Diving Overview for Australia
Australia is rich in diversity making it a real dream for divers with over 4000 species of fish and the world famous Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is Australia's top attraction, it's even visible from space! It's the world's largest living organism stretching almost 2,000km along the coast of Queensland and is protected as a World Heritage-listed site. There are thousands of top dive sites along this stretch from the beautiful Whitsundays, Heart Reef, Heron Island to the gorgeous coral gardens around Green and Fitzroy Islands are just a few to choose from. Expect to see coral canyons swarming with tropical fish, colourful reef critters, sharks, turtles and even whales gliding in the clear blue water. Diving in Australia will definitely leave you wanting more!
In the West of Australia is Ningaloo Marine Park, the world's largest fringing reef. There are hundreds of different coral species attracting over 500 colourful fish, graceful manta rays, turtles, dugongs and from April - June you can see migrating whale sharks.
The Mornington Pennisula, near Melbourne, offers some great wall dives and drop-offs, brightly coloured reefs teeming with fish, seahorses, cuttlefish and sting rays. Dive with dolphins at Sorrento, seals at Popes Eye and WW1 submarine wrecks at Port Phillip Heads.
To the East and Tasmania you can see weedy seadragons, rainbow hued nudibranchs and big-bellied seahorses. These turquoise waters are abundant in marine life and there are some fantastic kelp forests (try Fortescue Bay), lots of underwater caves and shipwrecks such as the SS Nord and Troy D.
South Australia is well-known for its playful sea-lion population and bottlenosed dolphins, for the more adventurous, you can try cave diving with the infamous great white sharks! Or perhaps just relax on one of the many perfect white sandy beaches!
The Northern coast has some great WWII wrecks, now home to wobbegong sharks, jewfish and barracuda. Around Darwin Harbour are some shallow reefs perfect for diving and snorkelling and alive with marine life.
Near Sydney and New South Wales are some amazing dive sites over-flowing with blue groper, blue devilfish, snappers, giant cuttlefish, wobbegongs, Port Jackson sharks and clouds of colourful fish.
Australia is an all year round diving destination however August – December are generally regarded to have the best diving conditions. Water temperatures range from 24 – 29°C, visibility is pretty good ranging from 10 – 40m, visibility peaks in the Coral Sea (Osprey Reef and North Horn) from June – September and make sure you visit the Great Barrier Reef from June – August to see the Minke Whale migration.
Note: There can be seasonal jellyfish around Australia, during the summer wet season, in the North especially there can be swarms of box jellyfish affecting some dive sites so be sure check in advance.
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