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Best Diving in Australia - Top 10
Scuba diving in Australia, the Land Down Under
Scuba diving in Australia, especially liveaboard trips to the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea , offers tremendous volume and diversity of marine life, well managed marine parks, professional dive operations and diving suitable for all experience levels. There is great diving at every depth and a variety of marine life including sharks, minke whales, and large potato cod (potato grouper). In Adelaide, there is some exceptional diving off jetties, where you can see the leafy sea dragon. Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Ningaloo Reef all offer their own unique animals and experience. Australia waters hands-down offer some of the best scuba diving in the world, and is worth many trips back.
Interested in diving in Australia? View the live availability of some of the best liveaboards in Australia and book online at the best price or check out our sidebar for specials and land-based options.
AUSTRALIA'S BEST dive sites & DIVING DESTINATIONS
Here are some of the best scuba diving destinations in Australia:
1. The Great Barrier Reef - World's biggest coral reef system
2. Ningaloo Reef - Beautiful coral and best place to swim with whale sharks
3. South Australia - The spot for cage diving with great white sharks
4. New South Wales - Dive sites with unique marine biodiversity
5. Victoria - Unique piers and great wreck dives
6. Western Australia - Lesser visited sites and home to some rare species
7. The Yongala Wreck - One of the best wrecks to dive in the world
8. Flinders Pier - Meet the weedy sea dragons
9. Osprey Reef - Best for diving with sharks
10. Fish Rock Cave - Best cavern and cave diving
1. The great barrier reef
World's largest coral reef system
On many scuba divers bucket lists, the world's biggest coral reef system has plenty of amazing dive opportunities to offer. Being so rich in marine life, it is not just one of the best scuba diving spots in Australia but it has become one of the best diving destinations in the whole world. Much of the reef is also protected, which is why it is also one of the best dive areas in Australia. The Great Barrier reef is home to many shark species including whale sharks and hammerhead sharks. The reef is also a great opportunity to spot whales like the dwarf minke whales or sperm whales. Much other fish like barracudas, giant groupers, blue-spotted rays, turtles and parrotfish can be seen. Besides big pelagics, the Great Barrier reef has offered some beautiful healthy coral, great visibility, and numerous dive sites for different levels of divers. Even though it is highly popular among scuba divers and scuba snorkelling as well, there are also some great dive sites that are rarely visited.
Interested in diving with whales? Check out our list of the Best Places to Swim With Whales ?
Want to know more about diving the Great Barrier Reef? Read all about it in our Great Barrier Reef Dive Guide .
- Diving Season: Year-round, with summer months having warmer waters and better visibility but winter months are best to see large marine mammals
- Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced.
- Nearest Airport: Cairns International (CNS)
- Topside Activities: Plenty of options like hiking, wildlife parks, water rafting, and more.
2. Ningaloo Reef
Whale shark encounters.
Located on the west side of Australia, the Ningaloo Reef is home to the second-largest coral reef and an area not to be missed. The Ningaloo Marine Park has also been listed as a world heritage site , why it offers good competition for the Great Barrier Reef. This area is not only great for its amazing coral, but it is one of the best places to swim with whale sharks . The highest chance of seeing these creatures is during the months of April and May. During the winter months, you can even see manta rays. Humpback whales, turtles, and dolphins can be seen very often. The Ningaloo Reef is also one of the best spots in Australia for macro as it is home to many beautiful critters.
Check out this article of Exmouth and Ningaloo Reef by Christine Shepard.
- Diving Season: Year-round. Summer months are rainier, spring is best for seeing whale sharks, and the winter season is best for spotting big pelagics like mantas, dolphins, and even dugongs when lucky!
- Nearest Airport: Learmonth Airport (LEA)
- Topside Activities: Explore gorges or it's gorgeous beaches.
3. South Australia
Great wrecks, migration of cuttlefish and great white sharks.
Diving in South Australia offers true pleasure to all the wreck divers. Throughout the area, there are many shipwrecks to explore. This generally less visited dive area, it is great for escaping the crowds and discover some true gems. South Australia does not only have some nice boat dives but also some very good shore dives. The marine life is wonderful and you can even see some seals and leafy sea dragons in this dive destination. Besides that, from May to August you are able to witness a spectacular event, the migration of the Australia Giant Cuttlefish .
Moreover, this is the spot where adventure lovers come to scuba dive with the great white shark. South Australia is considered among one of the world's best places to shark cage dive and the only place in Australia where you can meet these majestic creatures. For a thrilling adventure of meeting the ultimate apex predator of the seas, visit the Neptune Islands with Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions , the pioneer of shark cage diving. You can get real close with great white sharks and have the opportunity to surface or floor cage dive. In Neptune Islands you can experience shark diving like never before.
- Diving Season: Year-round. The Australian Giant Cuttlefish can be spotted during the summer months only.
- Nearest Airport: Adelaide International Airport (ADL)
- Topside Activities: Visit national parks or try wine tasting!
4. New South Wales
Rare coral and fish species.
Like the above-mentioned areas, New South Wales does not lack options for scuba divers either. One of the most popular holiday destinations, Byron Bay with some of the best beaches, great waves for surfing , and of course great scuba diving, is located there. Another UNESCO heritage site , the Lord Howe Island with rare coral and fish species offers absolutely amazing dives. The most southern coral reef with a mixture of currents of different temperatures has brought scuba divers some unique endemic species that cannot be seen elsewhere. The marine life and flora and fauna is truly wonderful. What is even better, only a limited number of tourists are allowed there, which means you are very likely to have the dive site for yourself! Some of the exciting marine life you can encounter in New South Wales are leopard sharks, cuttlefish, rainbow runners, moray eels, pufferfish, and sea spiders among many.
- Diving Season: Year-round. During the winter season, the water temperatures can get quite low and reach around 50F (10C).
- Nearest Airport: Sydney Airport (SYD)
- Topside Activities: Visit Sydney, beautiful beaches or the Blue Mountains.
Unique piers and great wrecks.
Fantastic variety of marine life brings you octopuses, seals, seahorses, eels, nudibranch, weedy seadragons, and plenty of others. Victoria has also some great dive sites for wreck divers. Some of the piers in Victoria have created some unique dive sites with a mystical atmosphere for marine life seeking shade and shelter. There are also many islands offshore where the underwater world is very beautiful and you can see plenty of colorful reefs.
- Diving Season: Year-round.
- Nearest Airport: Melbourne Airport (MEB)
- Topside Activities: Visit museums & galleries or go hiking and discover its amazing nature
6. Western Australia
Spot some rare endemic species.
Down from Ningaloo Reef, the rest of Western Australia is rich in marine biodiversity. As a lesser-visited area, many rare and endemic species like to call it their home. Some of the marine life you can see in the area are sharks, cuttlefish, octopus, trevally, mackerel, squids, turtles, dolphins and the list goes on. There are more than a hundred islands there where the underwater world is waiting to be explored. Not only diverse marine life, while diving in Western Australia, scuba divers can also discover some amazing wrecks. Additionally, the marine reserve protects the area from fishing or development, which is why the dive sites are well preserved and truly beautiful.
- Diving Season: Year-round. The water temperatures are the coldest during fall and go under 67F (20C), while early spring is the warmest and the temperatures rise above 74F (23C).
- Nearest Airport: Perth Airport (PER/ YPPH)
- Topside Activities: There are great museums and galleries to visit, beautiful beaches to enjoy and you can go and explore the outback.
7. The Yongala Wreck
Explore one of the best wrecks.
