Queensland / Cairns

Diving in the Great Barrier Reef

One of the things that should be a part of any Australia East Coast road trip itinerary is a visit to North Queensland for diving in the Great Barrier Reef. This is the world’s biggest reef; it can actually be seen from outer space! Over 2300 kilometres long and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this is a must-visit, especially divers.   

There are many places to go diving at the Great Barrier Reef, but a very popular jump-off point is Cairns. Good places to go diving near Cairns are the Norman Reef and Saxon Reef. Both are pretty shallow dives (between 10 and 20 meters), and diving conditions are excellent.   

Expect to see clownfish, Maori Wrasse, nudibranchs, giant clams, Christmas tree worms, black spot pufferfish, groupers, spotted lagoon stingrays white-tipped reef sharks, many different types of coral, and much more.   

If you want to go wreck diving, head to Townsville to explore the S.S.Yongala. This ship went down in a storm while sailing from Melbourne to Cairns, on 23 March 1911. This is a very popular dive spot, as the S.S. Yongala is one of the largest intact wrecks in the world.  

While diving in Australia is definitely expensive (particularly compared to Southeast Asia), it’s worth every (Australian) dollar. Expect to pay around $315 for three dives (including $10 Reef Levy) and an additional $10 per dive for a guided dive. Included are the boat ride to the Great Barrier Reef on a comfortable boat, fresh fruits, an extensive lunch, coffee, tea, water, and all the dive gear.   

There are several dive companies in Cairns that offer day trips, we went with Tusa Dive and had a great day exploring the magical underwater world.   Your sure to enjoy diving in the Great Barrier Reef.

Loved reading about diving in the Great Barrier Reef? This article was submitted by Lotte Eschbach of @Phenomenal Globe. If you would like to share your Australian yarns and travel tips, contact us on submissions@travelyarnsmag.co.

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