Whether you are looking to escape the summer heat or just want a unique holiday experience, why not explore the wonders beneath the waves and go scuba diving?
There are some spectacular dive sites along the Queensland and New South Wales coast, from shipwrecks to underwater caves and reefs. Check out some of our favourite dive spots for some inspiration for your next diving holiday.
Great Barrier Reef
With its easy access to the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, Cairns is a fantastic place to go diving for both beginners and experienced divers. There is a wonderful array of colourful fish, reef sharks and spectacular coral that can be seen in quite shallow waters so even beginners can have a great diving experience on a day trip.
More experienced divers can join a live aboard tour to deeper parts of the reef which offer visibility of up to 40 meters. Popular spots include the Ribbon Reef and Osprey Reef.
Stay: Ingenia Holidays Cairns Coconut
Great Sandy Strait
The Great Sandy Strait between Hervey Bay and Fraser Island offers a fascinating range of diving experiences including caves, ledges and an epic artificial reef with shipwrecks. Marvel at the array of marine life including colourful fish, turtles, rays and even whales at certain times of the year.
The opportunity to dive the Ex HMAS Tobruk will be available from the second half of 2018, when it will be sunk about 25 nautical miles off the coast of Hervey Bay in waters sheltered by Fraser Island.
Stay: Ingenia Holidays Hervey Bay
HMAS Brisbane is a decommissioned warship that is located about 2.8 nautical miles east of Mudjimba Island off the Sunshine Coast. Since it was sunk in 2005, the wreck has become one of the region’s most popular dive sites with over 200 fish species, hard and soft corals and rays calling the wreck home.
The dive is suitable for open water divers, with some sections extending down to 28 meters which will fascinate even advanced divers.
Stay: Ingenia Holidays Noosa
Cook Island Marine Sanctuary
The Cook Island Marine Sanctuary is just a short boat ride off the Tweed Coast and is particularly well known for its turtle population. There are a range of dive sites around the island where you can see green loggerhead turtles, colourful fish, adorable nudibranchs, along with leopard and grey nurse sharks and manta rays depending on the season. Cook Island dive sites are suitable for open water divers.
Stay: Ingenia Holidays Kingscliff
Fish Rock Cave
Divers will be spoiled for choice in the South West Rocks region, however one of the more unique dives is Fish Rock Cave. The spectacular ocean cave extends 125 meters through Fish Rock, and the clear cave waters are home to its own fascinating ecosystem.
There are two entrances at different depths depending on your experience level. The 12 metre entrance leads to a naturally lit cavern filled with fish and pretty pink corals and the bubble cave. Advanced divers can explore the 24 metre entrance in search of wobbegongs, black rays and giant cuttlefish before joining up with the main cavern.
Stay: Ingenia Holidays South West Rocks
Divers won’t want to miss out on a trip to Broughton Island while in the Post Stephens area. The Looking Glass is one of the most popular sites and is an arch/crack in the rock which is home to grey nurse sharks and an array of fish including cuttlefish and the rare eastern blue devil fish. It is a beautiful serene site where you can just float with the movement of the water and watch the marine life go by.
Stay: Ingenia Holidays Soldiers Point or Ingenia Holidays One Mile Beach
Montague Island off the New South Wales south coast is one of the few places where you can experience diving with fur seals along with a wide variety of fish species. There are a range of tours available for beginner to advanced divers and depending on the time of year you might even spot migrating whales and little penguins off the island. Grey nurse sharks can also be seen off the northern end of the island in the warmer months.
Stay: Ingenia Holidays Ocean Lake