One of the best shipwrecks to dive in the world , located near Townsville in Queensland. You can spot giant groupers, eagles rays, manta rays, sea turtles, sea snakes, huge schools of Barracudas, giant trevallies, and various species of sharks. Sometimes, during the summer months, some lucky divers have even spotted minke or humpback whales! Excellent hard and soft coral and gorgonians sea fans can also be found here. The bottom of the wreck reaches 108ft (33m) and the dive site has often strong current, which is why it is recommended for experienced divers. The wreck is still in great condition and thus, many scuba divers call it their favorite wrecks to dive.
Interested in diving with manta rays? Check out our article about the Best Manta Ray Diving in the World .
- Diving Season: Year-round. The calmest conditions are in September. The best visibility is during the winter months. The summer months are the high season.
- Difficulty: Advanced.
- Nearest Airport: Townsville International Airport (TSV)
8. Flinders Pier & RAPID BAY JETTY
MEET THE WEEDY SEA DRAGONS
These popular shore dives will give you a chance to meet the peculiar weedy sea dragons . These relatives of the seahorse are perfectly camouflaged amongst their kelp habitat. Flinders Pier is also a great dive site to spot stingrays and eagle rays, cuttlefish, crabs, and different sponges. Unlike other piers, Flinders Pier has a grass bottom that attracts plenty of life and is why weedy sea dragons love this place. Rapid Bay Jetty may seem like an unassuming site on the surface, but below the waves the pier supports are a playground for schooling fish and home to some fascinating macro.
- Diving Season: Year-round, but is weather dependent.
- Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced
- Topside Activities: Visit Melbourne streets to see the fantastic street art, go shopping or see the national parks.
9. Osprey Reef
Best place to dive with sharks.
Located in the Coral Sea on a remote atoll called Osprey Reef, there are plenty of dive sites not to be missed. North Horn is one of the most famous and is a proper shark hub. Grey Sharks, Silvertip, Great Hammerhead Sharks, and even the Tiger Shark can all be seen at North Horn. Besides diving with sharks, you can also meet other pelagics like barracuda, turtles, rainbow runners, trevallies, tuna, and sometimes even manta rays can be spotted here. Whales and dolphins can be also spotted by scuba divers. The conditions are generally calm, but the occasional mild current offers a great opportunity for a nice drift dive. Since it's a remote area, it is only accessible by a dive liveaboard.
Interested in diving with sharks? Check out our list of the Best Shark Diving in the World .
- Diving Season: Year-round. The best visibility is from September to November.
- Difficulty: Beginner to Advanced
10. Fish Rock Cave
Fantastic cave diving.
If diving caves and caverns are something that interests you, you must add Fish Rock Cave to your list. The dive site does not only display a cave, but the cave itself is full of marine life. The caves are covered with gorgeous pink coral. Diving through the cave you can meet nurse sharks, wobbegong, morays, octopus, lobsters, and turtles. Scuba divers can always expect to see a lot of marine life, which makes this cave unique. Different sharks are also pretty much guaranteed to see during each dive. The cave has two different entrances, a shallow large entrance with a lot of light coming through and a deep entrance.
- Diving Season: Year-round
- Difficulty: More suitable for advanced divers
Other great dive sites in Australia
Some of the best dive sites in Australia:
Navy Pier - Located in Exmouth, close to the Ningaloo Reef. Wobbegong shark, the grey nurse shark, whitetip reef shark, nudibranch, flat worms, frog fishes, scorpions fishes, and stone fishes are often spotted there.
- Shelly Beach - This shore dive will take you through some great big boulders with gorgeous reef, seagrass, and beautiful white sand. You can spot some rays and even wobbegongs.
- Cod Hole - Located on The Great Barrier Reef. Besides the large potato cods and Maori wrasses, you can also spot whitetip reef sharks, emperor angelfishes, and triggerfishes.
- Lonsdale Wall - This great wall dive provides scuba divers with exciting swim-throughs where stunning soft coral, hanging sea fans and sponges have taken over. A variety of fish like to take shelter under the ledges, overhangs or undercuts. You can spot cuttlefish, seastars, nudibranch, blue devilfish among many others.
AUSTRALIA LIVEABOARDS AND DIVE RESORTS
There are many options for liveaboard trips in Australia. Most of them include the Great Barrier Reef. Joining a dive liveaboard will give you the ultimate diving holiday in Australia and will also show you some beautiful sites that dive boats are not able to visit. Australia also has plenty of dive resorts, which are more suitable if you want to also discover some of the great topside activities Australia has to offer.
See our live availability to some of the best liveaboards in Australia.
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Australia Travel Information & Tips
About the country, view location on google map, intro to scuba diving in australia.
The continent located south of the equator attracts scuba divers all year round and mainly to dive the Great Barrier Reef. Nevertheless, the island itself is huge and offers countless of beautiful dive sites beyond the famous reef. The choices for scuba divers are endless from colorful coral reefs, wrecks, giant kelp forests, and big pelagics. You can even dive with the great white sharks! Besides enjoyable fun dives, Australia is also a great place to get your dive certification in the first place as it has dive sites for all levels of divers. More experienced divers can also upgrade their skills by taking some technical diving courses.
Check out diving the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef from Belize or the Yucatan in Mexico.
Most scuba divers go diving in Australia to see the world heritage area, the Great Barrier Reef , that is home to more than 1500 fish species. Though Australia has a very diverse marine life, the destination is still best for seeing big fish rather than macro life. You can spot lots of different species of sharks like blacktip, whitetip sharks or wobbegongs. Whales are also quite common and you can see some humpback whales and minke whales. The Great Barrier Reef is also home to all the six of the whole world's seven turtle species.
Here are some of the marine life you are likely to see when scuba diving in Australia:
- Giant Clams
- Maori Wrasse
- Leafy Seadragon
BEST TIME TO DIVE AUSTRALIA
The best time to dive fluctuates for what area of Australia you are diving. Numerous areas are accessible year-round, but the southern parts can have bad weather between May-October.
weather & DIVING CONDITIONS
- Water Temperatures: Can be anywhere between 70 - 87 degrees.
- Visibility: Visibility on day trips will be between 50 and 100 ft. while further sites reached via liveaboard can be up to 150 ft.
- Depth Range: The majority of dive sites will be relatively shallow, 30 - 60 feet.
How to get there.
There are several airlines that fly non-stop between Australia and the US. The airport in Sydney offers the best options for international and domestic flights. Perth, Melbourne and Adelaide also have many international flights.
Continue your travels with a trip to neighbouring Thailand .
HOW TO DIVE AUSTRALIA
Although you can take day trips out to dive - in general, the further you go the better the diving becomes. Due to this, liveaboards are typically better to properly experience what all Australia diving has to offer. In general, the Great Barrier Reef is the most popular, but the Coral Sea is better. Many divers will visit as part of an Australia packages tour, often stopping off at various dive sites around the country.
TOPSIDE & NON-DIVING ACTIVITIES
Besides numerous underwater adventures, the country itself has great topside activities being home to some gorgeous beaches, unique wildlife, mountains, and rainforests. Due to Australia's size, it is near impossible to cover all the things you can do while visiting Australia. It is also dependent on what areas you are visiting. But to touch on a few; no trip can be complete without learning of Australia's Aboriginal culture , try taking a hike to the sacred site of Uluru to catch the sunrise or sunset. For you city lovers, climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge or see a show at the iconic Sydney Opera House . Or just take a drive along The Great Ocean Road - a scenic drive you won't forget. Australia is an inspiring place to visit, find out all about it .
