Best Dive Sites within the Great Barrier Reef

8 December 2020

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef ecosystem and offers a limitless playground for superyachts to explore. With over 3,000 coral reef systems, 1625 types of fish and 133 varieties of sharks and rays to discover, the Great Barrier Reef is the ideal destination for action-filled superyacht charters.

Ocean Alliance takes a look at some of the Great Barrier Reef’s best dive sites to inspire your next experience of Australia’s natural wonder…

Cod Hole

At the top of Number 10 Ribbon Reef in the waters of Tropical North Queensland is the world-renowned dive site “Cod Hole”.

The Ribbons are a string of 10 coral reefs which stretch over 100 miles north of Cairns, a popular route for superyacht charters to or from the luxurious Lizard Island. Cod Hole is known for its very friendly potato cod, and guests can dive in to swim alongside these massive fish, which can weigh up to 100kg!

Steve’s Bommie

Also found in the Ribbon Reefs is Steve’s Bommie, a towering mount of vibrantly coloured corals which is home to a richly diverse sea life. This pinnacle dive is often described as an “Oasis in the desert” for its abundant marine life, with no sign of bleaching. Here, divers and snorkelers can swim with a variety of tropical fish and look out for grey reef sharks, octopuses and barracuda.

Stanley Reef

Among the fascinating dive sites that can be explored between Townsville and the Airlie Beach is Stanley Reef. This is a pristine underwater environment which is well protected from the wind, providing calm conditions for diving.

Stanley Reef has an array of dives for different skill levels, and no matter you experience you will be able to swim alongside manta rays, sea turtles and whales.

SS Yongala

Found in close proximity to Stanley Reef is SS Yongala, widely considered one of the best wreck dives in the world. This is Australia’s largest and best-preserved historic shipwreck, where adventurous divers flock to immerse themselves in this unique experience and encounter the abundant wildlife which inhabit the wreck.

The 100m steel passenger ship sank in 1911 when caught in a cyclone, and it now provides one of the most exhilarating dive sites for experienced divers.

Museum of Underwater Art, John Brewer Reef

The ‘Coral Greenhouse’ is an installation by the Museum of Underwater Art at John Brewer Reef, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Designed by Artist Jason DeCaires Taylor, this awe-inspiring experience has a strong message of reef conservation and restoration, with 20 ‘reef guardians’ filling the greenhouse. The Coral Greenhouse is a truly unique dive site which will leave a lasting impression, and is part of a bigger underwater art project which will soon span several regions of the Great Barrier Reef.

Further South, Lady Musgrave Island boasts an eclectic mix of pristine reef dives to incorporate into a thrilling superyacht charter.

The Southern Great Barrier Reef is well-known for untouched dive sites which attract scuba divers eager to explore the huge coral walls and signature marine life. In this remote underwater paradise, you will come up close and personal with everything from hammerhead sharks to eagle rays and thousands of species of reef fish. There are 14 world-class dive sites in the waters surrounding Lady Musgrave Island, including the Manta Ray and Entrance Bommies, along with Napoleon’s Wall and The Drop.

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