The Best Dive Spots in Australia
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When you think of diving in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef immediately comes to mind. While it’s certainly an iconic and beautiful spot to explore, there are many other coloured corals and marine life to be discovered all around Australia, including the Northern Territory.
From spectacular coral reefs to sunken ships, and marine sinkholes, here are the best dive spots in Australia.
New South Wales and ACT
Shelly Beach is a stone’s throw away from Manly and is one of the best dive sites in NSW. Divers can weave through a maze of boulders and seagrass, spot giant cuttlefish, wobbegongs, and Port Jackson sharks. If you’re lucky, you might come across an octopus or two, or a friendly eastern blue groper.
North and South Solitary Islands
The collection of rocky islands beneath the surface make this diving spot a playground for divers. The East Australia Current runs through here, bringing warm water and tropical species to the islands. You will spot grey nurse sharks while swimming over a seabed covered with vibrant soft corals.
Victoria and Tasmania
Port Phillip Bay
Port Phillip Bay
There are plenty of interesting dive spots in the bay, including over 50 shipwrecks, four WWI submarines, and a 136-metre guided-missile destroyer. Venture underwater to explore the wrecks and the thriving marine life here. There’s also plenty of piers in the area for shore diving.
Freycinet National Park
There are 20 local sites here, where you can encounter weedy seadragons, draughtboard sharks, and other local species. An unmissable reef to have a dive at is the Golden Bommies, which is home to vibrant yellow soft corals.
Eagle Hawk Neck
Above and below the water, you will find adventure in the Tasman Peninsula. Although, below is where you can explore the colourful sponge garden, undersea caves, shipwrecks, large colonies of fur seals, and giant kelp forests. Book a day trip with Eaglehawk Dive for the full experience.
Western Australia and South Australia
You can’t have the best dive list without Ningaloo Reef. This is the famous dive spot where you can swim side by side with whale sharks. You will also get the opportunity to see migrating humpback whales, giant gropers, and sometimes, a school of manta rays. Join a tour for the best chance at spotting the incredible marine life that frequent here.
This group of three ring-shaped reefs are located 300 kilometres off the coast of Western Australia. They’re known to have strong tidal flows, which make for exhilarating drift dives. Although, the shoals are only accessible for a short time each year around October, so keep an eye out for bookings from Broome to experience this incredible dive site.
Most of South Australia’s dive sites offer easy shore dives, where you can spot the leafy seadragon—a creature found nowhere else in the world. The best spot is Port Hughes Jetty or head to Edithburgh for more spectacular underwater adventures. For a deeper dive, head out to the Glenelg Dredge and Glenelg Barge wrecks with Adelaide Scuba, or visit the Glenelg tyre reef which was set up in 1983 as a fish breeding ground.
Queensland and Northern Territory
On the Fraser Coast, divers will find Wolf Rock, offering a tantalising mix of grey nurse sharks, several species of stingrays and schooling fish. It’s always a magical display of marine life here, and one that is growing in popularity.
SS Yongala Wreck
The extraordinary Museum of Underwater Art is definitely a must-do, but you can also do an exciting dive out to the wreck of the steamship, Yongala. It sunk during a cyclone in 1911, and is still mostly intact, sitting between 14-28 metres below the surface. Divers can explore the wreck which is home to a population of olive sea snakes, and a display of vivid soft corals.
Vernon Islands Blue Holes
Little-known Vernon Islands Blues Holes is a two-hour boat transfer from Darwin. The marine sinkhole is not your usual sinkhole. Instead, it’s ringed by sandy banks, exposed at low tide, creating a network of lagoons and horizontal waterfalls. From the surface, you can see the colourful coral and staghorn forests disappearing into the depths. Divers often encounter angelfish, parrotfish, and golden trevally.
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