The rates shown below are per person in USD. The actual rates provided by the operators are based in Australian Dollar (AUD). The pricing at the time of booking may vary depending on the latest AUD/USD exchange rate.
Other Useful Information
- Currency: Australian Dollar (AUD)
- Electricity: 230V 50Hz
- Language: English
- Time Zone: Australia has 5 standard time zones: Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) - UTC+8; Australian Central Western Standard Time (ACWST) - UTC+8:45; Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) - UTC+9:30; Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) - UTC+10; Lord Howe Standard Time (LHST) - UTC+10:30
- Entry Requirements: You must have a valid U.S. passport and a visa to enter Australia. Most U.S. passport holders traveling to Australia for tourism or business purposes for less than 90 days can obtain an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA).
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Australia is definitely a bucket list dive destination. Yes, you can go scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef, but that is not where my fiancee and I decided to go. Instead, we went to Adelaide, South Australia, and the diving was fantastic. Very unique, very cool, and not busy or crowded.
Rapid Bay jetty is an amazing shore dive with lots of cool fish, especially the beautiful leafy sea dragon. Every dive we looked for leafies there, we found them, including some juveniles!
Our other favourite dive site was a prime macro destination - Edithburgh jetty. The night dives were absolutely insane, just crawling with cool cephalopods with pyjama squid, bobtail squid, Southern sand octopus, blue ring octopus, and pygmy cuttlefish (we saw all of those on one dive).
We were there in December/January, meaning the water temps were at their warmest, but still chilly (20 degrees C). However, it was quite hot on land, up to 35 C +. Topside we went to Kangaroo Island, also nearby, and saw tons of cool stuff in the wild. We swam with bottlenose dolphins, and got up close to wild koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and echnidnas. It was awesome.
Also on our trip, we went scubadiving in Sydney. Surprisingly, the diving was very good there as well, with great encounters with a giant cuttlefish, Port Jackson sharks, and other fun critters.
Cost-wise, scuba diving in Australia is a bit pricy, especially if you rent gear. If you bring your own gear, it would be very affordable. So, if you are going to Australia, think outside the Great Barrier Reef for some unique diving experiences!
- Top Reviewer
Location: Byron Bay (Julian Rocks)
Byron Bay is probably my favorite place in Australia. Byron Bay is an amazing little beach town in northern NSW. It is somewhat of a surf town, and it is popular among young backpackers. Byron Bay has a wide selection of accommodation from camping, and cheap hostels, to bed and breakfasts, and beach side hotels. It also has a great selection of bars and restaurants that are open late into the night.
Cape Byron is the most eastern point of the Australian mainland. All of the scuba diving in Byron Bay is concentrated on a large rock formation just off shore, known as Julian Rocks, and is easily visible from the beach. During the summer months tropical species can be found out at the dive sites, and during the winter, colder water species are found. During the winter months the rocks host a large population of the endangered Grey Nurse sharks. The winter months also bring migrating humpback whales. Although you will probably not see a humpback on a dive, it is common to hear them, and come across them on the short boat ride out or back from the rock. During the summer months when the water warms, the tropical species move in, and it common to see Leopard sharks, as well as manta rays. Other tropical species such as eagle rays, lion fish, bat fish, and colorful reef fish can also be found. Year round inhabitants of the rocks include two species of Wobbegong shark, green and loggerhead turtles, massive bull sting rays, guitar fish, king fish, and big friendly Blue Gropers. Being a temperate dive location, visibility and conditions can vary greatly and change quickly. Visibility can range from just a few meters to 25+ on a great day.
The most commonly visited site at the rocks is called the nursery. The nursery is a shallow site that bottoms out around 12 meters at the deepest. It is the most sheltered dive site, and this is where any classes are usually held. The needles is on the south side of the rock and is about 15 meters in depth. The currents are stronger at this dive site. The currents draw large schools of fish, and lots of rays. One of my favorite dives is to start in the nursery and end in the needles. Hugo's trench is on the opposite side of the rock from the nursery. This site is more exposed and not visited nearly as much as the nursery side. The site is about 15-20 meters deep. The trench runs perpendicular to the rock and is home to a huge amount of life, and interesting rock formations.
Byron Bay is great town, and should not be missed in Australia. Few travelers go there just for the diving, but if you do visit, I highly recommend doing a day or two of diving.
Location: HERON ISLAND (Great Barrier Reef)
Heron Island is a small coral island located about 90 km off the coast of Gladstone in Queensland, AUS. The island is amazingly beautiful, and looks like a postcard. The island is also very small, you can walk around the entire island in about 20 minutes. Heron Island is home to one resort, and the University of Queensland's Great Barrier Reef Marine Research Station. I have not stayed at the resort so I cannot comment on the resort itself, but I was lucky enough to stay at the Marine Research station for 2 weeks while I was studying at UQ. The resort is small and so is the marine research station, so you will never have to worry about crowds or busy dive sites. The island is home to 100,000+ nesting sea birds, as well as a nesting site for green and loggerhead turtles between the months of March and October. Whales can be seen moving through the deeper water off the island during the winter months. The island is surrounded by an unbroken picturesque white sand beach and a shallow coral reef shelf.
There are several options for getting to the island. There is a boat that runs from Gladstone a few days a week. There is also a helicopter pad on the island if you wish to use a faster (and much more expensive) travel mode. Sea plane is the other option.
The resort dive operation is the only dive operation open to the public on the island. The diving on Heron Island is absolutely amazing and it's safe to say the island offers some of the best scuba diving experiences in Australia. Most of the dives are relatively shallow, very few are below 20 meters. The reefs around the island are very healthy; I have never seen so much healthy stag coral anywhere else. The reefs have an abundant amount of marine life. I will never forget that I saw my first Manta ray here, as well as my first tiger shark. Turtles, sharks and rays were seen on pretty much every dive I did. White tip sharks, Grey reef sharks, the occasional tiger shark, manta rays, green turtles, logger head turtles, barramundi cod, coral cod, huge numbers of rays, barracuda, sea snakes, countless colorful reef fish, coral trout, octopus, spotted eagle rays etc. are all found at the sites around the island. The currents at some of the sites can be swift, so there are a number of drift dives done around the island. For the non-divers in your group, the shallow reef surrounding the island is also perfect for snorkeling. There is also a channel cut through the reef to allow boat access to the dock. Snorkeling in this trench in the late afternoon after any boat traffic has stopped is great. In this trench in the evening it is common to see large number of white tipped reef sharks prowling the trench, as well as sleeping turtles, and schools of small bait fish. At the end of the trench is a large intact ship wreck, the HMAS Brisbane, that is only partially submerged, most of the wreck is above water. This island truly is a divers paradise, and I cant recommend it enough.
LOCATION: Lord Howe Island
I've been fortunate enough to have several trips to Lord Howe Island and do a fair bit of diving there. Lord Howe is a World Heritage listed area and regularly features as one of the best holiday destinations in the world. It is a truly unique place. The Island is located about 600km (370mi) east of Port Macquarie on mainland Australia. So it's part of Australia, but a long way from anywhere. The whole island is about 10km long and between 0.3 and 2km wide. No more than 400 tourists are allowed on the Island at any one time and it's accessible by flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Port Macquarie. There is no mobile phone coverage and limited internet access so it's really an escape from everyday life. A dozen people in the one place is a big crowd for Lord Howe Island. It's relatively expensive. Flights and accommodation are relatively expensive. There are very few shops on the Island but they can supply all your basic needs. But once you are there you are in paradise, above and below the water. There are great walks, beaches, lot's of birds, fishing. It's not an action adventure destination, it's a relaxing laid back place.
