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The most varied dive spots

The oceans around Australia can offer a good deal. Innumerable, fantastic dive spots, thousands of unexplored reefs and undiscovered species, in short an underwater world that is unique. In the vicinity of this island continent divers can experience a complete range from tropical to moderate dive spots. Diving in the waters of Australia is nearly always an adventure, often even a challenge.

Queensland (QLD)
is the most popular diving destination. Even though the Great Barrier Reef and the coral sea are the most visited areas, there are also other reefs in the country that are eminently suited to diving.

New South Wales (NSW)
Diving excursions are offered along the coast and from boats that travel to the coral gardens in the north and to the dense sponge gardens in the south. Lord Howe Island that is surrounded by the most southerly coral reefs in the world and where spectacular diving experiences can be guaranteed, is situated northeast of Sydney. The reefs there are home to reef fish, invertibrates, reef sharks, turtles and entire schools of deep sea fish.

Norfolk Island
Deep in the southern Pacific Ocean there is an island that is becoming ever more popular with tourists and divers. The former penal colony of Norfolk Island has lovely reefs that are home to turtles, deep sea fish, sharks, reef inhabitants and a variety of invertibrates.

South Australia (SA)
Great white sharks are the most famous marine life here. One can get up close to them in a diving cage. Dive spots are the fresh water caves and source pots, as well as the off-shore islands, reefs and shipwrecks. Along the coast one will come across seal and sea lion colonies, and under water dolphins, invertibrates, reef fish, deep sea fish, rays and cat sharks.

Western Australia (WA)
Situated on the Indian Ocean, the south offers dense sponge gardens and innumerable rock and soft corals. Invertibrates, reef fish, rays, seals, sharks, deep sea fish and even now and again a turtle. From Esperance one can go on excursions to hundreds of islands and reefs, while one can dive with seals and at the HMAS Perth wreck near Albany. Off Perth there are many sunken ships which teem with marine life. Rottnest Island also offers numerous diving possibilies. Towards the north the growth of the corals becomes more dense. A multitude of reef and deep sea inhabitants, turtles, manta rays, reef sharks, stingrays and even whale sharks live here. Off Geraldston there are the Houtman Abrolhos Islands that are surrounded by coral reefs. Shark Bay is an excellent place to see sharks, dugongs, dolphins and turtles. The Ningaloo Reef that stretches from Coral Bay to Exmouth, is known among other things for ist whale sharks and manta rays. One of the most fantastic dive spots off the Western Australian coast, that can compete with the reefs of the Coral Sea, is the Northern Atoll Reef (Rowley Shoals). Here one can find sea snakes, deep sea fish, reef sharks, manta rays and many other marine animals.

The Christmas & Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Far off the north coast of Western Australia, and situated closer to Indonesia there is the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Island archipelago. Christmas Island impressively rises out of the ocean, and is surrounded by steep underwater slopes and colourful cliffs that teem with deep sea fish, turtles, reef fish, reef sharks and whale sharks. The Cocos (Keeling) Islands consist of two coral atolls, where one can undertake unequalled diving excursions among deep sea fish, reef sharks and manta rays.
Flynn, Milln, Thetford & Moore Reef (QLD)
At the Flynn Reef there are rock pinnacles and coral gardens with vast numbers of reef & deep sea fish. Gordon’s Mooring is one of the best dive spots. The Milln Reef has innumerable wonderful dive spots, such as Whale Bommie, Club 10 & Swimming Pool with attractive coral gardens. Sharks, barracudas and blue runners are found at the Three Sisters. In the coral gardens of the Thetford Reef one can find nudibranches, feather duster worms, prawns, anemone fish, shrimps, colourful reef fish and pretty corals. The Moore Reef has several lovely rock coral gardens; the best diving opportunities are at the drop-off of the reef. There are innumerable horn corals, sea whips and soft corals on the steep sides, as well as numerous reef and deep sea fish.

• Average visibility: Inner reef 20 m, outer reef 30 m
• Gentle currents on some reefs
• Many reef and deep sea fish, coral gardens, drop-offs & rock pinnacles
• Numerous rock and soft corals, sea fans & sea whips
Ribbon Reefs & Osprey Reef (QLD)
The most famous dive spots are Cod Hole, Temple of Doom, Dynamite Pass & the legendary North Horn. The Ribbon Reefs which are more than 100 km long, form a nearly impenetrable barrier with lush coral gardens, rock pinnacles with vast numbers of fish and­ spectacularly steep rock faces. The Osprey Reef is the northernmost coral reef and is known especially for rock face diving. The reef covers an area of 100 km² with rock faces that drop vertically into the Coral Sea. Exciting diving experiences are offered at South Horne, Admiralty­ Anchor Bommies, Pelagic Gully and Flashlight Ravine, where night dives, when the lantern fish go out in search of food, are especially rewarding.

• Average visibility: Ribbon Reefs 30 m, Osprey Reef 45 m
• Gentle current, quick changes in wind direction
• Many reef and deep sea fis, coral gardens & rock pinnacles
Cod Hole (QLD)
Cod Hole is situated at the northern end of Ribbon Reef no. 10, a reef area that became world famous for its enormously huge fish. The reef is populated by the most varying reef inhabitants and invertibrates. Deep sea fish such as barracudas & mackerels swim around the reef constantly. In the caves and under overhangs reef inhabitants such moray eels, bluespotted sting rays, sweetlips, large Maori wrasses and whitetip reef sharks find shelter. The giant sea bass (gropers) are the main attraction! Up to 14 of them have already been sighted on a single occasion.

