Diving in Queensland

There are endless opportunities to explore the waters of the Great Barrier Reef all year-round. From snorkelling off the shore of an island to exploring the outer reef on a day trip. 

Discover sparkling blue seas set against crystal white sand and tropical islands. This part of Australia is home to a colourful kaleidoscope of reefs, shoals, coral cays and intriguing shipwrecks teeming with tropical marine life.

Queensland offers open water, wreck and night diving, specialist dive and liveaboard tours in the Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea and the cooler, subtropical waters of Southern Queensland.

First-time divers can learn to dive with an introductory ocean or resort dive, or at one of Queensland’s world-class specialist diver training facilities.


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Castle Rock Dive Site

Port Douglas, Douglas Area
Free Entry
Castle Rock is a tower of coral at the Agincourt Reefs, accessible from Port Douglas on a day trip. Rising from 25 metres to almost break the surface, Castle Rock is home to trevally, snappers, sweetlips, goatfish, fusiliers, surgeonfish and a very friendly Malabar groper called Colin.

Hutchinson Shoal Dive Site

Moreton Island, Brisbane Area
Hutchinson Shoal is the largest reef system off Brisbane and also one of the least dived. Located north of Moreton Island, Hutchinson Shoal is washed by strong currents and offers no protection in rough weather.

Mudjimba (Old Woman) Island Dive Site

Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast Area
Free Entry
Mudjimba (Old Woman) Island can be found a short boat ride from Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast. The Island offers treats for both snorkelers and divers, with coral gardens starting at just two metres deep for brilliant dives.

Second Reef Dive Site

Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg Area
Free Entry
Located off the western side of Lady Elliot Island, Second Reef is a long ridge of coral that varies in depth from 2 to 12 metres. Lovely hard corals feature on this reef, but with many ledges and caves to explore it is always a fascinating dive.

Great Detached Reef

Cook Area
Free Entry
Situated north of Cooktown, close to the Queensland cape, Great Detached Reef is a large complex of several reefs sitting on an old fossil mountain range. With roughly 46 kilometres of edge, wall diving is spectacular here, with steep cliffs dropping down to over 400 metres and small caves scattered across the reef walls.

Cherubs Cave Dive Site

Moreton Island, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
A small concrete cherub once marked the main entrance to this hidden cave off Moreton Island. While the guardian has since disappeared, this underwater world remains to be discovered by the adventurous diver.

Pelorus and Orpheus Islands

Palm Island, Hinchinbrook Area
Pelorus and Orpheus Islands are a popular location for day trips off Townsville. Part of the Palm Island Group, 80 kilometres north of Townsville, access to these continental island is from Lucinda. All around Pelorus and Orpheus Islands are rocky reefs covered in hard coral, soft coral, gorgonians and sea whips in depths from 12 metres to 25 metres.

The Oasis Dive Site

Cairns, Cairns Area
Free Entry
Divers exploring The Oasis at Milln Reef, off Cairns, have a choice of exploring coral gardens in the shallows or a series of bommies in deeper water. The bommies are quite spectacular, rising from 20 to 30 metres and coloured by beautiful whip corals, soft corals and gorgonians.

The Pines Dive Site

Moreton Island, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
One of the more unusual dive sites off Brisbane, The Pines is a coffee rock reef, or in other words a dirt boulder reef. Now a dirt boulder reef might not sound very exciting but cut with ledges and caves these dirt boulders are home to a surprising amount of marine life.

Jew Shoal Dive Site

Noosa Heads, Noosa Area
Free Entry
Jew Shoal is one of Noosa’s top attractions, situated in the beautiful Laguna Bay. It is a large reef system of ridges, canyons, bommies, and an impressive solitary 11 metre pinnacle. The Caves dive site has rugged rocky outcrops and swimthroughs, with gutters covered in colourful hard and soft corals, and reef fish including angelfish, butterflyfish, surgeonfish, globefish, rabbitfish, soapfish, morwong, sweetlip and bream.
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