There is great snorkelling right off the beach, particularly at Ned's Beach. You can also do some real nice snorkelling sites in the lagoon but they are better done via a tour with one of the local operators. They are all good. There are two dive operators on the Island. There are a range of boat dives you can do, mostly a short trip away. Some of these are just outside the lagoon, others off the Malabar headland or the Admiralties (a group of rocks and very small Island now far from the main island). Diving around the Island is generally in 12-18m. There is a lot to see and around the Island you can take your pick with wide-angle or macro photography. Arguably the best diving is at Ball's Pyramid which is about 23km SE of the Island and when the weather is good boats head out there for a days diving. Ball's Pyramid is a 562m high rocky outcrop which is the tallest volcanic stack in the world. Diving at Ball's is in around 30m plus and is like swimming in an aquarium. A good day there is the equal of just about any dive site in the world. Bring your wide-angle for Ball's because everything is scaled up!
The dive shops have all the equipment you need but it's basic diving only (i.e. no nitrox or rebreathers etc that I'm aware of). They will have very basic spare parts and items for sale (mask's, snorkels, things for basic repairs) and they will go out of their way to fix a problem with your gear. But because the Island is so remote and everything comes in via plane or the small cargo ship that supplies the Island they keep it pretty simple.
The Island is the southern most reef in Australia and has an interesting mix of tropical and temperate conditions. You'll need a wetsuit to dive even in summer, and definitely in winter. The marine life is incredibly diverse as there are over 90 species of coral and 500 species of fish inhabiting the reef: turtles, reef sharks, morays, lobster, clown fish, angelfish, nudibranchs and more. I was even lucky enough to be on a trip that swam with a young whale shark we encountered on the way to Ball's Pyramid several years back.
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Diving in Australia
The Big Reef, and Beyond
There are reefs and there is THE REEF. Australia's Great Barrier Reef remains at the top of many a diver's bucket list, and with good reason. Named as one of the seven wonders of the natural world, it is the largest coral community on the planet and one of the ocean's most biologically diverse habitats. It's all here, from the tiny and the exotic to the largest fish in the sea. Explorations can begin at land-based resorts in Cairns or on Heron Island, while liveaboards give access to renowned sites on the Ribbon Reefs and the Coral Sea. Ashore, all the natural and cultural discoveries of the Land Down under await.
- Best for: Intermediate to advanced divers, photographers and underwater naturalists
- Best season to visit: Year-round, May to October are most popular months for liveaboard trips, and June and July for minke whale encounters
- Weather: Cairns has hot, humid summers and cooler, dry winters. Temperatures typically drop a few degrees as you move offshore. Cyclone season runs from November to May
Things to Do
- Cultural Activities
- Spa and Wellness
About diving in australia.
All dives on the Great Barrier Reef will involve a boat ride. Day trips originating in Cairns and Port Douglas feature fast, spacious motor yachts and catamarans. Liveaboards provide the best access to many prime areas such as the Ribbon Reefs and Osprey Reef. A stay at Heron Island provides shorter boat rides combined with land-based accommodations. Conditions can range from calm and current-free on locations inside the reef to swells and surge when diving exposed sites. Depending on season and location, water temperatures range from 75 to 84 degrees.
Diving in Australia Tips
Months from September to February provide the calmest sea conditions, while the best visibility occurs in the cooler months from June to September. Summer algae blooms may reduce visibility to a degree, but also attract more marine life. The “shoulder season” months of April and November offer a combination of favorable sea states, good water and lesser numbers of divers.
Best Places to Dive in Australia
The internationally-known Cod Hole deserves a space on the bucket list. Equally memorable are the manta cleaning stations at Around the Bend, the migrating minke whales at Lighthouse Bommie, shark dives at North Horn, drift dive at False Entrance and the macro life at Split Bommie.
What to Pack for Diving in Australia
Skin suits to 3mm are ideal in summer, but some divers may need a 5mm in winter. Pack a waterproof cover-up for breezy surface intervals and an extra layer—vest or headgear—for longer liveaboard itineraries, as body core temperatures drop after days of diving. On liveaboards, there's no need to dress up for dinner, so pack light on topside clothing and use a soft bag that can be stowed easily in the cabin. Remember motion sickness meds if susceptible.
Pacific Hotel Cairns
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions Spoilsport
Spirit of Freedom
Some 1,200 miles in length and encompassing more than 13,000 square miles of ocean, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park harbors an astounding variety of marine life, including more than1,600 species of fish, 600-plus types of coral, and more than 6,000 known varieties of invertebrates. Six of the world's seven species of sea turtle swim here, along with 30 species of whales and dolphins, giant black marlin and 133 species of sharks and rays . Diving activities take place all along the reef, with the northern areas generally considered the best sites. Some reefs are accessible by day trips from either Cairns or Port Douglas, but many of the best sites are reached only via a stay at offshore dive resorts such as Heron Island, or aboard a liveaboard dive vessel. A favorite liveaboard itinerary includes the Ribbon Reefs, where delicate soft corals grow to the size of a Christmas tree and starfish are electric blue. Big animal attractions include mantas, whales and sharks, and noteworthy finds include blue ring octopus , sawfish, ribbon eels, giant clams, harlequin tusk fish, wobbegong sharks and the giant potato cod. At the Cod Hole, groupers weighing up to 500 pounds interact with divers. Nearby Pixie Pinnacle has an incredible concentration of marine life for one small site - it’s all here - mantis shrimp, leafy scorpion fish, clownfish, lionfish, soft corals, giant fans, a proliferation of crinoids, nudibranchs and much more. Walls hold masses of chevron barracuda, dogtooth tunas and jacks swarm, with passing sharks always a possibility. In June and July, migrating dwarf minke whales pass through the Ribbon Reefs, giving divers a rare opportunity to view and interact with these fascinating marine mammals, A rare but not-to-be-forgotten sighting on outside reefs are the black marlin of up to 10 feet in length that will sometimes appear out of deep water. The reef continues north into the Coral Sea, offering some of the most exciting diving in the world. Spanning more than 1.5 million square miles of ocean, the Coral Sea contains hundreds of separate reefs, atolls, cays, and seamounts. This region is known for its vertical walls, enormous sea fans, multi-colored soft corals, sharks and amazing water clarity, which routinely exceeds 100 feet.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
American citizens are required to have a valid U.S. passport to enter Australia with at least one blank page for the entry stamp. An Australian Visa is required, or if eligible, an electronic visa, through Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) at www.eta.immi.gov.au . The ETA replaces a visa and allows a stay of up to 90 days. The ETA may be obtained from their website for $20 AUD. Airlines and many travel agents in the United States are also able to apply for ETAs on behalf of travelers. Please note that American citizens who overstay their ETA or visa, even for short periods, may be subject to exclusion, detention, and removal.
Read about Australia's entry/exit requirements here .
There are no required immunizations for U.S. citizens to enter Australia, but we would always suggest checking with your doctor and the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel to Australia at Traveler's Health CDC Australia .
