QLD Tourism welcomes Diving attractions
Exciting wreck diving is to be had at the historic \'Llewellyn\' site, east of Mackay on the Great Barrier Reef. The steamer was last seen departing Cape Capricorn Lighthouse on 17 July 1919 and disappeared during heavy gales as it sailed from Rockhampton to Bowen. The location of the vessel remained a mystery until 1997, when the shipwreck was located 35 kilometres east of Mackay.
Drop Zone, off Airlie Beach on the Great Barrier Reef is a drift dive with attitude! Drop into this dive and let the current do its thing. Soft corals, whip corals, staghorn forests and resident turtles. As with all strong currents, keep your eyes peeled for pelagic activity.
The Gold Coast Seaway offers diving for the beginner to advanced. There are two pipes that protrude from the Southern Seaway wall.
This dive site is divided into 4 main areas: South Wall (including the Sand Bypass Pipe and the Short Pipe) - great marine biodiversity; North Wall - schools of pelagic fish, wobbegong and whaler sharks; South-West Wall - beach entry and home to little critters. Wave Break Island - excellent for snorkelling, intro and learn to dive.
Reality Cruises is a family owned and operated business that has been operating in South East Queensland for over 12 years. It owns and operates a 25m liveaboard dive vessel, "Big Cat Reality".
This unique vessel allows Reality Cruises to offer a number of amazing experiences that take you to destinations that you can usually only dream about. "Big Cat Reality" offers weekend liveaboard dive trips in the stunning Moreton Bay Marine Park. We also offer 4 or 5 day Bunker Group trips to the amazing world of the Great Barrier Reef - off Bundaberg.
Our experience in the industry includes running 10-70m vessels in the local area as well as up and down the Queensland coast for the last 25 years.
When boarding the overnight scuba diving boat, expect to notice the friendly environment that the expert crew sets as you depart Cairns sailing to your first diving location. once there, you will have plenty of time to take in all of the beautiful corals and marine life in the secluded Great Barrier Reef dive and snorkel location. Upon arrival to the boats other diving locations, you will notice that the reef and corals keep getting better and better and the marine life more abundant. While this sailing vessel is not exclusively a dive boat, you will notice that divers are very well catered to with all new dive equipment, and the reef locations are very well suited for those really keen scuba divers.
Let multi award-winning Coral Princess Cruises introduce you to Australia's most famous natural wonder - the Great Barrier Reef. With 30 years experience and an unrivalled reputation for cruising excellence, their exclusive itineraries introduce the very best of the Great Barrier Reef and tropical islands in total comfort and unmatched style.
They aim to show you the hidden jewels of the Great Barrier Reef - the reef, ancient rainforest and secluded tropical islands most visitors never see. Exclusive reef moorings mean you won't be surrounded by hundreds of other reef visitors, and their small ships accommodate a maximum of 50 guests, ensuring an intimate and personalised experience.
The beauty of a Coral Princess Cruise is that you can be as adventurous - or as relaxed - as you please. Explore remote coral cays, deserted but for a myriad of colourful tropical fish, peaceful tropical islands and primordial rainforests well beyond the reach of most visitors, or simply relax on the sun deck, in the open-bridge or spa as they cruise serenely through some of the most awe-inspiring scenery Australia has to offer. The choice is yours!
The S.S. YONGALA sank in 1911 with the loss of all aboard creating one of Australia’s most intriguing maritime mysteries as she lay undiscovered for more than half a century.
This enchanted wreck has become home to an incredible array of marine life (see our photo gallery). Giant gropers hang beneath the stern, schools of giant trevally and cobia congregate around the wreck while sea snakes glide harmlessly past divers on their way to the surface. Spot turtles lazily feeding, gracefully sweeping rays and thousands of other creatures on the now coral-encrusted structure.
All this is a mere 30 minutes from shore after a fast and fun ride aboard our purpose built vessel the Yongala Express.
With Great Adventures you can explore the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef on any day of your holiday, be it from the spacious reef platform or at the tropical reef and rainforest surrounds of Green Island. Great Adventures' modern high speed catamarans depart from Cairns daily.
