Queensland is home to some of the most ecologically diverse and astonishingly beautiful underwater environments in the world. Best way to explore them? Suit up and dive deep! Here are some of the best diving sites to explore.
SS Yongala wreck
The Yongala sank off the coast near Townsville in 1911 and remained undiscovered for nearly half a century. The shipwreck is now renowned as one of the best dive sites in Australia (if not the world). It's home to a dazzling, diverse array of marine life. As you dive, you’ll see gorgeous reef, manta and eagle rays, turtles, barracudas, large pelagics, octopuses, gropers and sea snakes.
If you want to get up close and personal with sharks, this is where to dive. The sites around the Osprey Reef, 110 kilometres north east of the northern Great Barrier Reef, offer incredible visibility and jaw-dropping shark encounters with schools of hammerhead sharks, white tip reef sharks, as well as loads of other marine life hanging around.
There’s more than 20 spectacular diving sites within 15 minutes of the island, some of which you can find by just walking off the beach. At Heron Bommie. you’ll find unspoiled coral forests teeming with wildlife. Keep your eye out for manta rays, reef sharks and wobbegongs.
Found on the northern section of the diving mecca that is Ribbon Reefs, Cod Hole is home to - you guessed it - cod. Huge schools of giant potato cod head here for a feed and are happy to pose for selfies with divers.
Steve’s Bommie, Ribbon Reefs
Starting at 33 metres and rising up to just five metre below the surface, this stunning bommie is home to anemone fish, pipefish, flatworms and nudibranchs, as well as a colourful variety of hard and soft corals. Bigger creatures like barracudas, reef sharks and big-eye trevally are also frequently seen in the area.
Lady Elliot Island
The dive sites around Lady Elliot Island are unbeatable when it comes to year-round visibility and manta ray spotting. And there's also an abundance of colourful fish and regular close encounters with whales during the right seasons.
Wolf Rock, Rainbow Beach
On the doorstep of Fraser Island you’ll find this renowned dive spot that's simply teeming with creatures big and small. You might be lucky to spot an endangered grey nurse shark, or Giant Queensland Gropers, turtles or rays. And during winter, you might witness the annual migration of the humpback whale.
Bait Reef, The Whitsundays
This popular spot off Hamilton Island is ideal for divers of all levels. Beginners can stay within the well-protected lagoon and more experienced divers can delve into the deeper waters outside the entrance. Either way, you can expect loads of tropical marine life including large soft corals, reef fish, wobbegongs, turtles and manta rays.