Culture and Customs
For visitors from North America, Australia may seem like a favorite cousin who talks a bit funny and never met someone they didn't like. Portrayals of the Land Down Under often include a “no worries” attitude, which is an accurate representation of the hospitality visitors can expect. But laid back can be far from boring. In stark contrast to the cosmopolitan coastal cities to the south, Cairns is not only the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef but also the nation's epicenter for outdoor sports and adventures. Big game fishing charters, speedboat runs, jet ski tours and parasailing adventures take place in warm tropical waters, while on land, skydivers, climbers and bungee jumpers shun their fear of heights. Forays into the rainforest take place on foot, aboard motorcycles and mountain bikes or via offload vehicle. Aboriginal parks provide a glimpse of Australia's cultural heritage; zip line canopy rides spice up rainforest tours and crocodile-spotting cruises along the Daintree River provide bucket-list bragging rights.
Electricity, Phone and Internet Access
Standard electricity in Australia is 230 volts, 50 cycles. When coming from the United States an adapter will be needed for U.S. items and a step-down transformer could also be required to convert 220/240 Volt to 110/120 Volt. The power outlets use 3 flat pin plugs in a different configuration than U.S. sockets.
The international access code for Australia is 61. Please check with your cell phone provider for international data and calling plans.
Many hotels, restaurants and bars offer WiFi.
The tap water is safe to drink and bottled water is available for purchase.
Language & Currency
English is the official language of Australia.
The currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD) and consists of 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, $1 and $2 as coins and notes are $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100. You can exchange funds at all international airports in Australia upon arrival or at any bank.
Major currencies can be exchanged at banks and many hotels, with some stores also accepting U.S. currency. Purchases may be made using cash or major credit cards. Check the current exchange rate here .
Most of Australia uses 3 time zones.
Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST): in New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, Tasmania and Queensland, which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (+10 GMT).
Australian Central Standard Time (ACST) in South Australia and Northern Territory, which is 9 1/2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+9.5 GMT).
Australian Western Standard Time (AWST) in Western Australia, which is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (+8 GMT).
Daylight Saving Time is observed in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania from the beginning of October to the beginning of beginning of April, at which point AEST becomes AEDT and ACST becomes ACDT daylight savings time and moves by 1 hour. The Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland don’t observe Daylight Saving.
Location, Size and Population
Australia, sometimes referred to as the island continent, is the only country that is its own continent as well. Australia is very large - similar in size to the United States at almost 3 million square miles. The continent of Australia is located between the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean.
Australia's population is 24,17 Million (2016).
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Great Barrier Reef Snorkel & Dive Tours
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Great Barrier Reef Day Trip from Cairns
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Learn to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef! Our conveniently located Cairns Dive Centre has PADI 5 Star Instructor Development and PADI 5 Star Career Development status. Whether you’re a complete beginner or you’re thinking of making diving your career, we have a dive course to suit you. Our friendly, expert instructors will ensure you have a safe and fun experience.
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Self Drive Itineraries
Australia's most popular marine encounters and scuba diving experiences!
Why the great barrier reef is the ultimate destination for scuba divers.
Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef should be on your bucket list if you are an avid scuba diver. Learn why this is the ultimate scuba destination here.
Great White Shark Encounters
Great White Sharks are majestic, intriguing and just a little bit terrifying. They are also best seen from the safety of a cage. Port Lincoln is the ‘home’ for Australia’s Great White Shark diving day trips....
Great Barrier Reef, Minke Whale Encounters
A unique & memorable experience with the Dwarf Minke's, the encounters are regular and entirely initiated by the Whale's themselves...
Diving The Great Barrier Reefs Ribbon Reefs and Cod Hole
The Ribbon Reefs lie well to the north of Cairns and are home too many world famous dive sites, including the Cod Hole...
The Coral Sea, Osprey Reef
Adventure Diving - The Coral Sea offers very remote, deep reef diving. Located beyond the borders of the Great Barrier Reef...
Ningaloo Reef - Swimming with Whale Sharks and Manta-rays
Swim with manta rays.
Swimming with manta rays is truly a magical experience, whether you are diving or snorkelling. These gentle, giant rays seem to soar through the ocean, like an eagle riding the thermal currents above...
Australia's Grey Nurse Sharks diving encounters
One of the most impressive sharks you will encounter diving in Australia is the Grey Nurse Shark...
Experience the Great Barrier Reef's Coral Spawning
Great Barrier Reef coral spawning is an amazing natural phenomenon. It happens once a year, creating an amazing underwater snowstorm which both attracts and delights divers, marine biologists and reef lovers from around the world...
Popular - Great White Shark Cage Diving, Port Lincoln - South Australia
Need help planning your Australian diving holiday?
Planning your Australian dive holiday and feeling unsure where to begin? Reach out to us! Our knowledge and services encompass a wide array of Australia’s most sought-after scuba diving destinations and marine encounters. Whether you’re interested in dive courses, liveaboard expeditions, or day tours, we’ve got you covered. We’re your go-to experts for personalised dive travel in Australia!
Unique to Dive in Australia is the ability to book many of the featured trips and dive courses live on the website. Where you see the “INSTANT BOOK” tab, you can search availability using the CHECK AVAILABILITY tab .
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- Dive in Australia features and sells Australia’s best dive experiences, operators, and dive centres, and is backed by 25 year’s knowledge and experience in marketing dive holidays to the domestic and international dive markets.
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- Our experience and knowledge of the dive locations Australia wide will help you plan your holiday using our self-drive itineraries.
- Our team’s first hand experience of having dived the tours featured plus holding PADI Professional Dive Certifications (Dive Master and Dive Instructor) totalling close to 1000 dives.
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Lady Elliot Island – Hottest Diving Deal
Lady Elliot Island is known for its abundance of manta rays, turtles, amazing array of spectacular marine life and unspoilt coral reef.
Stay 5 nights, pay only 4!
Lady Elliot Island – Reef and Rainforest Package
Visit the Reef and Rainforest!
Read about some of our top places and things to see
Cocos Keeling Islands
Great Barrier Reef
Lord Howe Island
Top australia resorts / liveaboards.
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions: Spoilsport
Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort
Great Escape – Rowley Shoals
Dive Lord Howe
Diving in Australia is incredibly diverse, from the stunning coral vistas of the Great Barrier Reef, Ningaloo and Rowley Shoals, to world-famous wrecks like the Yongala, and encounters with whale sharks, manta rays – you can even come face to face with great white sharks.
Most people immediately think of the Great Barrier Reef when thinking of scuba diving in Australia. But, being a continent, there’s more to diving in Australia than one reef (even if it is the size of Italy).
Australia has tropical diving in the east along the Great Barrier Reef and in the west along Ningaloo Reef, the Rowley Shoals and Christmas Island. It also has temperate diving in the south, characterised by kelp rather than coral landscapes, but often teeming with marine life from leafy seadragons and cuttlefish, to rays, seals and great white sharks.
Here we’ll share with you what we consider to be the best liveaboards in Australia, Australia’s very special islands, and the best dive holiday destinations in Australia.
What to see when
Australia is a vast continent crossing several different climate zones, and your diving expectations will depend on the weather as well as seasonal marine life migration. In tropical climes, generally the best time to dive for the best visibility is the dry season (May to November) and in temperate climes, in autumn (February to May).
Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
Northern Great Barrier Reef. Diving the reef from Cairns or Port Douglas is available all year round, but the calmer seas and clearer water are from August to January, with the rainiest months of the year usually February and March. Dwarf minke whale season is in June and July, and turtle nesting season is November to February.
Southern Great Barrier Reef. Peak season on the Southern Great Barrier Reef is over the Australian summer months during turtle nesting season, however the best visibility, and best time to see mantas at Lady Elliot Island and Lady Musgrave Island is mid-winter in July and August. Humpbacks can be seen between August and October.