Outer Reef Cruises: Guests of all ages, swimmers and non-swimmers alike can experience this World Heritage environment from the spacious reef activity platform. Snorkel and dive amongst beautiful coral gardens, or if you choose to stay dry, you can still embrace the natural wonderland below in the underwater observatory, or from the comfort of the semi-submersible. For the ultimate reef and island experience in one day, Great Adventures offers the choice of combining the Outer Reef cruise with a two hour stopover on Green Island.
Green Island Cruises: For a tropical island adventure, beautiful Green Island offers the unique opportunity for a combined reef and rainforest experience. On a Great Adventures fast cat, you'll be there in just 45 minutes and with three departures daily, it's perfect for a full or half day tour.
Ocean Spirit Cruises began operations over 25 years ago when established by a local couple from Cairns.
In May 1995, the company was sold to Macro Corporation Limited, a public company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
In October 2011, Ocean Spirit Cruises was again sold to Australian Cruise Group - a leading Sydney Harbour based tourism business specialising in online marketing, inbound marketing and strategic consultation.
Australian Cruise Group also operates two major scheduled cruise brands, Magistic Cruises and Sydney Showboats - Market leaders in restaurant quality lunch and dinner cruises on the harbour.
Under the new guidance and control of Australian Cruise Group, Ocean Spirit Cruises is looking forward to a fresh start and bright future where we can continue to educate people about our magnificent reef and provide exceptional quality experiences to all of our guests.
Ocean Spirit Cruises prides itself on its commitment to environmentally sustainable tourism and the development of 100% satisfied guests all of the time. Through the employment of qualified Marine Biologists, we endeavour to provide our guests education through enjoyment, while at the same time contributing actively to conserving the environment.
Experience the ultimate in luxury sailing and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef with an Aquarius reef cruise from Port Douglas to the Low Isles.
Aquarius is a 62-foot vessel carrying a maximum of 23 guests on a unique and personalised reef experience daily from Port Douglas.
Guests enjoy swimming and snorkelling amongst spectacular marine life including green turtles, parrotfish and fusiliers in the tranquil waters of the Low Isles lagoon.
Your day on Low Isles includes an Interpretive Island Walk to learn and appreciate the history and environment that makes Low Isles a special place. Enjoy the fresh tropical fruit, plunger coffee and seafood gourmet lunch that are provided on your day at the Low Isles.
For a unique holiday experience in tropical North Queensland, watch the sun setting over the mountains of the Daintree Rainforest while indulging in pure relaxation on an Aquarius Sunset Cruise from Port Douglas.
Snorkel and Scuba the Agincourt Ribbon Reefs with Aristocat for a one day Reef Adventure second-to-none. Aristocat visits three pristine, unspoilt outer reef sites teaming with fish and coral life.
Activities include guided snorkelling tours, introductory and certified scuba diving, whale watching and swimming with Dwarf Minke Whales (whale activity seasonal).
Aristocat holds the highest ecotourism certification, Advanced Ecotourism, is an Accredited Tourism Business, and has conducted reef tours, with a guest service and safety record second-to-none, for 21 years.
Guests enjoy the exceptional stability and amenities of the world class Aristocat V ...air-conditioned saloons, ergonomic individual seating (not benches), sofa seating areas for groups and eco-briefings, enclosed hot showers and security lockers. Fresh, healthy tropical buffet lunch, cheese and fruit platters, licensed bar and espresso coffee!
Qualified PADI Dive instructors show non-certified or introductory divers how-to-enjoy a 'Scuba'-dive safely. Small group tuition and supervision is provided above water and all dives are escorted
Snorkelling is the most popular activity on Aristocat - a sheer joy wildlife experience. The small snorkelling tour groups are escorted by experienced, informed reef guides.
