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Diving in Australia

Everything you have to know and the best Dive Sites

If you think about diving in Australia, the first thing that comes to mind is most probably: The Great Barrier Reef. The largest reef in the world offers incredible biodiversity at a relatively shallow depth. Nevertheless, not only the bodies of water around Queensland, where the reef is, are worth a visit. Diving in Tasmania, West Australia, on Kangaroo Island or Christmas Island is also worthwhile.

We will show you the best diving sites in Australia and give you tips for memorable holidays “Down Under”: With about 35,000 kilometres of coast all around the continent, every diver will surely find his favourite spot – you simply have to know where to look!

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Flynn Reef

When is the best time for a diving holiday in Australia?

In Australia, it is almost always diving season! Depending on what you wish to see, then it is better to plan a trip at a specific time of the year.

  • The Great Barrier Reef is most beautiful during the Australian spring and summer months, from August to December.
  • Who wants to see large marine species should plan other travel times:
    • The white shark can be observed in the southern regions of Australia from May to February.
    • Minke whales can be found near the coast from June to August, the large humpback whales follow later in the year (more or less from August to October).
    • The giant cuttlefish mate in May and June – then they can be observed closer to the coast.
  • Warning: From November to April, the jellyfish season begins in Queensland. You should be a little bit cautious if you visit the Great Barrier Reef at the end of the season.

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The best sites for diving in Western Australia

In the western regions of Australia there are also spots worth seeing. Strictly speaking, not only the locations on the continent itself are meant here, but also the Christmas Island which belongs to the western part of Australia.

Among others, we can recommend these sites:

  • Darwin Harbour: Although Darwin is located more towards Northern Australia, wreck fans are particularly drawn to this place: A large number of wrecks from the Second World War were sunk here. As artificial reefs today, they offer protection for a myriad of marine species.
  • Christmas Island: The Christmas Island is a mecca for cave divers since hundreds of underwater caves can be found here.
  • Ningaloo Marine Park: This giant fringing reef represents not only the best opportunity to encounter a whale shark, but also offers the chance to dive with dolphins, giant tortoises, mantas, manatees and many more large marine creatures.
  • Broome: The heart of pearl diving offers underwater visibility up to 60 metres.

Hot Spots for diving in Eastern Australia

Especially Queensland with the Great Barrier Reef in Eastern Australia, but also Tasmania and other parts of the country have diving spots that are worth seeing as well.

What are the “must-see” places?

  • Great Barrier Reef: The reef spans over hundreds of kilometres and consequently offers a lot of starting points. Among others, Port Douglas, Cairns, Mackay or Airlie Beach are good places to set off from and explore the colourful underwater world.
  • Julian Rocks Marine Reserve: The volcanic rock formation harbours around 500 different types of fish species – thus it is perfect for friends of marine life! There are also many kinds of sharks and mantas to be seen here.
  • Port Phillip Heads (Melbourne): There are not only scarp slopes to be discovered here, but also submarines sunken during the First World War.
  • Isle des Phoques (Tasmania): On the “Island of the Sea Lions”, not only can the eponymous animals be observed but, above all, a fascinating cave with a dome, which is illuminated by daylight.
  • Fortescue Bay Kelp Forest (Tasmania): A gigantic “forest” made of seaweed where hundreds of the smallest creatures reside – a unique spectacle. But beware: Inexperienced divers can easily lose their orientation here. Experienced divers can visit the wreck of the SS Nord sunken in 1915.

Diving in Australia at a glance

  • Peak tourist season: All-year-round. For the Great Barrier Reef, it is better from August to December
  • Appropriate for: All diving levels, from beginners to advanced
  • Water temperature: 23 – 29 degrees
  • Entry requirement: An electronic visa must be applied for before the trip
  • Particular diving experiences: Reefs, large fish like sharks and dolphins, cave diving, wreck diving…
  • Duration of trip: 2 weeks or more, can readily be linked to sightseeing once on site
  • Diving equipment: Can be rented on site in most cases
  • Travelling: By plane, then it is most suitable by rental car or caravan.


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