Lord Howe Island, NSW
For warmer water the best time to dive Sydney, the New South Wales Coast and Lord Howe Island is between January and May, with the visibility increasingly better into June. Suitably dressed, (like the locals), you can dive NSW all year round.
On Ningaloo Reef, whale shark season runs between mid-March and mid-July and humpback season is between July and October. On Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling Islands, the best visibility is between May and November, and whale shark season on Christmas Island is November to April. Rowley Shoals can only be dived in September and October.
While it is possibly to see great whites at Port Lincoln all year, historically the best time of year for viewing white sharks is from April through to June. The giant cuttlefish aggregation in Whyalla is from May to mid-July.
Being an island continent, Australia is well connected into the global airline routes. Arrive in Perth for Ningaloo, Rowley Shoals, and Australia’s Indian Ocean Islands: Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling Island; Sydney for Lord Howe Island, and Brisbane for all destinations on the Great Barrier Reef.
Australia has several domestic airlines servicing major and regional hubs including Qantas, Qantaslink, Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Rex. Train, coach and bus travel in Australia is comfortable, efficient and reasonably priced. All of Australia’s major cities have reliable public transport options however if you want to explore further afield it’s useful to hire a car. More information including travel times can be found here .
Adrenalin Dive & SeaEsta
Cocos Dive, Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Exmouth Dive and Whalesharks Ningaloo
Extra Divers Christmas Island
Heron Island Resort
Wet n Dry Adventures Christmas Island
All of Australia’s dive ‘resorts’ are on islands dotted around Australia’s coast – and each one is completely different. (They are not all strictly resorts either).
To the west, far out in the tropical Indian Ocean are the sandy Cocos Keeling Islands – consisting of two atolls and 27 coral islands, looking just like a lost paradise.
North of Cocos is Christmas Island – the tip of an extinct volcano – whose near-vertical sides slope down to the seabed 3000 m below. A magnet for pelagics from whale sharks to mantas, and well and home to a plethora of colourful reef fish on its fringing reefs.
To the far east, is Lord Howe Island , sitting on the confluence of 5 ocean currents, it has both tropical and temperate species in abundance, and well as a variety of interesting underwater terrain from a lagoon, to small islands, to the Arches, to Ball’s Pyramid – a monolithic slab of rock that sticks out of the ocean over 500m high!
In the middle of the Great Barrier Reef is Townsville, with Adrenalin Dive offering day trips and 3 to 5 night liveaboard trips to the local colourful reefs and the famous Yongala Wreck.
On the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef are two coral cays offering both excellent colourful coral reef diving, plus, being on the very edge of the reef, encounters with passing pelagics from Mantas to whales (in season). Being surrounded by sand, both Lady Elliot Island and Heron Island are also nesting grounds for turtles – meaning it would be a rare dive if you didn’t have an encounter with a turtle. Lady Musgrave Island now has a pontoon moored close by – so that you can do multiple nights stays and pack in 4 dives per day on the surrounding reefs.
In the west of Australia is Ningaloo – most famous for the whale shark swim – but there are also excellent dive sites on Ningaloo Reef, on the nearby Murion Island, and famously under the Navy Pier. All of which can be dived with Ningaloo Dive and Exmouth Dive .
Rodney Fox Expeditions Great White Shark Cage Diving
Divers Den Oceanquest
Dive Ningaloo: Lady Ningaloo
Sail Ningaloo: Shore Thing
Pro Dive Cairns Scubapro
Spirit of Freedom
The most popular liveaboards in Australia are those, like Mike Ball Expedition’s Spoilsport out of Cairns, and the Spirit of Freedom , that visits the Coral Sea – servicing the area of the northern Great Barrier Reef. Offering various packages from regular 3 and 4-day trips which can be taken back to back as a luxurious 7-night trip that includes all the best sites.
There are other liveaboards in the Great Barrier Reef area which visit the Ribbon Reefs – those easily accessible reefs north of Cairns. An excellent example of these are Pro Dive’s three Scubapro liveaboard boats .
Finally, for those with only a few days to spare, you can still spend a few nights out on the Great Barrier Reef on the Divers Den Oceanquest Liveaboard . Moving between different moorings on the Outer Reef it is serviced daily by the day boat Seaquest – so you can spend as many or as few days diving as you like. Another liveaboard offering shorter trips to the central Great Barrier Reef from Townsville is the SeaEsta Liveaboard based in Townsville.
If you plan to visit Australia for diving around October or November, a fantastic but little known alternative would be a trip to the Rowley Shoals – a chain of three spectacular pristine coral atolls – each covering 80 square kilometres and rising up to 400 meters (130 ft) from the ocean floor on the very edge of the widest continental shelf in the world. Comparable to the Coral Sea on the East coast, the stronger prevailing currents make this a unique underwater environment.
Here you dive amongst the giant clams, shellfish, Giant Potato Cod and Maori Wrasse. Discover over 200 species of coral and over 650 species of fish. As the Rowley Shoals is about 100 miles offshore visibility is often in excess of 60m (200 ft).
Two liveaboards – the MV Great Escape and The Odyssey – offer 7-night itineraries in season from Broome in Western Australia, but be aware you may need to book in advance for the next season.
Also on the west coast, out of Ningaloo, is the Sail Ningaloo liveaboard, offering trips of different lengths and taking combinations of divers and snorkelers, or divers only.
And finally – for something completely different, you might like to get face to face with a Great White Shark. Rodney Fox Expeditions offers 3 and 4-night itineraries to the Neptune Islands from Port Lincoln in South Australia. On these trips, you can spend time in either the surface or ocean floor shark cages and experience these magnificent apex predators up close.
Due to the huge size of the country, Australia has several different climate zones. The northern section of Australia, including WA’s Coral Coast and Queensland, has a more tropical influenced climate, hot and humid in the summer, and quite warm and dry in the winter, while the southern parts, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia, are cooler with mild summers and cool winters. In summer (December-February), average maximum temperatures are around 26°C/79°F It can also be humid at this time with an average humidity of 65 per cent.
Australia’s public health care system is called Medicare, and Australian hospitals provide world-class medical facilities and standards of care. The Australian Government has Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with a number of countries, which entitle travellers to some subsidised health services. It’s best to check your eligibility before you leave home, and it’s always important to have appropriate travel insurance to cover your stay in Australia. More information .
Where is the nearest decompression chamber? Check the Database link on this site.
Power sockets are Type 1 – three flat pins in a triangle.
Banks and Banking
Australia’s national currency is Australian dollars (AUD), which comes in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes. Coins come in 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and one and two dollar denominations.
Currency exchange is available at banks, hotels and international airports. Australian banks offer the same range of services typical in other western nations, and ATMs are widespread. EFTPOS is widely available in most Australian shops, restaurants and hotels. Fees may be charged on transactions, particularly if withdrawing from an international account, so it is advised you check with your bank before travelling. More information .
The outgoing IDD (international direct dialling) code from within Australia is 0011.
Mobile phone network coverage is available across Australia, however coverage may be limited in some remote areas. Internet access and free WiFi is widely available at internet cafés, resorts and libraries.
Visa & Customs
Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate. You can also apply for certain types of visas on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. More information .
Visit the Tourism Australia website for a wealth of information about travelling to Australia and the many attractions and activities to experience, from climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge to exploring the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest or iconic natural features such as Uluru Kata Tjutu National Park.
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Scuba Diving Vacations
Scuba diving vacations to dive australia, new zealand & fiji.