Alongside Cairns is a magnificent tidal estuary that is rarely seen and only accessible by boat. M.V. Crocodile Explorer is a comfortable air-conditioned vessel taking visitors along Trinity Inlet on this scenic nature cruise. With waterways winding through a 300 square kilometre maze of mangroves, expect rich diverse wildlife, stunning scenery and a relaxing cruise with informative commentary from their crew. This is the saltwater crocodile's natural habitat - with a chance to spot them basking on the muddy banks, particularly in the cooler months.
Come and experience the passion of the Cairns Premier Reef and Island Tours team. Enjoy first class service with that friendly Aussie touch. The choice of a luxury high speed 20 metre CAT - Ocean Freedom to two stunning locations - Upolu Cay and Wonder Wall on the outer edge of Upolu Reef or a beautiful 16 metre sailing vessel Ocean Free to the famous Green Island and Reef. These are two extremely personal tours carrying low passenger numbers offering more of a day out with family and friends than a commercial tour.
Ocean Freedom tour offers six hours on the reef and Cay due to its high speed while Ocean Free tour offers four and a half hours to explore the reef and island with also a great sailing experience and only 25 guests. For the discerning traveller wanting a friendly personal reef experience Cairns Premier Reef and Island Tours is a must do whether choosing the more luxurious Ocean Freedom or the adventurous Ocean Free. You won't be disappointed.
The most unique way to experience the majestic beauty of the Great Barrier Reef is with Cairns Seaplanes.
Taking off from Trinity Inlet in the heart of Cairns, behold the awe-inspiring views of Tropical North Queensland’s coastline before flying over one of the world’s seven natural wonders comprising of turquoise waters, coral gardens and an abundance of marine life.
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of naturally formed Sandy Cays and the surrounding reefs followed by a relaxing beach picnic or opt for a rock star arrival into Green Island as you land on the water and spend the day exploring the resort at your leisure.
The Great Barrier Reef is on the top of the list for visitors to Tropical North Queensland, Australia. It is little wonder as there is such an abundance of underwater reef teeming with brilliantly coloured corals and an infinite number of vibrant tropical fish, making it the ideal destination for warm water Great Barrier Reef diving or snorkelling. Diving or snorkelling with Deep Sea Divers Den is the right choice for visiting the Great Barrier Reef.
Deep Sea Divers Den has operated from Cairns, Australia for over 30 years, making them not only the largest but also one of the longest established Cairns diving and snorkelling companies in the area. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced Diver or Snorkeller, your safety and enjoyment is on the top of their list when you visit the Great Barrier Reef with them.
Down Under Cruise and Dive operate a large, modern, sleek vessel, cruising at high speed, providing a superior and comfortable ride in nearly all weather conditions. Professional, friendly and attentive staff ensure a safe and enjoyable, fun-filled experience. The reef locations have been carefully selected for the clarity of the water and the abundance and diversity of marine life. Every moment spent exploring the magnificent array of colourful coral formations and swimming with the brilliant coloured fish is one of discovery, often exciting, sometimes breathtaking, with unforgettable memories that will stay with you for a lifetime. Visiting two spectacular outer reef sites in one day you will spend maximum time in the water and minimum time travelling. Great for all ages!
Barbecue lunch, glass bottom boat tour, snorkelling equipment and tuition and onboard entertainment included in standard reef tour. Extra Diving and Helicopter options available onboard.
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions are proud of their reputation for exceptional diving and extraordinary service. It is their attention to detail that sets them apart. Spoilsport’s specially designed itineraries provide more diving and more relaxed diving. Quickly you will notice there is no rush or limit placed on your dive time. You benefit from the industry’s best trained and qualified staff. Seven of the 11 person crew are dive masters or instructors.
The three night ‘Fly Dive Cod Hole’ expedition departs Cairns every Monday and offers prime Ribbon Reef dive sites which suit every type of diver. The four night ‘Fly Dive Coral Sea’ expedition departs Cairns every Thursday and is geared towards the more adventurous diver and offers great diving in the remote Coral Sea. Both departures include a spectacular low-level reef flight just 180 metres above the Great Barrier Reef. The seven night ‘Coral Sea Safari’ expedition provides a combination of both three and four night expeditions and offers you the best Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea diving with no repeat dive sites except the world famous Cod Hole.
