Australia is synonymous with sun, sea, sand, and surf, and for avid scuba divers, no trip down under is complete without a couple of dives to check out what lies beneath the ocean’s surface.
To book a diving trip, simply visit one of the cities and towns that serve as an access point to the dive site, compare prices to find an affordable dive trip that satisfies your criteria, and then book yourself a spot.
Here are the best diving spots in Australia just begging to be explored.
The Great Barrier Reef
The legendary Great Barrier Reef is the world’s biggest coral reef system and covers a massive area off the northeast coast of Australia. It can be accessed from Queensland, with Cairns being one of the best access points.
While the Great Barrier Reef has been suffering from coral bleaching in recent years, it is still unparalleled in terms of the coral structures and the marine life it contains. Near Cairns, it is also home to sharks which include hammerhead sharks, grey reef sharks, and white tip reef sharks.
Christmas Island is actually closer to Jakarta than mainland Australia. This Australian territory thus offers the kind of scuba diving experience you’d expect in Southeast Asia.
The Indian Ocean off Christmas Island is home to numerous dive sites that feature a mind-boggling variety of turtles, sharks, nudibranchs and more. Christmas Island’s fringing reef means that all dive sites are located very close to the island, which means shorter traveling time.
Kangaroo Island is one of the best dive spots in South Australia and is located a couple of hours’ drive from Adelaide. Being located in the south of Australia, you will find that sea life off Kangaroo Island differs greatly from the more popular dive spots in the northeast.
One of the highlights is the fascinating leafy seadragon, which can only be found in the waters south of Australia. Leafy seadragons somewhat resemble seahorses but have leaf-like appendages that make them look like floating bits of vegetation. If you’re lucky, you might also encounter a sea lion or New Zealand fur seal.
If it’s shipwrecks you’re after, head to Darwin Harbour. Due to massive bombings during World War II, the seas off Darwin are littered with shipwrecks that are suitable for advanced divers to explore.
Some of the most popular shipwrecks include Manua Loa, the Zealandia and USS Peary. Figuring out when the shipwrecks can be accessed can be tricky for independent drivers, but thanks to the many dive operators based in Darwin that is not a problem for tourists.
Many of the shipwrecks have now evolved into artificial reefs that contain an interesting ecosystem of corals, cod, barracuda, wobbegong sharks and more.
Lord Howe Island
Located in New South Wales, Lord Howe Island is considered one of Australia’s best dive spots. The island is situated about 4 hours’ flight from Port Macquarie, which in turn is a little over 4 hours’ drive from Sydney.
Lord Howe Island is not only home to dive sites where you can spot trevally, kingfish, amberjack and, if you are very lucky, dolphins, it’s also a scenic vacation destination in itself, with gorgeous sandy beaches, a sheltered coral reef lagoon that you can snorkel and dive, and a stunning backdrop of volcanic mountains.
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