There’s no wonder why Australia and the South Pacific are known world-wide as paradise for scuba diving vacations. The clear, often warm, waters that surround Australia, New Zealand & Fiji are home to hundreds of legendary dive sites that are explored year round by beginners and experienced scuba divers. The Great Barrier Reef, The Coral Sea, Osprey Reef, Ribbon Reef and The Cod Hole are just a few of the famous natural attractions you can discover on your diving vacation.
Many of our scuba diving vacations are based out of incredible places like Cairns, Port Douglas, Tutukaka, Picton, Savu Savu and others. You can dive down under to see bright and colorful coral, meet sharks, sting rays, whales, more than 1,500 different fish species, and over 4,000 different species of invertebrates. Adventure awaits and the limitations are only set by your imagination. Choose one of our Diving Vacation Packages and escape to a dream-come-true Diver’s Holiday!
Plan your scuba diving trip to dive Australia, New Zealand, Fiji or Vanuatu and find out why these dive sites are known as the Top Dive Sites in the World. Browse our diving itineraries below, or have one of our travel experts prepare a Custom Dive Trip just for you. Dive Australia & the South Pacific!
- Heron Island
- Lady Elliot
- President Coolidge
- Great White Shark
- Spirit of Freedom
- Dive Australia
- Dive New Zealand
Destinations: Australia – Sydney, Cairns
Activities: Iconic Landmarks, Local Markets, Beaches, Dive, Great Barrier Reef, Rainforest, Wildlife, Museums, Culture, Rest & Relaxation, General Leisure
Tour Type: Independent Travel
Class: 3 - 4 stars
Destinations: Australia – Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Cod Hole, Ribbon Reef, Coral Sea, Osprey Reef, Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard
Activities: Scuba Diving the Great Barrier Reef, Wildlife, Active, Beaches
Destinations: Australia – Sydney, Cairns, Brisbane
Activities: Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Touring, Beaches, Iconic Landmarks & Museums, Reef, Wildlife, Local Markets, Shopping, Restaurants, Culture, Zoo Visit, Sydney Opera House Tour
Destinations: Australia – Sydney, Port Douglas, Melbourne
Activities: Art & Shopping, Museums, Pubs & Clubs, Iconic Landmarks, Local Markets, Beaches, Dive, Great Barrier Reef, Rainforest, Wildlife
Destinations: Australia & New Zealand – Cairns, Great Barrier Reef (Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard Dive Boat), Queenstown
Activities: Skiing or Snowboarding, Scuba Dive, Adventure, Active, Beaches, Great Barrier Reef , Thrill-seekers, Wildlife
Destinations: Vanuatu & Australia – Espiritu Santo, President Coolidge Wreck Diving, Million Dollar Point, Port Vila, Sydney
Activities: Scuba Dive (Wrecks), Great Barrier Reef, Shopping & Local Markets, Native Culture, Active, Beaches
Destinations: Australia – Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Cod Hole, Ribbon Reef, Coral Sea, Osprey Reef, Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard, Sydney
Activities: Scuba Dive, Great Barrier Reef, Shopping & Local Markets, Wildlife, Iconic Landmarks, Restaurants
Destinations: Australia – Sydney, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Port Douglas, Brisbane
Activities: Beaches, Aboriginal Culture, Dive, Iconic Landmarks & Museums, Outback, Reef, Rainforest
Class: 2 - 3 stars
Destinations: Australia – Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Cod Hole, Ribbon Reef, Coral Sea, Osprey Reef, Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard, Ayers Rock, Sydney
Activities: Aboriginal Culture, Scuba Dive, Iconic Landmarks & Museums, Outback, Great Barrier Reef, Wildlife, Rainforest, Native Culture, Restaurants, Opera House Tour, Harbour Cruise
Destinations: Australia & Vanuatu – Cairns, Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, Ribbon Reefs, Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard, Espiritu Santo, President Coolidge Wreck, Million Dollar Point, Brisbane
Activities: Scuba Dive (Wreck Diving), Great Barrier Reef, Rainforest, Wildlife, Native Culture, Beaches
Destinations: Sydney, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef (Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard Dive Boat), Queenstown
Activities: Skiing or Snowboarding, Scuba Dive, Active, Adventure, Beaches, Iconic Landmarks & Museums, Nightclubs, Rest & Relaxation, Restaurants, Great Barrier Reef , Shopping & Local Markets, Thrill-seekers, Wildlife
Destinations: Sydney, Wellington, Nelson, Queenstown, Kangaroo Island, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef (Spirit of Freedom Liveaboard Dive Boat)
Activities: Scuba Dive (Great Barrier Reef), Beaches, Native Culture, Local Markets, Restaurants, Iconic Landmarks, Museums, Nightlife, Kangaroos & Koalas, Outback, Rainforest, Wildlife, Fjords
Tour Type: Self-Drive
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Allways dive – by australian divers. for australian divers… the world over.
Welcome to Allways Dive Expeditions – Australia’s premier dive travel retailer – serving the Australian dive community for over 40 years. .
Allways Dive is one of the most highly regarded names in retail scuba diving holidays in the Southern hemisphere. Here at Allways Dive experience talks – we have successfully and safely sent over 100,000 Aussie divers like you on dive adventures from Palau to Antarctica since 1976. From tech diver in Bikini Atoll to wreck diver in Coron – whether you’re a newbie diver in Palau , free diver in Koh Tao , spearo in Samoa or a snorkeler in Cuba – Allways Dive Expeditions have got a dive adventure for you.
The team at Allways Dive have been working hard for over 40 consecutive years (100 collectively) to ensure those passionate about the ocean get the best travel experience possible. Whether you know exactly what you want or need help designing and booking your ideal holiday, our staff is on hand to help. Whether it’s Operation Hailstone World War II wreck diving at Truk Lagoon in Micronesia , reef dives in Mozambique , wall dives at the Galapagos Islands in South America ; or how about big fish dives at Nuku Alofa in Tonga , muck diving for tiny critters in Dauin in the Philippines or cold-water diving with Leopard Seals in Antarctica that you’re seeking, our experienced staff at Allways Dive will help you find your dive adventure.
And if one of your party doesn’t dive, or you fancy doing something else alongside your diving, we can advise on destinations that offer activities such as yoga , spa treatments , rock climbing , mountain treks , bird watching , native cooking as well as volunteering and marine conservation work.
Standards – As an ATAS and AFTA licensed travel agent, rest assured that we’ve met all the strict standards and criteria required by those professional bodies – We are the best in the industry!
Expert guidance – Our entire team are destination experts as well as fully trained and qualified travel agents – oh yes – we are all fully qualified divers too who between us have dived most of the destinations we offer.
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We can and do take care of every aspect of your travel, flights, transfers, tours, activities, travel insurance and more all packaged in a neat travel wallet and sent to your doorstep. Our bespoke Dive Packages are created just for you; we take everything that you say into consideration and adjust it till it’s just right and you are happy!
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Diving Tours in Australia
With the global population of divers increasing significantly in recent years, it is little wonder that scuba diving locations in Australia are increasing in popularity. Whether you’re a seasoned professional or a first-time diver, Australia's biodiverse waters are renowned for providing some of the most memorable diving adventures on the planet.
Australia’s west coast boasts the planet's largest fringing reef at Ningaloo Marine Park; an extremely popular Australian scuba diving location, situated off the Cape Range National Park near Exmouth. This location is home to Whale Sharks, Sea Snakes, Wobbegongs, Soft Corals, Batfish, Turtles, Manta Rays, Sea Fans, Moray Eels, White-tip Reef Sharks and abundant colourful reel fish. Exmouth Navy Pier, a world-renowned macro diving destination, is a haven for Nudibranchs, Frog Fish, Octopuses, Scorpionfish and Flat Worms. The Muiron Islands, another popular scuba diving location in Australia, is perfect for close encounters with Stingrays, Potato Cod, Sharks, Turtles, Anemones, Clownfish, thousands of fish, and much more.
