Diving in the Great Barrier Reef
Destination : Great Barrier Reef
Country : Australia
Temperature : 24 – 33°C (75 – 90°F)
Typical Visibility : 20 – 45 m (65 – 145ft)
Season : August to January
How to go : Flight from Sydney or Canberra to Cairns (3-4 hours), boat ride to the reef (30 mins to 1 hour)
One of the world’s true wonders, the Great Barrier Reef is a diver’s paradise. So big that it can even be seen from outer space, it is a place of overwhelming natural beauty, which simply cannot be envisioned by someone who has yet to see it.
Made up of over 2600 individual coral reefs, the Great Barrier Reef is almost 2000 km in length. Starting just below the Tropic of Capricorn, and continues southwards along the eastern coast of Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef is thought to be at least 18 million years old, and due to its spectacular natural beauty, it was named as World Heritage site in 1981.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to one of the biggest diversities of marine life found anywhere in the world, including many species which are highly endangered.
The Great Barrier Reef takes its name from one of its outer reefs which reaches depths of almost 65 meters. Situated alongside the continental shelf of Australia, it is a composition of hundreds of millions of coral polyps. These are tiny living organisms that support the reefs fragile environment, one that is home to thousands of different sea creatures.
For example, there are almost 400 corals to be found in the reef, all of differing sizes and colors. The vivid colors of the coral are stunning, and such variety can be found nowhere else. Meanwhile, there are literally hundreds of kinds of fish, jellyfish, sharks and other marine animals.
Such is the diversity of life in the Great Barrier Reef, there is much for divers to see and enjoy. As well as the fish, there are six species of sea turtles, numerous kinds of whales, porpoises and dolphins that all visit the area on a regular basis.
The Great Barrier Reef also features salt marshes that are home to menacing salt water crocodiles, though luckily there are no dive sites near to them! However, divers can most certainly come to see the 17 kinds of sea snake that can be found around the reef, as well as sting rays and the previously mentioned sharks.
There is no end to the limitless opportunities for discovery when you come to dive at the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef is visited each year by thousands of tourists from around the world. Many of these are eager to explore the numerous diving sites on offer here. There are dozens of fantastic dive sites here, for beginners and experienced divers.
Sites include the depths of the outer reef, where you can take part in some astounding deep dives and wall dives. Inland meanwhile, there are lots of diving opportunities for beginners in and around the islands near the coast of Australia
Top Great Barrier Reef Dive Sites
- Flynn Reef – This is a smaller reef towards the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Offering superb visibility, here you can see a wealth of small sharks and spotted stingrays.
- Milln Reef – Come here and enjoy massive schools of humphead parrot fish, more sharks and the endearing sea turtles that have their residence here.
- Moore Reef – This is a great place to come for any diver keen on getting some insights into the wonders of Mother Nature. A dazzling array of colorful corals and thousands of exotic fish are a wonder to behold at the Moore Reef.