Barrier Reef Dive Sites
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
Tropical North Queensland Region
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
ideal diving in this region make your base Great Keppel Island,
situated in the heart of the Capricorn Reef which has nine great
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.