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Abyss Scuba Diving
Scuba Diving in Australia
Divers in Australia are spoilt for choice when it comes to world-class dive sites. The Great Barrier Reef is a top destination, with its dazzling array of coral and marine life. But Australia's other dive sites are equally impressive, from the giant kelp forests of Tasmania to the whale sharks of Ningaloo reef.
But it's not just the variety of dive sites that makes scuba diving in Australia a must-do for any serious diver. The quality of the diving experience is also second to none, thanks to the clear waters and excellent visibility that can be found around the country. Add to that the friendly atmosphere among divers in Australia, and you have all the ingredients for some truly great diving.
How many people dive in Australia?
On average, every year, around 400,000 scuba divers participate in scuba diving in Australia. With such enthusiasm for scuba in Australia, keen divers rack up an impressive number of dives each year - often spending 90 or more dives each year exploring beneath the waves!
Where is the best diving in Australia?
The top ten best diving destinations in Australia are:
Cairns & the Great Barrier Reef.
One of Australia’s most remarkable natural gifts, the Great Barrier Reef is blessed with the breathtaking beauty of the world’s largest coral reef.
The reef contains an abundance of marine life and comprises over 3000 individual reef systems and coral cays and literally hundreds of picturesque tropical islands with some of the world's most beautiful sun-soaked, golden beaches. Because of its natural beauty, the Great Barrier Reef has become one of the world's most sought-after diving destinations.
Diving liveaboards are an excellent method to see the Great Barrier Reef because they allow you to visit multiple dive sites in one trip. The opportunity to encounter dwarf minke whales on Mike Ball Dive Expeditions in July is one of the unique delights for divers on the Great Barrier Reef.
The Yongala wreck, which was built in Townsville, is known as the entrance to the Great Barrier Reef. It's also home to one of Australia's most spectacular shipwrecks: the SS Yongala. The Yongala wreck is an experience not to be missed if you're searching for a unique diving adventure!
The Whitsunday Islands are well-known for diving, with the Great Barrier Reef just a stone's throw away. Explore the colourful world that lies beneath the surface in these welcoming, sparkling seas. If you've never dived before, don't worry; many tour companies are available to teach you how.
Lady Elliot Island
Famous for its Manta Rays, Lady Elliot Island on the southern great barrier reef is the perfect place for diving, especially if you're looking to see manta rays. These giant kites of the sea can be seen feeding around the island throughout the year but aggregate in more significant numbers during the winter months. Manta rays are the world’s largest ray, with a wingspan of up to seven meters. So go to Lady Elliot Island and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime diving experience!
The Ningaloo reef is a protected area in Western Australia, located 805 kilometres north of Perth. It's one of the world's largest fringing reefs.
Whale sharks and other species live there as well. Ningaloo Reef, located in Western Australia, has become globally renowned for having one of the ideal circumstances to observe these magnificent creatures. The world's biggest fish, the whale shark, can be found there. Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia is known worldwide for being one of the finest locations to swim with these massive creatures. It currently maintains the highest proportion of swimmer-to-whale shark interactions on earth!
If you’re lucky enough to encounter a whale shark while diving or snorkelling, it is an experience you will never forget. These gentle giants are harmless to humans and are truly majestic creatures. Swimming alongside one of these gentle giants is an experience that will stay with you forever.
Ningaloo Reef is a popular destination for diving and snorkelling. There are many dive sites along the reef, with something to suit all levels of experience. The clear waters and abundant marine life make it a truly magical place to explore underwater.
South West Rocks.
Fish Rock Cave is frequently voted one of Australia's top ten dives because of the diversity and frequency of marine life. You can expect to dive with friendly turtles, reefs full of clownfish anemones, brightly coloured coral gardens, rare black coral gardens, huge wobbegongs sharks, stingrays large enough to ride, migrating humpback whales and much more. Not to mention that visibility often exceeds 30 metres! In other words, South West Rocks in New South Wales is a diver's paradise.
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and for good reason. Lord Howe island is home to an incredible array of marine life, including both tropical and temperate water fish. The diving here is some of the best in the world, and I can't wait to get back under the water again.
Lord Howe Island is a truly special place; I'm so lucky to have had the chance to experience it. If you're looking for an amazing diving destination, look no further than this little slice of paradise.
The Wolf Rock is a coral reef located offshore from Queensland, which has a length of 17 kilometres. The name comes from the huge rock that dominates the site, which is home to a plethora of marine species. A variety of fish may be found around Wolf Rock, including Manta Rays, Leopard Sharks, Eagle Rays, Blotched Fan Tail Rays, Sea Turtles, Olive Sea Snakes, and Giant Queensland Grouper. In the wintertime
Wolf Rock is a great dive site for all levels of divers, as there are shallow areas as well as deeper drop-offs. There
Julian Rocks, near Byron Bay, is a subtropical destination located just north of the range for many warm-water species like ornate ghost pipefish and larger species like reef manta rays and serves as a northern vacation spot for cold-blooded animals such as grey nurse sharks. It's a stopover location for migratory creatures and home to hundreds of marine species.