It's all about giving you time to relax and enjoy your reef experience without the crowds, and without being rushed....
Poseidon is a fast comfortable catamaran which will take you to the very edge of the Great Barrier Reef in just over one hour so you have five hours 'out there' to swim, snorkel, dive or simply relax, at three magnificent sites. The snorkelling advisor will teach you proper use of the snorkel equipment and safe
A well researched and informative talk on the biology and history of the reef is followed by a guided snorkel tour where the wonders of the coral reefs are explained and identified. For the more adventurous, scuba diving is available for both introductory and certified divers, with an opportunity to do up to three adventure dives.
Comfort is of prime importance and the vessel boasts a number of great features including an air-conditioned bar/saloon area, large shaded deck areas as well as a spacious sun deck, two toilets/change rooms, and fresh water showers.
Pro Dive Cairns is Australia's Premier PADI Dive School as well as a leading outer reef liveaboard dive trip operator. Since 1983 they have developed an international reputation for quality, professionalism, safety and value. They specialise in dive courses, three day dive trips, retail sales of dive, snorkel and water sports equipment. Dive courses are conducted at their modern training centre with Cairns' deepest diver training pool and their three multi-million dollar dive boats are the only purpose built outer reef liveaboards in the area that can travel around from reef to reef. Dive courses and liveaboard trips commence six times a week to add flexibility to your itinerary.
Training Centre & Office
Address: 116 Spence St, Cairns, QLD 4870
Phone: (07) 4031 5255
Fax: (07) 4044 9955
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 0700 - 1800
Address: Cnr Grafton & Shields St, Cairns, QLD 4870
Phone: (07) 4031 6681
Fax: (07) 4051 6194
Opening hours: Monday - Sunday 1000 - 1900
Experience the Great Barrier Reef with Quicksilver - Australia's most awarded reef cruise company. Cruise to the outer edge, sail to the Low Isles or seek the thrill of dive and snorkel adventures. With Quicksilver you choose your own personal reef discovery.
Outer Reef Cruises: For your experience of a lifetime, Quicksilver's friendly crew will take you to the renowned Agincourt Reef, a jewel-like ribbon reef on the very outer edge. You'll cruise aboard a high-speed wavepiercing catamaran in air-conditioned comfort. Activities for swimmers and non-swimmers, a spacious activity platform with semi-submersibles, underwater observatory, marine biologists on hand, heli-tours and exciting in-water activities let you fully enjoy this stunning reef world.
Low Isles: For a day of tropical island relaxation, Quicksilver's luxury sailing catamaran, Wavedancer will take you to the idyllic Low Isles, an unspoilt coral island on the Great Barrier Reef.
Silver Series Dive and Snorkel Adventures: Perfect for small groups of adventure-minded people to revel in a day of diving and snorkelling. Choose from luxury catamarans Silverswift (Cairns) or Silversonic (Port Douglas) to enjoy five hours of aquatic fun at three different and spectacular outer reef sites.
Raging Thunder Adventures is the largest adventure company in Australia. They have a reputation for excellence and have established themselves as a World Leader in Adventure Tourism.
Raging Thunder Adventures pioneered rafting in Queensland, Australia in 1984. Since then they have expanded their product range to include a series of adventure tours suitable for all levels of excitement including White Water Rafting on the Tully and Barron Rivers, Sea Kayaking, Hot Air ballooning. They also have a range of extended packages suitable for the independent traveller. These packages incorporate tours throughout Northern Queensland.
The World Heritage listed, wet tropical rainforest is our work bench. Their guides are trained to leave nothing but a footprint and take nothing but photos. The mood of their trips is informal; the emphasis is on team work and sharing. The pioneering of their tours and equipment, safety procedures, and highly trained adventure guides, have made Raging Thunder Adventures the leaders in Adventure Tourism.
If you only visit the Great Barrier Reef once you will want to see it at it’s best!
Reef Magic Cruises has exclusive access to a stunning coral reef location selected for it’s superior water clarity, coral quality and overall diversity of marine life.