Many holidays or vacations that incorporate diving in Australia include a visit to the incredible Great Barrier Reef; the world’s largest living organism. There are many islands along the the Great Barrier Reef, that are considered amongst the best diving sites in Australia. Tropical reef diving in Australia is recognised for its outstanding water clarity, ideal to admire the exceptional underwater landscapes, the healthy coral reefs, the abundance of sharks, Manta Rays and turtles, and a wide range of tropical fish – and explore a wonderful mix of bommies, soft & hard corals and breathtaking coral platforms.
Australian Wildlife Journeys offers diving tours across Australia’s two most popular reef systems. Our friendly expert instructors and guides will allow you to experience the wonderful underwater attractions whilst educating you on the importance of preserving these precious ecosystems. Diving tours also provide the opportunity to participate in citizen science projects including Project Manta, Ecocean and Eye on the Reef, which assist scientists in tracking the health and sustainability of the reef.
Check out our Australian diving tours below:
Wildlife Interests: Fish & Marine Invertebrates
Dive Christmas Island
From $2,745 AUD
8 days/7 nights
Christmas Island has over 60 dive sites to choose from and is regarded as one of Australia’s best diving regions, due to the high volume of immense 'drop offs' only metres from the shoreline. Sensational visibility of up to 50 metres, ensures that you can observe abundant fish including surgeonfish,...
Great White Shark Cage Dive Packages
From $1,415 AUD
2 days/2 nights
Experience the amazing Eyre Peninsula, with a choice of these two day adventures, encompassing the exhilarating Great White Shark Cage Dive! Experience premium 4WD touring, aquatic activities and culinary offerings across Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay or surrounds. Tour stunning Port Lincoln, nestled on the shores of beautiful Boston Bay where...
Ningaloo Reef Dive Tour
From $270 AUD
Full Day from Exmouth
Right on Exmouth's doorstep, dive the world famous Ningaloo Reef, on one of our three dive boats at Light House Bay, or the West Side. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or keen to try for the first time - you’re sure to have an awesome day as we visit two...
Wildlife Interests: Fish & Marine Invertebrates, Reptiles & Amphibians
Outer Reef or Islands Scuba Dive & Snorkel
From $295 AUD
Discover the wonders of the Muiron Islands and Ningaloo Marine Park, regarded as one of the most beautiful underwater wilderness areas in Australia. Upon cruising out across the pristine waters, you will spend the day exploring different snorkel and dive sights accessible by boat only, with Dolphins, Rays and Turtles...
For further information about diving opportunities and species that you can encounter across different seasons, visit our Fish & Marine Invertebrates and Marine Mammals section.
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Pixies Garden, Great Barrier Reef, QLD. © Tourism and Events Queensland
Best places to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef
Queensland is a diver’s paradise with coral, shipwrecks and even underwater sculptures dotted along a beautiful coastline.
By Bonnie Jackson
Whether you're an experienced diver or have never taken an underwater breath, you'll love the aquatic wonderland of Queensland. It's a kaleidoscope of reefs, shoals and coral cays teeming with tropical marine life. The Great Barrier Reef , which extends along Queensland’s coastline for more than 2,000km (1,200mi), is the largest expanse of living coral on the planet. There are so many epic spots to see; here are just a few of the best places to dive on the Great Barrier Reef.
Agincourt Reef, Tropical North Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
Agincourt Reef is located at the Great Barrier Reef’s northern end, near Cairns . This is a great spot even for beginner divers. Here, you can snorkel or dive on the edge of the continental shelf with an abundance of technicoloured fish, sea turtles and even reef sharks. Discover the breathtaking Blue Wonder wall, where the coral garden drops vertically for more than 40m (131ft).
Cairns and Port Douglas are both great places to base yourself to dive Agincourt Reef. Most tours depart from Port Douglas, but it’s possible to arrange pick-up from your Cairns accommodation.
SS Yongala Shipwreck
SS Yongala, Townsville, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
Located about one hour south of Cairns near Townsville , you will discover the blissful Magnetic Island. This is where you will explore the ancient wreck of the SS Yongala, which sank in 1911 and is Australia's largest and most intact historic wreck. Swim among marine life like manta rays, eagle rays, turtles and sharks that have made this iconic structure their home. Because this wreck is protected by legislation, divers can only visit on day trips with a licensed operator like Yongala Dive .
Stonehaven Bay, Hook Island, Whitsundays, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
The Whitsundays are comprised of 74 palm-fringed, mostly uninhabited tropical islands in the Great Barrier Reef. Join diving trips and day cruises from the mainland at Airlie Beach , or choose to stay at an island resort like Hamilton or Hayman Island . The Whitsundays offer something for every diver – flat-topped coral pinnacles, shallow underwater cliffs, boulder-like bommies and more. Plus, divers will also encounter a huge array of marine life like manta rays and batfish.
Museum of Underwater Art
Museum of Underwater Art, near Townsville, Queensland © Museum of Underwater Art
Why wander through a regular museum when you can swim among the artworks at The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA)? Descend into an awe-inspiring underwater world with a visit to MOUA’s Coral Greenhouse sculpture at John Brewer Reef, off the coast of Townsville , which features a 9m (30ft) stainless steel greenhouse structure designed to dissipate the ocean's undercurrents. While it can be viewed with a snorkel, it's best experienced as a dive for a thorough exploration of all its beautiful details. There are many dive tour operators like ProDive Magnetic Island that will take you to explore this phenomenal under-the-sea art exhibit.
Capricorn and Bunker reefs
Heron Island, Queensland © James Vodicka
In the Southern Great Barrier Reef region , take a dive in one of the natural wonders of the world and meet the local nesting turtles, rare birds and passing whales in the Capricorn and Bunker reefs. The water is relatively shallow and is teeming with reef fish, turtles, manta rays, reef sharks and an endless variety of marine invertebrates. Here you can also enjoy floating amongst the magic as you snorkel from the shore without a guide. Nearby, you can swim past big fish and vivid coral canyons near Lady Elliot and Lady Musgrave islands, and don't miss the marine turtles that nest and hatch every evening between November and May at Mon Repos Conservation Park .
Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island, Queensland © Brisbane Marketing
Located just north of the Tangalooma Island Resort on Moreton Island are the Tangalooma Wrecks, a cluster of ships on the eastern side of Moreton Bay. As you dive down to the ships, you’ll notice that coral is now starting to form in and around the wrecks, providing a haven for over 100 species of fish and sometimes even dolphins, wobbegongs and dugongs. Expect to see loggerhead turtles, colourful reef fish and corals and even the rare grey nurse shark. Off the coast of Mooloolaba , you can swim through large coral formations and caves on Flinders Reef , or see the marine life that has set up home in the scuttled former HMAS Brisbane .
Wonder Reef, Gold Coast, Queensland © City of Gold Coast
Just metres away from the Gold Coast’s white sandy beaches sits a world-first. Wonder Reef has graced the Gold Coast’s shorelines with nine underwater sculptures, creating the world’s first buoyant reef for both marine life and divers to enjoy. The ever-evolving coral-coated sculptures – which blend science and art – are already home to a myriad of marine life. Dive to the depths to discover this unique ecosystem, or as we like to call it, the ocean’s very own work of art.
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