- 1. Osprey Reef
- 2. Heron Island
- 3. Agincourt Reef
- 4. Ribbon Reef
- 5. Flynn Reef
- 6. Lady Elliot Island
- 7. Escape Reef
- Tips Before Diving
- Check each every equipment that you will be using
- Communicate with your team
- Test your equipment in a controlled environment
- Make sure you are 100% ready to dive
- Consider the water situation
- Know your limits
- You should be an alert diver
- Check your gauges regularly
- Be familiar with the dive signals
- Be humble and take responsibility
- Final Thoughts
With over 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) that stretches over the Queensland coast making the Great Barrier Reef a magnificent place to do underwater activities such as diving and snorkeling while you share with the rich marine life. The Great Barrier Reef is listed in the world heritage site and natural wonder of nature. Some areas are protected so you can be sure of its pristine condition, a truly must-see creation. These are the best places to dive in the Great Barrier Reef.
1. Osprey Reef
Being described as an ultimate reef diving adventure where the beautiful large and colorful soft corals that seat on the vast area can be seen. It is described as an oval-shaped reef that is located in an isolated top part of the Great Barrier Reef. With a depth of 12-40m that caters experienced divers.
They offer high-quality diving equipment to ensure the safety of scuba divers. It homes an amphitheater underwater where different kinds of sharks are seen such as whitetip, silvertip, and grey reef sharks. The view underwater is breathtaking and is famed for its exciting reef shark feeding.
The remoteness of this reef helps maintain its pristine condition. You can dive any time of the year because of its great visibility with water temperature that never goes below 22°C and never goes beyond 29°C during the summer season.
2. Heron Island
This island comprises about 20 dive sites where you can encounter different sea creatures such as manta rays, reef sharks, and scorpionfish but the most guaranteed encounter is with the sea turtles that are nesting. You can swim straight off from the beach to a garden of coral where you can see a rich marine life through the clear waters.
Just travel minutes through a boat, you will be taken into its fantastic reefs where you can dive. The water that surrounds this island is shallow that is why diving in its dive sites caters both amateur and professional divers. They offer both day dives and night dives too.
The distances between the 20 dive sites are relatively short so you can maximize your diving experience by going each and every site depending on the water conditions as directed by your guide. Heron Island has 3 rock formations where divers can have a great drift dive while seeing a majestic view of the coral gardens.
3. Agincourt Reef
Located at about 65 kilometers (40 miles) from the coast of Port Douglas along Australia’s continental shelf, homes a 16 dive sites. Even though it encompasses a huge water depth, it still has high underwater visibility where you can enjoy the exceptional water gardens abundance in colorful marine life.
This is an excellent great barrier site where you can snorkel to swim with different kinds of gorgeous fishes, scuba dive to appreciate the coral reefs in different sizes and colors or to ride in a helicopter to have an overall glimpse of its wonder from above.
Feel the cool and refreshing waters that will give you a relaxing vibe. These are some of the diving spots that you will shouldn’t miss if you are in Agincourt Reef, the Point Break, Channels for caves, Fish Bowl, Blue Wonder’s wall dive, and the Nursery Bommie.
4. Ribbon Reef
This reef is characterized by long and thin strips of corals that lie beneath the surface of waters that gives texture to the outer edges of the Great Barrier reef being situated at about 50-100km away from the northern Queensland shore. It is covered with eye-catching flora and fauna. The overall area is no more than 450m in wide and is quite shallow with 15-20m in depth.
The underwaters have great visibility all-year-round to do different activities such as fish feeding and snorkeling with its calm sea surfaces. The ribbon reef also gives scuba diving opportunities to different types of divers from beginners to experts.
If you would see the aerial view of the Ribbon reef, you’ll see a wave-scoured reef crest that sits in the shallow ocean side that as a British pink glow from above. You’ll see patches of algae and shadows of small corals that peep as the air touches the waters. In just 20m below the surface of the waters, you’ll see a vast sandy area full of live corals and different kinds of stone formations.
5. Flynn Reef
This area in the Great Barrier Reef offers a combination of intricate wall dives and dramatic coral formations. Its depth is about 30 meters but the visibility area is about 20 meters only. There is a wide range of sea creatures if you would swim at night time such as reef crabs, sleeping turtles, painted lobsters, barracuda and a lot more.
If you don’t want to miss the beauty of painted lobsters you need to bring the best dive light for lobsters with you for a great diving experience.
Flynn Reef is located where large species of fish swim especially mackerel, dogtooth tuna and some species of sharks. It is described as a picturesque site because you haven’t explored the whole area yet but your eyes are already full of spectacular surroundings brought by nature. It has a large scenic view but you don’t have to go down deep to explore it.