Depart direct from Cairns on a fast, stable catamaran providing a smoother ride and reduced travel time, leaving more of your day to experience the magic of the Great Barrier Reef. Unique to Reef Magic Cruises, our modern fast catamarans are never filled to capacity ensuring unmatched space, comfort & attentive service.
The all-weather Marine World platform caters for all activity levels. Snorkel in the sheltered coral lagoon, go scuba diving (no experience necessary) or join our Marine Biologist on a Guided Snorkel safari.
Not a confident swimmer? then stay dry and view the reef from the semi-submersible reef viewer, glass bottom boat or underwater observatory, try a Helmet Dive for a scuba-style experience without getting your hair wet, or soar above it all on a spectacular Reef Scenic Helicopter Flight. With 5 hours at the reef there is time to do it all.
If simply relaxing & soaking up the tropical warmth is more your style then take time out on our spacious sundeck where you will also find the regions only reef-based massage therapist. Best of all when traveling with Reef Magic Cruises you benefit from the expert local knowledge of a Cairns family owned company and the friendly Australian atmosphere for which we are renowned.We look forward to welcoming you aboard!
Seastar Cruises is the only limited number outer reef cruise, with a maximum 35 guests that departs Cairns daily. Seastar Cruises is the first to arrive travelling just over an hour to the calm waters in the pristine wilderness of Michaelmas Cay. For two and a half hours you can snorkel, dive, walk on the island or just laze around. Birdwatchers can take pleasure in the nesting terns on Michaelmas Cay. Seastar's mooring is so close you can swim from the boat to the island or if you prefer not to get wet, take the ferry to the beach. See brilliant white coral sands, the closest, with its colourful reef fish, is only steps away into the shallow water.
A hot lunch is served while making the short trip to the magnificent Outer Reef of Hastings Reef.
For another two and a half hours enjoy the colourful deep water canyons and cave swim through walls of coral and the myriads of colourful fish of this delightful reef.
A very different reef to that of Michaelmas Cay. Join the guided snorkel tours or go exploring with a friend but you can always stay dry in the Glass bottom boat.
Especially for those who might not want to or might not be able to participate in scuba diving or snorkelling, Seawalker @ Green Island is an underwater experience the whole family can enjoy. It is a fully guided underwater experience where your face stays dry and you walk underwater on the sea floor (not on an artificial platform) surrounded by fish and marine life at the beautiful coral garden.
It's a low stress, fun, underwater activity that provides a natural experience at Green Island on Australia's Great Barrier Reef - up close and personal. Seawalker @ Green Island is quick, easy, and there's no need to learn how to use complicated equipment. No experience is needed, and because you walk on the sea floor, it's perfect for non-swimmers or anyone else who might not be confident in water!
The tropical waters of the Great Barrier Reef harbour an ecosystem rich in marine diversity and exquisite natural beauty. Join Spirit of Freedom for your choice of a three, four, or seven night expedition to world renowned diving destinations of the Cod Hole, Ribbon Reefs, and Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea.
These unique ecosystems showcase an amazing diversity from picturesque coral gardens crowned with delicate anemones and colourful reef fish to the 1,000 metre walls of the volcanic atolls of the Coral Sea, home territory for reef sharks, whalers, schooling hammerheads, mantas, schools of barracuda and mackerel, and massive red and yellow soft corals.
Spirit of Freedom is one of Australia's most comfortably appointed live-aboard dive vessels, with three decks of living space, generous cabins with private bathroom, and all the amenities of a hotel, complimented by first class meals and outstanding service. Departing out of Cairns every Monday, the seven day expeditions offer a combination of the best sites on the Ribbon Reefs and also Osprey Reef in the Coral Sea. Shorter three or four day itineraries are also available, including a flight into or out of Lizard Island to start or end your tour.