• Average visibility: 30 m
• Currents, surf and sudden changes in wind direction
• Huge numbers of rock and soft corals
• Many reef and deep sea fish as well as giant sea bass
Far Northern Reefs (QLD)
These are among the most unspoilt areas of the Great Barrier Reef. There are hundreds of inaccessible reefs that still need to be explored. The reefs are known for fantastically steep rock faces, a huge fish stock and shark encounters. Reef sharks, turtles, stingrays, wrasses, manta rays and also marlin can be seen on every dive. Visitors are flown to Lockhart River and can reach the reefs within a few hours.

• Average visibility: 30 - 40 m
• In part strong currents
• Drop-off diving
• Many sharks, reef and deep sea fish, lush coral gardens & rock pinnacles
SS Yongala Wreck (QLD)
The Yongala wreck is known as the best wreck diving spot in Australia. The wreck is lying at a depth of 16-28 m, ± 90 km south of Townsville and ± 22 km from the coast. The wreck attracts all living creatures of this region and accordingly offers shelter to small living creatures and food for the large ones and is like an underwater fair ground.
Lord Howe Island (NSW)
At Lord Howe Island 780 km northeast of Sydney there are large populations of invertibrates & more than 500 fish species, 13 of which are endemic to the area. Huge boulders with soft and rock corals, sponges, sea squirts and sea fans, striped coral catfish, moray eels, sweetlips, angel fish, butterfly fish, anemone fish, lion fish and parrotfish as well as Galapagos sharks are among many species occuring here. Trenches, rock banks and small rock pinnacles are covered by a dense growth of corals. Nudibranches such as the Spanish dancer, anemone and lion fish, flat worms, prawns, hermit crabs, starfish, feather stars and brittle stars, hawkfish, gobys and many more can be seen here. Balls Pyramid is a spectacular rock. It can only be visited under favourable conditions. Swarms of fusiliers, surgeon fish, kingfish, grey reef & Galapagos sharks can be seen here.

• Average visibility: 20 - 30 m
• At times strong currents off the coast
• Lovely rock and soft corals
• Interesting terrain and numerous reef and deep sea fish
Ningaloo Reef (WA)
Every year from April to June the whale sharks appear here. Reconnaissance planes flying along the coast pass the position of the whale sharks on to the boats. Swimming in the presence of these gigantic animals is an unforgettable experience for every diver. The reef runs just about parallel to the coast from Coral Bay to Exmouth, a distance of more than 260 km. The distance from the reef to the mainland varies between 200 m and up to 7 km. Many parts of the reef can be reached directly from the coast, while the outer reef is best reached by boat. The best time of the year is from the autumn until spring. Coral Bay is the ideal starting point for exploring the reef, which is dominatated by rock corals. Turtles, reef sharks, sweetlips, mackerels, coral lipfish, swarms of barracudas and blue runners are only some of its inhabitants. Large fish are not often seen, but there are large numbers of parrotfish, butterfly fish, anemone fish, surgeon fish, kingfish and many other reef fish. Further north one comes across turtles, sting rays, sweetlips, striped bass, kingfish and surgeon fish as well as numerous invertibrate species. Other inhabitants are wobbegongs (carpet sharks), coral groupers, batfish and lion fish, sea snakes and numerous invertibrate species. By torchlight the bright colours of the soft corals, sea fans and other cave dwellers can be seen. One comes across reef sharks, other sharks, moray eels, swarms of deep sea fish and possibly also a manta. At the 300 m long Navy Pier one may only dive with permission at low and high tide. At the Pier one can find moray eels, nudibranches, starfish, flat worms, octopusses, batfish, lionfish, butterfly fish, kingfish, boxfish, coral lipfish and parrot fish, blue runners, striped bass, snappers and coral groupers.

• Average visibility: 20 - 30 m
• Strong tidal currents in the Exmouth Gulf
• Whale sharks between April and June
• Fascinating Navy Pier
• Huge variety of reef and deep sea fish, top coral reefs
Rowley Shoals (WA)
Situated 280 km west of Broome, this is by far the most popular diving destination of the Northern Atoll Reefs - 3 large reefs, each ± 17 km long & 8 km wide. In the south there is the Impetieuse Reef; the Clerke Reef is 40 km further north and the Mermaid Reef another 30 km further north. The protected lagoon of the Clerke Reef has scattered colonies of rock and soft corals and a wide variety of reef fish and invertibrates. Innumerable caves inhabited by sea fans, whip corals, sponges and soft corals, trenches and rock banks. Turtles, mantas, sting rays, moray eels, reef sharks, deep sea fish and potato groupers are often seen. At the Mermaid Reef there are breathtakingly steep rock faces up to 200 m deep, covered with sea fans, soft corals and thorny corals, huge swarms and masses of whip corals. On drift dives one can see barracudas, blue runners, tuna, reef sharks, potato groupers, Maori lipfish and also mantas. The winter and spring are the best times of the year for a visit.

• Average visibility: 20 - 40 m
• Strong currents
• Top coral reefs & very steep rock faces
• Mantas, sea snakes, sharks & sea bass (gropers), reef & deep sea fish
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