Get to see the huge plate corals that are home to thousands of fishes as well as the sandy lagoon holes that serves as a hotel for anemones that are having their honeymoon. This is a perfect spot for those aspiring barrier reef divers who want to enjoy while practicing their diving skills.
6. Lady Elliot Island
This is situated in the southern part of the Great Barrier Reef which is in the “Green Zone” area making it a sanctuary for over a thousand marine species that has an abundance of the population from different kinds of turtle species, sharks to manta rays.
The surrounding waters of this island have varying depths and terrain with the deepest ocean depth of 40m wherein the coral reefs in this area are still in good condition. The beach where the Lady Elliot Island seats are armored with pebbles and different sizes of cobbles.
Barrier reef divers will truly enjoy their overall experience on this reef island because its condition now can be compared to a virgin reef where all you can see is the creative output under the waters. Tourists who visited the area describe this place from being great to amazing. You may need to have a number of training sessions before you are allowed to dive the great barrier reef.
7. Escape Reef
This is another Great Barrier Reef destination that is comprised of two sides, the lagoon facing and the ocean-facing. The one that is ideal for diving activities is the one that is sheltered which is the lagoon area. Among the Great Barrier Reef areas, the Escape Reef is the least visited diving spot making it preserved its mint condition.
The life underwater is a multitude of colorful and healthy corals without any signs of coral bleaching, a condition of corals where it will turn white due to changes in temperature, and stress from its environment. The Escape Reef has noticeable shallow water but is rich in marine life.
The best months to visit this reef site is during the months of June, July, and August. Aside from the rich marine species seating on the area, it also has a variety of great coral stocks and giant clams where you can explore. With a depth of only 10m, you don’t need to have multiple training sessions just to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.
Tips Before Diving
Before you go on in any of these best places to dive in the Great Barrier Reef, here are some things to keep in mind:
Check each every equipment that you will be using
It is important to check all the equipment that you will be using from the tanks until your flippers. All should be maintained and serviced properly days before the actual diving so if there are some problems, you can still replace or fix it. Before going to the site, check your gears by doing a dry run, make sure that all is working well. If you have a partner, make sure to check each other’s gear as well.
Communicate with your team
Planning to dive entails communication with your buddies. Even though you have the skills to dive, communication is still an important factor especially if you are with other divers. You should communicate about the depth and time limits.
Test your equipment in a controlled environment
To make sure that your equipment will work properly underwater, you may test it out in a controlled environment first, such as in the swimming pool or in a shallow dive. This is advisable if you have newly acquired your equipment. You need to get used to how to use it before the actual dive, you don’t want to struggle using your new equipment underwater while you are on a deeper dive.
Make sure you are 100% ready to dive
If your body is feeling ill giving you the feeling that you are not ready to dive, listen to the messages that your body is telling you. It is better to skip a diving session than taking a risk. You are should be ready physically and emotionally for you to truly enjoy the adventure.
Consider the water situation
Before diving, you should take into consideration the sea conditions such as the water temperature so that you would know what type of wetsuit to use. You also need to check on the current and visibility. If there are strong currents, it is better to postpone the diving session because it might impose danger.
Know your limits
Even if you are already a pro when it comes to diving, you still have your limits. Only dive the certain depth that you are qualified in. There are different pieces of training that you need to undergo to have a specialty in diving. Your safety should be your no.1 priority when it comes to diving.
You should be an alert diver
When you are at the sea, you should be attentive and alert with your surroundings. You are advised not to have any alcohol consumption 24 hours before your dive so that you will not feel any hungover during the diving session. If you are in a group, you need to follow the leader and be mindful of the precautionary advice was given to you prior to diving.
Check your gauges regularly
There are many accidents in diving due to negligence. When you are at the sea, aside from following your leader and being alert, you also need to check your tank if you still have sufficient air. You and your partner should help together in checking the gauges of each other.
Be familiar with the dive signals
Hand signals are your only way of communication under the sea. It is important to know it by heart before diving because if you are unable to deliver the messages accurately to your peers, it may pose a potential risk. Make sure that you and your peers are able to understand different kinds of signals, especially the important ones. Before diving, equip yourself with the do’s and don’ts to ensure that you will enjoy your water adventure safely.
Be humble and take responsibility
Even if you are an expert diver, there will come a time that you will make a mistake and be corrected. Be open for warnings and suggestions because it might be for your own good. You are responsible for yourself undersea. You need to ensure that you are following the guidelines to safe diving to put yourself away from danger.
Diving in the best places to dive in the Great Barrier Reef will help you realize that there is an amazing surprise that awaits you below the surface of the water. There are a lot of things to consider and learn about before you can try this adventure but as soon as you master the art, you will surely be in love about the wonders that you can see and be privilege because not all people are able to experience the fascinating feeling that you will only experience in diving the different dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef.