Reef, one of the largest artificial reefs in the southern hemisphere. It comprises a number of sunken craft and offers interesting diving.

The waters around Stradbroke Island are littered with shipwrecks including the Cambus Wallace (1894), the Prosperity (1902), the Lorna Doone (1888), the Sovereign (1847), the Countess of Derby (1853), and a mysterious 16th century Spanish galleon in the brackish waters of the eighteen mile swamp.

Gold Coast Region

Enjoy great ocean diving by charter boats to reefs about 6km offshore. Dive the 10m hole off Broadbeach or explore the wreck of the Scottish Prince which went down in 1887 with a load of whiskey and lies just north of Sea World.

All travel services are arranged by and paid through Travel Professionals International and their suppliers.