One of the best reasons to visit fabulous Port Douglas! Experience the Great Barrier Reef aboard Synergy's full day luxury Sail and Snorkel Cruise. Catering for a maximum of 12 pampered guests, Synergy offers exclusive sites, superb cuisine and friendly, five star service. Inclusive of transfers within Port Douglas, morning and afternoon tea, gourmet barbecue lunch, in-water snorkelling tuition and guided snorkelling tour. Synergy is a 'must do' experience when you visit Tropical North Queensland. Relax, snorkel and sail the Great Barrier Reef with Synergy Reef Sailing.
Tagalong Tours of Australia offers you the best value four wheel drive off road camping safaris in the country. Their tag-a-long tours will take you to exciting places where you will enjoy the stunning diversity of Cape York, the remote isolation of the Simpson Desert, and the wonderful landscapes of the Gulf Savannah. They offer you the chance to achieve this dream, with other similar minded travellers, in the comfort of your own 4WD vehicle.
Their tours give you a combination of provided dinners as well as your own meals, allowing you some free time plus the option of enjoying your own camp cooking along the way. There are many other inclusions, such as old gold mine tours, ancient cave tours and a rare opportunity to gaze at the clear night skies at an inland observatory. Their tour packages are very popular so you will need to book early.
Whitsunday Dive Adventures is your best choice for scuba dive adventure, scuba diving training and scuba diving equipment in the Whitsundays. Whether you look for daily dive trips, snorkelling trips or PADI dive courses, Whitsunday Dive Adventures is the place to be.
Our purpose built dive training centre, located just 3 minutes drive from the Airlie Beach main street, has a 4 bed dorm and camper-van parking space. Enjoy the simplicity of staying on site while doing your dive course and share the facilities with other PADI scuba dive students, have an evening swim or go to town for dinner. Its very convenient to be able to wake and walk just one minute to class!.
Whitsunday Dive Adventures have been involved in the diving industry in the Whitsundays for over 10 years. Although low key, our primary mission is to conduct High Quality Dive Courses, in small numbers (maximum 4 students) with a high degree of emphasis placed on the student’s Safety, Knowledge and Competency.
We don’t just do Dive Courses! We specialise in them!
Our dive courses are structured to keep you focused and entertained from start to finish! Ensuring you gain the highest level of understanding and competency, in both the practical and theory aspects of diving.
There is plenty of time to ask questions, practice skills to perfection and at times even put your feet up and relax taking in the scenery of our beautiful tropical island, as we don’t have the time constraints many dive student’s encounter when doing their course on a vessel.
Lynne & John Boyce share their intimate knowledge of the Whitsunday water wonderland and welcome you to their yacht "Sydney Sundancer", which has been likened to a five star floating resort. Sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving, reef walking, whale watching, uninhabited island exploration and gourmet meals together with award winning wines are just some of the daily highlights.
It’s hard for visitors to choose from so many vessels operating in the Whitsundays’, but we believe, as a husband and wife team who are extremely passionate about the area, that we offer our guests a very very special experience. Not only are we the only charter yacht offering shared cruises (cabin bookings) based at Hamilton Island, but we are also the only charter yacht in the Whitsundays offering 7 day 7 night expedition voyages of discovery. Another very important consideration when choosing your vessel, is if there will be children aboard. We guarantee that if you book a cabin, there will be no person aboard aged less than 18, because guests who wish to have a family holiday with their children, are required to privately charter our yacht.
Adrenalin Snorkel & Dive, operating since 1987 is the regions premier dive operation. Offering 1 day and liveaboard trips and PADI dive courses to the Outer Reefs and the mighty SS YONGALA.
We strive to exceed our guests' expectation of their visit with us.
Our Experienced, Professional and friendly crew work hard to ensure your stay with us is safe, comfortable and lots of fun.
Adventure Catamarans Dive and Sail have three Catamarans in their fleet that provide sailing holidays in the Whitsundays. Whitsunday Blue is a luxury eight guest Catamaran for the Couples market and offers two night or three night tours. For the Adventure market, their two day two night Catamaran tours around the Whitsunday Islands are their most popular tours. Vessels are Powerplay or Whitsunday Adventurer,
Tours offer time to explore the islands, including time to relax at the magnificent Whitehaven Beach, walk to Hill Inlet Lookout on Whitsunday Island, and experience snorkelling stops on the fringing coral reefs which extend right from the edge of the Islands. Vessels include a heated spa on the foredeck, clear Kayaks and Paddle Boards. The Captain and crew will provide interpretive information on the Whitsunday Islands and the Marine Park.
