Townsville North Queensland Great Barrier Reef

Townsville North Queensland has been keeping a few cards close to its chest, known only by the savvy locals who have been savouring the lack of crowds, 320 days of sunshine, and pristine conditions found in the central Great Barrier Reef.

From private helicopter rides to twilight ‘Sip and Sail’ cruises, to the self-guided snorkel trails off Magnetic Island, there are plenty of ways to explore the Great Barrier Reef when you base yourself in Townsville. Affectionately known as ‘the island’ to locals, Magnetic Island is the laidback home of around 2500 happy residents and an epically diverse natural landscape. But to truly appreciate her in all her forms, you’ve got to go beyond the bitumen and explore via land, sea and sky.

If eat, sleep, dive, repeat sounds like your kinda jam, you’ll be itching to book yourself on this camp and dive safari to Pelorus Island. (Never heard it? She’s one Townsville’s best-kept-secrets!).

If you’re keener than a parrotfish on coral to discover the underwater world, then getting your scuba certification at one of these locales should be top of the #lifegoals list. 



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Big Mama Sailing

Multiple Locations
Big Mama Sailing is owned and operated by a small family (Stu, Lisa, Fletcher and boat dog Coco). They offer a personalised and memorable sailing experience. They are based in Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island but are happy to pick up and drop off at Breakwater Marina, Townsville for private and large group bookings.

Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive

Multiple Locations
Adrenalin Snorkel and Dive is one of Townsville's longest established dive training and marine tourism operators. They specialise in providing snorkelling and diving trips as well as training of divers as part of a full dive service.

Aquascene Magnetic Island

Multiple Locations
Come on an adventure with Aquascene as they share with you this beautiful Island they have called their home for over 30 years. One of Queensland's Signature Tour Experiences, Aquascene are renowned for their exceptional tour experience.

Mission Beach Dive

Multiple Locations
Welcome to Mission Beach Dive where they will create your Outer Great Barrier Reef Experience! They can help you whether you wish to take your family snorkelling, a couples special dive or snorkel charter, advance your dive training and more.

Pleasure Divers Magnetic Island

Multiple Locations
Pleasure Divers Magnetic Island is Magnetic Island's longest running PADI and SSI dive center, offering courses and tours from beginner to professional. Pleasure Divers has been in operation for over 20 years.

Yongala Dive

Multiple Locations
Yongala Dive is a PADI Dive Resort offering a full range of Dive Courses, Dive Lodge and Day Trips to one of the world's top dive sites- the historic S.S. Yongala Wreck. In 1911 it sank without trace in a tragic cyclonic event.

Keeper Reef Dive Site

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Located off Townsville, Keeper Reef offers a wonderful dive for those that love to explore healthy coral gardens. It is easy to get lost at this dive site as the coral gardens are divided by ridges and bommies, creating a coral maze.

Great Tropical Drive

Multiple Locations
Explore palm-fringed beaches, ancient rainforests and the golden outback on a self-drive tour taking in the highlights of North Queensland. With 26 different routes to follow, the Great Tropical Drive takes you to some of Australia's best-known tropical attractions including the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree rainforest, Hinchinbrook Island and the Undara Lava Tubes.

Savannah Way

Multiple Locations
Explore five World Heritage areas on a journey through Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia on Australia's adventure drive, the Savannah Way. This trek across the top of Australia starts in the tropical city of Cairns where you can visit the Great Barrier Reef and the Wet Tropics rainforest, and takes you to Broome's spectacular Cable Beach.

SS Yongala Dive Site

Townsville, Townsville Area
Free Entry
Situated near Cape Bowling Green off the coast between Townsville and Ayr, the SS Yongala is possibly the best wreck dive in the world. The ship, at 110 metres long, is one of the largest, most intact historic shipwrecks, as well as one of the most intriguing maritime mysteries - after sinking in 1911, the SS Yongala lay undiscovered for more than half a century.
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What it is like to dive the SS Yongala Wreck