Best places to dive in Australia
Australian waters are an excellent spot for both advanced and novice divers to explore. They offer moderate depths and calm, clear waters. And they are home to ecologically diverse and beautiful underwater environments and creatures. Thanks to Australian Wildlife Journeys – diving Australia we have gathered some of the top spots around the country for diving. Be sure to check out their diving Facebook page. If you’re planning a diving escapade, here are seven dive sites in Australia that you should definitely visit.
Ex-HMAS Brisbane (Mooloolaba, Queensland)
A mere 9 kilometres northwest of the Sunshine Coast of Queensland lies the Ex-HMAS Brisbane; an Ex-Navy destroyer that was sunk in 2005 to form an artificial reef. The wreck has a recorded marine life of 1,000-plus species. These include echinoderms (sea stars), hard and soft corals, and the beautiful flatworm and nudibranch families. Small shark species, turtles and sea snakes are frequent visitors. Queensland groupers, moray eels and octopuses are other impressive residents on this site.
Rye Pier (Rye, Victoria)
Due to its plethora of marine life and shallow depth, Rye Pier is suitable for both new and experienced divers. This site, located in Melbourne, offers a range of species, from spider crabs and pot-bellied seahorses to beautiful soft sponges and colourful nudibranchs. At night, the fascinating, permanent residents of Rye Pier come out to play. You can witness dumplings, calamari squids and blue-ringed octopuses glowing dazzlingly off your torchlight.
The Wreck of the SS Yongala (Ayr, Queensland)
Currently, a heritage site, The Wreck of the SS Yongala is an incredible artificial reef and home to sea life of great density, size and variety. This comprises huge rays, olive sea snakes, turtles and human-sized Queensland groupers. However, the surface current of this wreck can be quite strong, therefore some personal fitness and diving experience is recommended.
Kangaroo Island (South Australia)
Another diver’s paradise is Kangaroo Island; one of the few locations in Adelaide where you can find leafy sea dragons, New Zealand fur seals and Australian sea lions. Sea lions (the puppies of the sea) are curious, playful and entertaining characters to see in the underwater
world. The leafy sea dragon is notoriously shy, well-camouflaged and an arresting sight for divers.
Piccaninnie & Ewens Ponds (Mt Gambier, South Australia)
Mt Gambier caves and Piccaninnie Ponds are perfect diving spots for both snorkelers and divers. The areas are accessible, beautiful, and home to a variety of plants and animals including mussels, shrimps and large crayfish. The limestone-filtered waters offer outstanding blue-tinged visibility of more than 40 meters.
Osprey Reef (Great Barrier Reef, Queensland)
Osprey Reef – arguably the best diving spot at The Great Barrier Reef – is a haven of schooling hammerhead sharks and large schools of pelagic fish. Whilst underwater, look out for dogtooth tunas and giant potato cod. Thanks to the startling 40-meter-plus visibility, night dives on this reef present a unique opportunity to view Parrotfish.
Fish Rock Cave (South West Rocks, NSW)
Located 2 kilometres off Smoky Cape, Fish Rock Cave is home to hundreds of fish and an endangered species, the Grey Nurse shark. These gentle giants gather in their hundreds at this dive spot to feed and reproduce. From April to November, the ocean becomes home to Humpback whales and their calves.