Keen diver? Me too. I completed my PADI Open Water certificate whilst backpacking across Central America a few years back – thankful I did as its opened the door to a number of unique experiences I wouldn’t have ordinarily had the opportunity to explore. Such as the Blue Hole off the coast of Belize and Lake Malawi in Africa – I saw a completely different side to both of these iconic landmarks, particularly the latter – such fascinating marine life.
The Great Barrier Reef holds global appeal (and for good reason) but look beyond that and you will find that Australia is home to a number of first class dive sites, many of which fall under the radar…
So lets celebrate these, with a collection of our finest offerings.
Fish Rock Cave Dive Site (NSW)
Located two kilometres off Smoky Cape at South West Rocks on the New South Wales coast, the popular dive involves a 120 metre long cave that is home to grey nurse sharks, moray eels, clown fish and anemone among a myriad of others. Known as one of the largest ocean caverns in the southern hemisphere – the dive is world-renowned and sure to impress.
The Wreck of the SS Yongala (QLD)
The passenger ship SS Yongala steamed into a cyclone on the 23 March 1911, sinking off Cape Bowling Green in Queensland. The wreck was found in 1958 and has since become a popular dive site for enthusiasts.
Australia’s largest and most intact shipwreck, the experience is both unique and adrenalin fuelled.
Ewens Ponds (SA)
Here’s something a little different for diving enthusiasts travelling to Australia in search of underwater adventure – a series of limestone sinkholes on Eight Mile Creek south of Mt Gambier. The ponds sport high underwater visibility and are home to a myriad of rare fish and plants.
Lord Howe Island (NSW)
Beautiful both above and below the surface – Lord Howe Island (located 600 kilometres from mainland NSW) is considered one of Australia’s premiere dive locations and often pegged as the last paradise on earth. Boasting in excess of 60 dive sites including the islands most famous; Balls Pyramid, a volcanic remnant that formed 6.4 million years ago.
Ningaloo Reef (WA)
Swimming with Whale Sharks is said to be one of the most peaceful yet exhilarating experiences one can have, so if you’ve ever considered it – you have most certainly come to the right place. And after you’ve done that, you can dive the world heritage Ningaloo Reef = divine.
EX-HMAS Brisbane (QLD)
Following its decommission the former Royal Australian Navy warship was marked for scuttling as a dive wreck off the Queensland coast, and later sunk nine kilometres offshore from Mooloolaba, north of Brisbane. Pegged as one of Australia’s greatest dive sites, the wreck is home to a myriad of corals and species of fish.
Tasman Peninsula (TAS)
Giant kelp forests are both unique and rare, with Tasmania being one of only a few locations in the world where they can be experienced. Towering canopies with pockets of shade and light – divers are treated to an underwater jungle of 45-meter tall kelp rising from the ocean floor – creating a spectacle like no other.
Have you got any other dive sites to recommend around Australia? Tell us in the comments!