Surrounded by the nutrient rich marine environments of no less than seven different bodies of water (the Timor, Arafura, Coral, and Tasman Seas, and the Indian, Southern, and South Pacific Oceans), Australia is a true haven for those keen to explore the underwater world.
Boasting the world’s largest coral reef system, a plethora of marine parks, and countless shipwrecks Australia’s coastline is a veritable scuba playground. Consequently, for travelers considering getting scuba certified during their visit to the land Down Under, its easy to plan an extended underwater adventure.
With some of best dives sites in the world easily accessible from one of the country’s six states, it’s worth considering building a number of stops into your Aussie itinerary. Get inspired with some help from eShores’ multi center Australian Itineraries.
Lusting after an underwater escape? Join us as we descend into six world class Australian dive sites right now.
Governors Island Marine Reserve, Tasmania
One of the most unique dive destinations in Australia, Tasmania’s Governors Island Marine Reserve boasts a marine landscape of vibrant coral reefs, swathes of kelp forests, and spectacular sponge gardens.
Granite boulders and ledges provide perfect conditions for colorful invertebrates that live among the shallows, and at depth dark caves and overhangs offer respite for larger species such as octopus, southern rocklobster, barracuda, and leatherjacket. Divers have been known to meet New Zealand fur seals and the odd pod of southern right whales and dolphins as well.
The Wreck of the S.S. Yongala, Queensland
48km from the shores of Queensland’s Cape Bowling Green sits the wreck of the ill-fated S.S. Yongala. Considered one of the most tragic incidents in Australian Maritime history the wreck now has a reputation as the world’s most verdant man-made reef.
An immeasurable number of reef fish, rays, sharks, wrasse, crustaceans, and macro species all play out their daily lives aboard the vessel having found their way to the structure from the surrounding Great Barrier Reef.
Fish Rock Cave, New South Wales
A great dive for adventurous underwater explorers, take a trip to NSW and swim through the center of Fish Rock Cave; a 125m-long cave off the coast of Smoky Cape at South West Rocks.
Descend to the opening at 24m where thousands of bullseyes hang suspended, and ascend towards the shallower entrance fringed by pink gorgonian corals. Then take the opportunity to explore a 12m-deep cavern where critically endangered grey nurse sharks like to hang out in the shadows.
Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia
The largest of Australia’s fringing reefs, 300km-long Ningaloo Reef is the world’s largest stretch of reef located so close to a continental landmass. In short, nowhere else on earth do divers have such easy access to such a wealth of marine life and environments. Need I say more?
Part of the World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Coast it encompasses more than 300 species of coral and over 700 species of fish. Green turtles, reef sharks, moray eels, and manta rays can also be found in abundance.
Neptune Islands, South Australia
A truly phenomenal dive destination, the deep waters and sheltered sea-grassed sands of South Australia’s Neptune Islands play host to one of the ocean’s most feared predators, the Great White Shark.
A dive bucket list destination for many, surface and ocean floor cage dives are not for the faint of heart. Providing the opportunity to get up close and personal with the killers of the deep, diving the Neptune Islands is an aquatic adrenaline high unlike any other.
The Wreck of the USAT Meigs, Northern Territory
A United States Army transport vessel built in 1921, the USAT Meigs was sunk in Darwin Harbor during the first Japanese air raid against the Australia mainland on February 19, 1942.
Although known as one of the Northern Territory’s best wreck dives, much of the USAT Meigs’ superstructure was salvaged after the war. Today divers can descend during neap tide when visibility clears affording eerie views of cargo munitions, railways lines, Bren gun carriers, and trucks intended for Allied forces in Portuguese Timor.
From swimming with predators of the deep to diving amid forests of kelp, there’s plenty of world class dive sites in Australia that will inspire you to get scuba certified.
Have you been scuba diving in Australia? Share your recommendations below!