Moreton Island is the worlds third largest Sand Island, third only to Fraser Island and North Stradbroke Island. Situated only a 75min boat ride from Brisbane City, Moreton is the perfect Island getaway for a one day or overnight adventure!
There is a good reason why this tour is our most popular! See the absolute best this region has to offer in a half day tour. Enjoy the sparkling expanse of the Whitsunday Islands National Park and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from the air, on the land and under the water.
Lying close to shore off Fingal Head in the Pacific Ocean, Cook Island is an accessible and appealing dive site on the Gold Coast. Hard and soft corals cover the bottom in some areas; in others boulders form walls and caves descending to the sandy sea floor. You'll find an interesting mix of reef and pelagic fish; pufferfish, gropers, surgeonfish, anemonefish, leatherjackets, parrotfish, trevally, bullseyes and sweetlips. Macro-photographers will find plenty of subjects. Stingrays, turtles, wobbegongs and blind sharks, Leopard sharks abound in summer.
Palm Beach Reef on the Gold Coast is a large reef with sections of rocky outcrops, and several large bommies with a variety of soft corals and sponges. The top of the reef rises to just five metres below the surface. Marine Life is abundant with stingrays and the odd bronze whaler or hammerhead seen, and in summer, Wobbegongs and leopard sharks. Blue wrasse, parrotfish, painted wrasse and a variety of reef fish, with large schools are the norm.
Nine Mile Reef off Tweed Heads on the Gold Coast is known as a "sharky" spot by the locals. Year-round residents include wobbegongs, blind sharks, bronze whalers with leopard sharks in summer; grey nurse sharks in winter; and occasional hammerheads and whale sharks. Reef fish are ever-present, and pelagic fish sometimes circle in large numbers. Turtles, stingrays, eagle-rays are regulars as well as the occasional manta-ray. The rocky reef here drops from 10-30 metres and is covered with numerous corals.
North of Moreton Island lies a 50 metre iron barque which sank in 1894 after a 122 day sail from New York, carrying a cargo of kerosene, glassware, wire bails and alarm clocks. Timber artifacts under the sand have been preserved from being drenched in kerosene. In fact, the Aarhus is considered one of Australias first major marine oil spills!
In the Moreton Bay area north of Moreton Island and off Brisbane, a giant Granite Rock extends 15 metres up from the sandy bottom. It looks like a giant fridge lying on its side, 40 metres by 25 metres wide. Sheer cliffs rise from the bottom on three sides, with a few shallow caves. Originally called Emporers Tomb because of the abundance of Red Emporer, a typo had it renamed Gotham City in the ships logbook and it has been named so ever since.
The Magic Mountain dive site is located on the Outer Gneerings Reef on the Sunshine Coast. Magic Mountain is a large group of rocky outcrops from a sandy ocean floor with numerous gullies, ravines, bommies, swim-throughs and pinnacles which house soft and hard coral colonies. Resident fish include morwong, wrasse leatherjackets, baitfish, bullseyes, catfish, butterfly and angels. Numerous urchins, sea whips, nudibranchs, hydroids, anemones, feather and brittle stars, crabs, crayfish, sponges, tropical fish, wobbygongs and the occasional estuarine cod.
Jew Shoal is a large reef complex of ridges, canyons, bommies, and a solitary 11 metre pinnacle. The Caves has rugged rocky outcrops and swimthroughs; the gutters are covered in colourful hard and soft corals, and reef fish including angelfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish, globefish, rabbitfish, soapfish, morwong, sweetlip and bream. The coral gardens has an array of invertebrates - sea stars, feather stars, shrimps, hermit crabs, urchins, brittle stars, cowries and over 100 varieties of nudibranchs.