Christmas Island is a divers paradise. The clear waters and healthy coral reefs offer divers the opportunity to see an incredible variety of marine life, including whale sharks, hammerhead sharks, and turtles. Christmas Island is also home to some of the most pristine corals in the world, making it a perfect destination for both novice and experienced divers alike. So come and explore the underwater wonders of Christmas Island today!
Marine Life in Australia
Australia is home to an incredible amount of marine life, much of which is still unknown to science. The Great Barrier Reef alone is home to over 1,500 fish species, 17 species of sea snake, and at least 330 species of ascidians. Six different species of sea turtles come to the reef to breed, and 30 different species of whale, dolphin, and porpoise have been recorded there.
The Great Barrier Reef is well-known throughout the world, but did you realize that Australia also has some of the globe's most unique, endemic, and curious marine species? Divers will be awed and compelled to come back for more on Australia's eastern seaboard, from humpback whales to cuttlefish to sharks and seals.
Sea dragons are found only along the southern coast of Australia, and there are currently three known species: the weedy sea dragon, the leafy sea dragon, and the recently discovered ruby seadragon.
One of the surprising things about weedy sea dragons is the high population in Sydney's busiest port Botany Bay. These little guys have made a big impression on divers who come to see them!
Leafy sea dragons are truly a sight to behold. Their long, leaf-like appendages and camouflaged body are masters of disguise. These creatures are often found near shore among seaweed beds and reefs, making them a popular choice for divers looking for something different.
The ruby sea dragon was only recently discovered and described by science in 2015. This beautiful creature is found in the deep waters off the coast of Western Australia and has a striking crimson hue.
So, if you're looking to add some unique marine creatures to your dive list, be sure to head down under!
As the name suggests, the Australian giant cuttlefish is the largest species of cuttlefish in the world. These creatures can grow up to 50 cm in mantle length and 10 kg in weight. They are found in temperate and subtropical waters off the coast of Australia, from Brisbane to Shark Bay. Giant cuttlefish are fascinating creatures that are well-known for their ability to change colour instantly. This is done by controlling the chromatophores in their skin, which are tiny sacs filled with pigment.
Divers will be pleased to know that giant cuttlefish are easy to find and very friendly! These curious creatures are often seen swimming around divers and investigating them with their large eyes. So next time you're in Australia, be sure to keep an eye out for these amazing creatures.
There are around 180 species of sharks found in Australian waters, with around 70 thought to be endemic. Sharks can be found in all habitats around the Australian coastline.
Gray nurse sharks, port jackson sharks, and wobbegongs are just a few of the well-known species. Divers can cage dive with great white sharks from Port Lincoln in South Australia at Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions for enthusiastic shark divers.
As part of the shark family, whale sharks can grow to 18 metres long and weigh up to 19 tonnes. They're mostly found close to shore near reefs, making them a popular destination for divers and snorkelers who want to swim with these gentle giants.
Despite their size, these ocean giants travel thousands of kilometres a year. Several species migrate to Australia’s warm waters between April and July every year, visiting our Great Barrier Reef on the East coast and Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef.
Humpback Whales are some of the most beautiful animals, and swimming with them in their natural Habitat is an experience like no other.
If you're looking for an amazing humpback whale encounter, both Tonga and Australia are excellent places to go. Humpback whale tours leave from Mooloolaba, Coffs Harbour and Jervis Bay in Australia from August through October, so if your travel plans include a trip Down Under during those months, make sure you put swimming with the humpbacks on your itinerary!
Australian Fur Seal
Diving with seals should be on everyone's bucket list who loves diving. You will be constantly captivated by their curious and playful personalities throughout the whole experience. Seals are known as the "puppy dogs of the sea." The Australian Fur Seal lives along Australia's southern coastline. They are a part of the Otariidae family due to their external ears. Male seals can grow up to reach 2 meters long, while female seals only average 1 1/2 meters in length.
If you don't mind the cold and are looking for a fantastic experience, you must go see the fairy penguins in Australia. These curious creatures will fascinate you as they dive in and out of the water to look for food. The Fairy Penguin is wonderfully unique because it is not only the smallest type of penguin but also exclusive to Australia. Most of these dainty little animals can be found on the southern coastline, where they feast primarily off anchovies, pilchards and squid.
Scuba Diving in Australia's Major Cities
Scuba diving in Australia is a popular activity, with many scuba diving schools and clubs operating in the country's major cities. Scuba diving sites are located off the coast of all of Australia's major cities, including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
Scuba Diving in Sydney
Sydney is the gateway to Australia, and many scuba divers overlook the great diving in Sydney on their way to the Great Barrier Reef. Sydney has excellent diving, which is unequalled by any large city throughout the world. Sydney has more marine species than any other harbour in the world - with more than six hundred marine animals already having been identified.
One of the great attractions of diving around Sydney is its abundant sea life, offering unique critters like the Weedy Sea dragon. Scuba diving sites are located all around Sydney, including Shelly Beach, Magic Point, Bare Island and Oak Park.
Scuba Diving in Melbourne
Scuba divers are able to see weedy sea dragons, seahorses, giant cuttlefish, octopus, rays, and perhaps curious seals and dolphins. The best time to come is May-June for the annual Giant Spider Crab aggregation and moulting
Go beyond the shore on boat dives to explore nineteenth-century shipwrecks and WW1 J Class submarines. Explore the HMAS Canberra warship artificial reef.
Scuba Diving in Brisbane
Diving in Brisbane is an experience that you will never forget. The city has a number of top dive sites, which offer something for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced diver, you are sure to find a dive site that suits your level.
Flinders reef is a world-class diving destination for scuba divers of all levels. The reef is located just off the coast of Moreton Island, allowing divers to dive into a coral reef and see an incredible array of marine life. Moreton Island is also home to many wrecks, which provide an exciting dive for those looking for something a little different.
Scuba Diving in Perth
Perth is a scuba diver's paradise, with plenty of dive sites to explore and a variety of marine life to see. The city is located on the western coast of Australia and is home to two popular dive spots - Rottnest Island and Carnac Island.
Rottnest Island is a marine reserve that is teeming with fish and other marine life. There are also several shipwrecks in the area that scuba divers can explore.
Carnac Island is another popular dive site and is known for its limestone reefs, caverns, swim throughs and shipwrecks. Grey nurse sharks can also be spotted in the area.
So, whether you're a beginner or an experienced scuba diver, there's plenty to see and do in Perth.
Scuba Diving in Adelaide
Diving in Adelaide is an unforgettable experience. The city's jetties are teeming with marine life, from colourful sponges to Port Jackson sharks, blue-ringed octopus and leafy sea dragons.
Scuba divers of all levels can find something to enjoy in Adelaide. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced diver, there are plenty of dive sites to explore.
Scuba Diving in Tasmania
The most beautiful coastlines in Tasmania are found on the Peninsula, which boasts some of the island's best views – above and below the water. On a day trip from Hobart, go scuba diving to see colourful sponge gardens, underwater caverns, shipwrecks, big fur seal colonies and huge kelp forests.
All your unanswered questions about diving in Australia
Scuba diving is a popular activity among locals and tourists alike in Australia. If you're thinking about scuba diving and still have questions, read on for answers for some of the unanswered questions about diving in Australia:
Can you scuba dive without a license in Australia?
No, you cannot scuba dive without a license in Australia. You must have at least the Open Water Diver certification from a recognized training organization, such as PADI or SSI before you will be able to scuba dive in Australia.
Can I dive the reef when I am in Sydney?
There is no way you can do it in a single day! The journey from Sydney to Cairns takes over three hours, so you won't be able to visit for an afternoon of diving. If you're in Sydney and want to dive for the day, there are numerous exceptional sites around the city.
How much does scuba diving cost in Australia?
The cost of scuba diving in Australia varies depending on where you go and what type of diving you want to do. A shore dive in Sydney course could cost as little as $60, while a live-aboard trip to the Great Barrier Reef could cost upwards of $1000
How old do you have to be to scuba dive in Australia?
You must be at least 10 years old to scuba dive in Australia. The exception is Western Australia, where divers must be at least 14 years old.
When is the best time to dive in Australia?
The best time to dive in Australia depends on where you want to go diving. The Great Barrier Reef is open all year round, but the water temperature can vary from 20 degrees Celsius in winter to 30 degrees Celsius in summer. If you're planning on diving with whale sharks, the best time to do so is between March and June.
Are there any special regulations I need to be aware of when diving in Australia?
Each state has its own quirks, and some sites have unique rules, but there are no regulations relevant to Australia in particular. It's best to contact the local dive operators if you're not sure about any rules.
How do I choose a dive shop in Australia?
When choosing a dive shop in Australia, the best way to narrow down your options is by using the PADI dive store locator. This locator lists all of the PADI dive shops in Australia and allows you to filter by various options such as location, type of diving, and more. You can also use the interactive map to find dive shops in specific areas.
Once you have a list of potential dive shops, the best way to narrow it down is by reading reviews and speaking to other divers who have dived with them. This will help you get a better sense of the quality of the shop and its staff. Ultimately, you want to choose a shop.
Is the Great Barrier Reef Dead?
The reef is dying, according to a recent news story. The phrase 'The barrier reef is dead' appeals to some people but exaggerates the facts. Climate change has emerged in the last 20 years as the primary hazard to the future of the great barrier reef and other coral reefs around the world. Today, many areas of the ecosystem still have good health – coral has enormous inherent resilience that allows it to recover when given a chance.
The Great Barrier Reef is not dead. It's one of the most vibrant coral reefs in the world. Every year, millions of people come to dive and snorkel in its clear turquoise waters.
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